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FA Youth Cup: Joel Ndala electric as Manchester City progress to the fifth round

Manchester City U18 4 – 1 Brighton U18

Joel Ndala impressed as Manchester City defeat Brighton to reach the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

City beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 in the previous round and were in top form, finding themselves without a loss since November and sat atop the U18 Premier League North. The visitors ended a poor streak of form with a win against Dover Athletic in the third round.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The hosts took the lead after 13 minutes as Ndala played a great ball across the box finding Will Dickson, who clinically slotted home.  

16-year-old Ndala caused problems for Brighton all night with his agility and tricks, using his skill to create opportunities for himself and his teammates.  

Following a positive spell from the visitors, Bailey Smith’s turn inside the box forced a foul and gave the Seagulls a penalty.

The former City academy player Luca Barrington calmly placed his penalty into the bottom right corner making it 1-1.  

Just a few moments later, Ndala used his trickery once again as he drove down the left-hand side and fired a shot into the top right corner, restoring City’s lead.

In the 60th minute, Brighton substitute Joshua Duffus forced an outstanding save from George Murray-Jones as he fired toward goal from outside the box.

The City press became too much for Brighton as Nico O’Reilly won the ball back in the visitors’ box and prodded the ball into the back of the net for 3-1.

Following a great run and through ball from Max Alleyne, substitute Ashton Muir drove into the space in front of goal and finished with composure to extend the home side’s lead again.

City controlled the game in the late stages to see out the win.

WHATS NEXT?

This result means Manchester City will face the winner of Fleetwood Town vs Middlesborough in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

Next up for City is U18 Premier League action against Nottingham Forest on the 21st of January. Brighton will travel to West Bromwich Albion, also in the U18 Premier League, on the 28th.

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