As the premier competition in youth football reaches its final stages eight clubs battled it out in a high scoring and entertaining Quarter final round.
Carlisle United, conquerors of Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday in previous rounds, finally came unstuck against a strong Aston Villa side. With manager Martin O’Neill flying back from a tropical training camp to watch his young charges, they defeated the Cumbrians 2-0 at Brunton Park.
Port Vale faced London giants Chelsea as a reward for their defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in the last round but the Valiants, short of influential midfielder Simon Richman and defender Adam Copeland, were blown away by Chelsea’s Gael Kakuta who helped himself to a hat-trick as the Londoners plundered a 5-2 win in front of a 3,628 crowd at Vale Park.
Meanwhile over 2,000 expectant fans turned out at Home Park, hoping Mike Pejic’s young Pilgrims could continue their good form in a competition has seen them knock out three Premier Academy teams already.
Manchester City however were a different proposition and the visitors, who boasted England Youth international and now a regular Premiership performer Daniel Sturridge in their ranks, ran out comfortable 4-1 winners despite an evenly contested opening to the game.
In the final game of the Quarter Finals Charlton Athletic faced Sunderland at the Valley in front of another large crowd. After a goalless first half it was the visitors that broke the deadlock when Martyn Waghorn thumped home in the 55th minute.
However the home side rallied and following some good work by right-back Chris Solly, Rashid Yussuff drilled home an equaliser. It remained all square until deep into injury time when the Black Cats snatched victory courtesy of a spectacular 25 yard Jordan Henderson lob.
Semi Final Draw
- Sunderland v Manchester City
- Chelsea v Aston Villa