FA Youth Cup

Five-Star City Progress In FA Youth Cup At Bournemouth

Leicester City's Under-18s booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a 5-1 win over AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Friday.

Will Alves gave the visitors the lead when some skilful footwork came before an authoritative low finish. Two minutes later, Chris Popov picked up the pieces to add a second, an advantage the side would hold to the interval.

Lewis Brown pulled a goal back for Bournemouth soon after the resumption only for Sammy Braybrooke to strike back with the away side's third, a goal which took the wind out of the Cherries.

Two late goals from substitute Brandon Cover then put a gloss on the result, as the squad booked an away trip to Manchester United or Everton in the final eight of the prestigious youth competition.

Coach Adam Barradell made three changes to the starting XI, with 'keeper Arlo Doherty, Thomas Wilson-Brown and Jack Butterfill - who scored the late winner in the previous round against Crewe Alexandra earlier in January - all included.

Getting going with a 3-4-1-2 formation, the visitors began the game on the front foot. However, Doherty was needed to make the first save of the game when he was sharp to dive to his right and repel a Marcus Daws effort.

Cherries frontman Daniel Adu-Adjei ruffled the side netting but, after that opening flurry from the home side, City began to reimpose themselves on the game and enjoyed an extended spell of possession.

Alves and Joe Wormleighton combined neatly down the right before the pathway through was blocked, though the No.10 was the key man as he opened the scoring in the 31st minute.

Chasing an intelligent ball over the top, Alves was sharp to turn in the box. He then drifted past two defenders before striking low past home 'keeper Ollie Camis.

One then became two, this time with the away side able to take advantage of a defensive mistake. Finn Tonks headed over Camis and Popov was alert to the opportunity and tapped home from close range.

Camis was needed to save again as Leicester looked to turn the screw and take the match further away from their opponents. Butterfill showed neat feet in the area but had his shot blocked.

Bournemouth looked for a way back into the tie ahead of half-time, as Tonks fired narrowly wide of Doherty's left upright. With the final action of the opening 45 minutes, Alves rifled an effort over the bar, but the young Foxes were heading back down the Vitality Stadium tunnel with a two-goal advantage.

Popov restarted the contest and Alves soon had a low shot that was well stopped by Camis as the visitors began the half on the front foot. However, the Cherries halved the deficit when Brown produced a lobbed finish to beat Doherty and find the back of the net. 

Michael Dacosta Gonzalez fizzed a free-kick just wide as the Cherries threatened an equaliser, but the sting was taken out of the hosts again when Braybrooke finished coolly on the volley following Butterfill's surge, restoring his side's two-goal cushion.

Popov then forced a good smothering save from Camis, before any hopes of a comeback were extinguished by Cover, appearing from the bench and scoring a double.

The striker first finished calmly after a good break from Popov. Minutes later, Cover notched a quick-fire second when he weaved this way and that before opening his body to produce an impressive finish to seal the victory.

Cover had a final chance, but could only hit the side netting as he looked for a hat-trick, the final whistle soon sounding in Dorset with City's place in the quarter-finals secured.

Major moment...

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Sammy Braybrooke
Sammy Braybrooke

Sammy Braybrooke skippered the youthful City XI at Vitality Stadium.

After City had looked in control, Bournemouth's goal shortly after the restart could have switched the momentum. Instead, Sammy Braybrooke produced a calm and composed finish to volley home and settle the nerves.

Who impressed?

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Will Alves
Will Alves

Will Alves, just 16, was again an impressive figure for Leicester's Under-18s.

Will Alves, who made his senior debut against Watford in the Emirates FA Cup earlier this month, was a bright spark throughout. His opener lit up the game with a fantastic piece of skill to set his side on their way.

Where do we stand?

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Harvey Godsmark-Ford
Harvey Godsmark-Ford

The young Foxes will face either Manchester United or Everton away in the quarter-finals.

The draw for the quarter-finals has already been made, with the young Foxes next to face an away tie at Manchester United or Everton. A date for the fixture will be announced in due course.

Coming up...

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Thomas Wilson-Brown
Thomas Wilson-Brown

City's youngsters were as defensively sound as they were an attacking threat in Bournemouth.

Next up, the young Foxes travel to the capital for a U18 Premier League South fixture at Arsenal on Saturday 5 February (11:30am GMT kick-off).

The details…

City: Doherty; B. Nelson, Godsmark-Ford, Wilson-Brown; Wormleighton, Cartwright, Braybrooke (c), Lindsay, Alves; Popov (Briggs 88'), Butterfill (Cover 76').

Subs not used: Grist, Chibueze, Cook, Kutshienza, Lewis, Cover, Briggs.

Goals: Alves 31', Popov 33', Braybrooke 59', Cover 85', 88'.

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