FA Youth Cup Third Round
Wednesday 8th December 2004
The FA Youth Cup
Wanderers defend against Villa at Villa Park Wanderers' Under 18 side went out of the FA Youth Cup at Villa Park on Wednesday evening but came out of the game with plenty of credit having restricted the home side to a single goal victory. Magnus Troest headed in the only goal of the game after 15 minutes to send Aston Villa through. This was always going to be an extreme test for Gary Smith's side against last season's finalists and the winners in 2002 but only an efficient defensive display from Villa prevented Wycombe from getting back into the tie. James Faulkner had Wycombe's best chance on 61 minutes when he was one-on-one with Villa 'keeper Robert Olejnik but he was caught in two minds whether to shoot or take the ball around the 'keeper and Olejnik stretched out to grab the ball. Stephen Gregory and Ikechi Anya also saw shots blocked as Wycombe fought for an equaliser.
Villa, beaten finalists in the 2003/4 competition and winners in 2002, included at least seven players with international experience at Youth level in their side. However, Wanderers were never overawed by the opposition and left back Gary Bunting went close to equalising in the 29th minute when he saw a low shot from 20 yards tipped wide by Olejenik.
At the other end Gabriel Agbonlahor forced a save from Stephen Flower just before the break but Villa seemed more than content to sit on their lead following the interval and Wanderers should have levelled when Faulkner was presented with his chance just after the hour mark. The chance prompted a spell of Wycombe pressure but frustrated time and time again by the Villa defence who supressed strikers Faulkner and Andy Savage with relative ease. But there was no disgrace in this defeat with Wanderers' own central defensive duo of Tom Cadmore and Kieron Gradwell doing an equally good job on shutting out the Villa strikers.
Final Score Aston Villa 1 Wycombe 0
Speaking after the game to the press, Wanderers' Youth Team Manager Gary Smith said "I was proud of every one of them. It was a fantastic performance and if anything it is a little bit tinged with disappointment because we played so well on the night that we thought we might have been able to get something from it." Smith managed the Wimbledon Youth side that had lost to Villa in each of the previous three season's in the same competition and added "I'm excited by what I have seen. Villa have an academy budget of 1.8 million and ours is 125,000. Their goalkeeper was a Swiss international, their two centre forwards play for England U18 and they had a centre half they paid quite a bit of money for, yet we had the better of the second half. We had one great chance and three or four half chances. The lads gave everything and they should be proud of themselves."
Wycombe: Stephen Flower, Craig Roberts (sub HT Wesley Douglas), Gary Bunting, Tamba Ngongou (sub 82 Rashid Kamara), Kieron Gradwell, Tom Cadmore, Ikechi Anya, Steven Gregory, Andy Savage (sub 82 Ryan Tackley), James Faulkner, Liam Grier - subs not used: Alex McCarthy (GK), D'juvane Davidson
Aston Villa: Robert Olejnik, Paul Green, Scott Bridges, Magnus Troest, Stephen O'Halloran, Isaish Osbourne, Christian Kabeya Tshimanga (sub 76 Michael Tuohy), Craig Gardner, Shane Paul (sub 59 Seyi Morgan), Gabriel Agbonlahor, Sam Williams (sub 76 Adam McGurk) - subs not used: Stephen Henderson, Ashley Edkins
Referee: Mr M Dexter Att: 563
Yellow Cards: none

Click here for Wanderers Youth Team and Centre of Excellence Guide

Click here for Youth Team results and fixtures 2004/2005

Click here for Youth Team Picture Gallery 2003-2004

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