Report: Blues Under-18s 2 Coventry City Under-18s 1

It was a really strong performance from all the players and we could have scored more

Paul Harsley

Blues Under-18s returned to winning ways with victory over Coventry City on Saturday at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre.

Goals from Jordan James and Rico Patterson did the damage as Blues bounced back from defeat to Barnsley early last week.

The opener came just before the half-hour mark and was the result of a well-worked move with James adding the finish as he found the top corner with a curling effort from 22 yards.

Coventry pulled one back to go into the break level before Blues responded with what proved to be the winner.

13 minutes from time Kieran Wakefield pulled off a backheel assist for Patterson whose first-time strike secured all three points.

The win keeps Blues top of the table and Paul Harsley was delighted with how his team dictated proceedings at Wast Hills.

The Professional Development Coach said: “It was a good performance and we controlled the game for long periods. That’s what we’re about, controlling with and without the ball. It was a really strong performance from all the players and we could have scored more. They are working their socks off every single week, so they get their just deserts.

“We worked on controlling the game and we had 70% possession, it’s really pleasing to play to our philosophy and it’s really pleasing to see what we do in training coming out in matches.”

Blues conceded against the run of play and Harsley was pleased with how his side reacted to the setback, pointing out how overcoming such moments of adversity is great for the players continuing development.

He told “The only way they were going to score was a counter-attack or from a set-piece, but for the player development it was good that they scored. The lads had to refocus, and it tested them mentally. If we had come in at 2-3 up it might have got a bit sloppy, but they came in and then went again. In effect, the goal refocused the boys and made them push on even harder.

“The primary thing is to get them better at football and to keep testing them. I quite like it when the scoreline is close as it tests the boys. It gives them the desire to keep going for the full 90 minutes. As players they would run through brick walls and then winning games is a positive outcome from that, but without that hard work, it wouldn’t happen. I know they’ll keep working hard, so let’s see where we get to.”

Blues: Brooks, Sullivan, Djurovic, Nguepissi, Craig, Chang (captain), Bellingham (Patterson 67), Dugmore (Hall 67), Wakefield, James, Williams.

Unused substitutes: Barrett, Foggarty, Manton.

Goalscorers: Jordan James (27) Rico Patterson (77).