FC Halifax Town’s youth team progressed into the 1st Round Proper of The FA Youth Cup as they beat Litherland Remyca 5-0. Goals from Gary da Costa, a brace from Matthew Rowson and two own goals saw the young Shaymen into the next round.
The side came into tonight’s game after beating Garforth Town U18’s in the previous round 1-0. They also have won both of their league games against Darlington and Carlisle so came into the game looking to maintain their unbeaten run.
The game began with a handball shout for the visitors, as a shot from Silcock came in from the edge of the box from Peter Silcock. His shot was blocked by Ellis Wade, which produced shouts of ‘Handball’ from some of the Litherland Remyca players, but referee Abid Hussain waved away the preceding protests.
The first sign of actual goalmouth action came moments later, this time for Halifax. An out swinging corner was put in by Jos Veitch, which found the head of skipper Jay Benn 10 yards out, but his header was too tame and fell into the hands of Travis Wilson in the Litherland goal.
The next chance fell to Litherland. Winger Bobbie Short worked some space inside, and got himself to the edge of the box and unleashed a drive from 20 yards but Carl Rushworth in the Shaymen goal was able to hold on to his effort.
It was end to end stuff in the opening stages, as another chance came for the team from Merseyside. The ball fell to Max Smith on the edge of the box, who worked some space and his drive, similar to Short’s, came close as it cannoned off the crossbar. Chances a plenty early on.
The first goal of the game came in the 14th minute. Some loose play around the Litherland defence allowed Gary da Costa to latch on to a loose ball and his pace took him away from the defence to be in through on goal. His initial attempt was parried but he stabbed the ball home at the second attempt to give the young Shaymen the advantage.
Throughout the first half, Halifax looked to use the direct Jay Benn on the right-hand side as an outlet, and his pace and trickery created Halifax’s second goal eight minutes later. As Benn strode down the right flank and fizzed a ball into the box towards his waiting teammates, however his cross was turned into the Litherland net by a Litherland man.
With the lead doubled, the Town frontline began to enjoy themselves with da Costa and Jean-Jacques Kirongozi linking up well to cause their opponents some issues with their trickery and willingness to commit defenders. A chance soon falling for Kirongozi on the edge of the box but it was saved comfortably by Travis Wilson.
Benn was the outlet for Town once more, as he again went down the right and found a pass to da Costa, but he was unable to adjust his body properly, and the ball was smothered by Wilson.
Town winger Mohammed Subhani found himself in the game towards the end of the first half and he created his side’s next chance. Cutting inside on the left flank, he crossed towards Veitch who was in space inside the box. He rounded the keeper but lost his balance and saw his chance for a goal goes amiss, with the score at 2-0.
The half time whistle came from Hussain, with the Halifax youngsters comfortably ahead, after an early scare from Litherland.
The teams returned for the second half unchanged from the first period. Despite being two down, Litherland came out for the second half looking the better side for a phase of time.
Snapping into tackles and looking to get themselves back into the game, with a couple of chances coming for Peter Silcock, but both times claimed by Wilson in the Halifax net.
Town soon seemingly put the game to bed with their third. Centre back Tosin Abioue found himself on the right-hand by-line and produced a cross into the box, which was again turned into the net by a Litherland man.
Chasing the game, Litherland brought on a double substitution on the hour mark. Elliott Egan came on for Max Smith while Jack Bergery replaced Jack Carr. Meanwhile, Halifax made a change of their own – Jos Veitch coming off for Matthew Rowson.
Rowson made his impact on the game almost immediately, as he pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired the ball home to make it four on the night for The Shaymen.
The Halifax U18’s really began to express themselves as the second half progressed with the likes of Kirongozi and Rowson making chances for themselves with little tricks and flicks, but this time to no avail.
However, the substitute Rowson wasn’t to be denied soon after. With 15 minutes remaining, Rowson was put through Kirongozi who only had the keeper to beat, and slotted the ball underneath him to grab his second of the game. An emphatic victory for the youngsters.
The young Shaymen will now play Sunderland in the First Round Proper at The Shay. Date yet to be confirmed.
MOTM: Tosin Abio
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