FC Halifax Town’s u19’s had Eliel Anku to thank as they progressed through the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup.
The side won 4-1 against Abbey Hey at the Shay, as the forward grabbed a superb hat-trick to see his u19’s side through and it was a solid team performance all round from the youth side.
From the get go Halifax looked in control of the tie, dictating play and looking very comfortable in possession and it only took 15 minutes for the home side to take the lead.
Anku and Sunderland linked up well, before the latter scooped a delicious ball into the path of the number 9 who made no mistake in volleying the home side in front.
The forward was proving a handful for the Abbey Hey defenders all game and nearly managed to double his tally as he went clear through but Pollitt recovered well to slide in and block the shot.
It was pretty much plain sailing from that point on, with the two centre halves Moloney and Clayton doing a great job of stifling any Abbey Hey attacks and it wasn’t long before the home side added a second.
Just a quarter of an hour later Halifax had doubled their lead. Pollitt was caught dawdling on the ball and Swales stole in, beat a man and pulled a low cross back to Anku who poked the ball home.
It was reflective of Halifax’s performance in this game, with every player pressing well and giving Abbey Hey no time on the ball to play and they reaped the rewards for their efforts.
The teams went into half time two goals to the good and Abbey Hey already looked out of the game at this stage, having created very few chances in the first 45 minutes.
Halifax started as they left off and looked especially dangerous out wide with Swales and substitute Benn creating a lot of problems for the Abbey Hey full backs.
Typical of his performance, Anku popped up again on the hour mark to grab his and Halifax’s third of the evening. A low cross from Benn after some good work on the wing was poorly dealt with by the Abbey Hey defender whose poor clearance fell straight to the forward who fired into the top left-hand corner.
A phenomenal display from the forward who deserved all three of his goals and showed great efficiency in taking the few clear chances he was presented with.
However, Abbey Hey hit back almost immediately through Olarewaju after Atkinson spilled the initial shot straight to the winger who made no mistake from close range.
A slight blip from the home side and a slight mistake from the keeper gave Abbey Hey a boost and they upped the pressure in this game and started to look more dangerous.
Simpson came close to halving the deficit to one goal as his free kick was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Atkinson who was already making amends for his earlier mistake.
However, the away side had their momentum halted as they had to finish the game with 10 men, as Cade McKenna saw red for what appeared to be an off the ball incident.
Unsurprisingly, the home side held on and managed to extend their lead to four goals as substitute Ellis Wade latched onto a great ball and slotted brilliantly into the far corner and the players seemed to love that one, with a huge team celebration mobbing the winger.
A great all-round performance from the youth side and they deservedly run out 4-1 winners and progress through the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup.
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