Young U's coast to area final victory

COLCHESTER United Youths coasted to victory in the area final of the Youth Alliance Cup, thanks to a resounding 5-1 success over visiting Swansea City on Saturday.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United Youths coasted to victory in the area final of the Youth Alliance Cup, thanks to a resounding 5-1 success over visiting Swansea City on Saturday.

Joe Dunne's side were always in command, taking a two-goal lead inside the first 15 minutes to guarantee their passage through to the national final, where they will meet either Grimsby Town or Stockport County.

The U's U-18s have enjoyed an excellent season in the Youth Alliance League, losing just three fixtures, two of these during the last few weeks.

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And they translated their good league form into the cup. Striker Tom Webb has been prolific in front of goal this term, and he obliged with two early strikes to knock the stuffing out of the Swans at the Garrison “B” Ground.

Fabien Quintyn slotted home Webb's delivery to put the U's 3-0 up by the half-hour mark, and Anthony Wordsworth bundled home the fourth early in the second-half to snuff out any chance of a Swansea rally - the Welsh visitors were playing with the wind at their backs after the break.

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Substitute Jeremiah Olusanya scored an excellent solo goal to give United a five-goal cushion, and the Swans only response was a consolation goal in the dying minutes.

“I'm very pleased for the lads, because at least they have something to show for what has been a decent season,” revealed youth team manager Joe Dunne.

“I laid down the challenge, and they responded well. We haven't been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks, but we were certainly firing against Swansea on what was a poor, bobbly pitch.

“Tom Webb has scored a lot of goals for us this season. He is a class act.

“He scored twice with two excellent finishes, and also hit the post, as well as setting up Fabian Quintyn for the third.

“We stayed competitive in the second-half, and Jeremiah (Olusanya), who is the fastest thing on two legs, wrapped up the win with a great goal.

“There are a lot of games coming up in April, both for the reserves and the youth team, so we will have to rotate the squad between the under-18s and under-16s.

“When we reached the final last season, we tired badly in extra-time (5-2 defeat to Preston, after the score had been 2-2 going into extra-time).

“We don't want that to happen this year,” added Dunne.

Grimsby and Stockport do not play their northern final until April 11, so the national final might not take place until May.

Meanwhile, the U's first-team are currently in the middle of a 15-day break between games.

Their last outing was a 2-1 victory at Southampton, in front of the Sky TV cameras last Friday week, and their next Championship clash is at home to East Anglian rivals Norwich City on Saturday.

Wingers Karl Duguid and Kevin McLeod are both on the comeback trail. Duguid missed the trip to Southampton, due to a knee injury, although he returned to training last week.

McLeod has undergone a minor hernia operation, and might struggle to be back in time for a three-game burst in 10 days, that also includes an Essex derby at Southend on Good Friday and a home match against relegation-haunted Leeds United on Easter Monday.

Former Colchester centre-half Alan White, who signed on loan for Peterborough from Notts County last week, celebrated his debut for Posh by scoring the second in a 2-0 win at Grimsby Town.

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