Report: Blues Under-18s 0 Hull City Under-18s 3

Tate Campbell
Tate Campbell

The outcome was hugely frustrating for Blues, as the scoreline in no way reflected the manner of performance.

In a second-half that was pretty much one-way traffic, Blues could and should have pulled back at 2-0 interval deficit.

But the lack of a clinical, finishing touch, good goalkeeping and good fortune for the visitors meant they left the Trillion Trophy Trophy Training Centre, Wast Hills, with the points.

Amari Miller hit the post, Tate Campbell spurned a golden chance and Nick Kinina was denied at point-blank range by an improbable stop in a dominant second period.

But a significant moment came in the 20th minute when Lucas Powell was caught in two minds as he controlled a free-kick with his chest; he elected to play the ball back to Aaron Clayton but underhit it, allowing Quinn Thompson to dash in and score.

When Blues then lost the ball near halfway, Hull were presented with an opportunity to threaten goal again but a combination of Daniel Djurovic and Kade Craig sped back and recovered lost ground to close off the avenue.

Apart from a couple of headers that didn't threaten the target by Yoane Zohore, Blues were unable to break down Hull's defensive block, try as they might with Remi Walker spraying passes around to try and unhinge them.

In the 44th minute, from a right wing corner, Hull doubled their lead when Jake Leake rose amid a clutch of bodies in the heart of the area and planted a firm header just inside the post.

It was a hammer blow to Blues, and Coach Paul Robinson sent on Josh Dugmore at the break for Powell, who was struggling with an ankle injury, and changed to 4-3-3.

The results were immediate, as in a 10 to 15 minute spell Blues put Hull under intense pressure.

Kyle Hurst was freed up more and caused problems, on the other attacking flank Miller was a lively danger and Campbell began to exert a more powerful influence in midfield.

In the 50th minute Miller dibbled in off the right, created space beyond opponents and angled a curving shot that rebound off the post with the 'keeper beaten.

There were appeals for a penalty when Hurst seemed to be shoved on his way as he sprinted towards the byline near the the six-yard box, from the left.

Campell tried his luck from range after a surge through the central area and Miller had a poked shot saved.

After Miller got onto a loose ball and played it into Campbell in the box, a defensive challenge saw it ricochet off the captain and sail into the net beyond David Robson, only for the offside flag to go up.

In the 56th minute, from a Walker corner on the left, Campbell got free at the back post but touched the ball wide of the target when a goal seemed certain.

Hull weathered that initial storm, but Blues continued to play, press forward and get after their visitors.

Miller received the ball, turned and ran at goal before putting a right-footer just over the bar from outside the area before Hull scored their third goal, in the 82nd minute.

Clayton parried a shot by Harry Wood and unfortunately for Blues substitute Josh Hinds followed up, amid offside appeals, to slam home.

Still Blues kept plugging away, however, and Walker engineered himself past a couple of challenges on the right of the area only for his fierce attempt to be saved at the near post by Robson.

And Blues just knew it was one of those afternoons in the 87th minute when Walker's far post free-kick was nodded down and Kinina, trying to sweep it over the line from a few yards, was thwarted by the 'keeper flying in to incredibly block.

Blues: Clayton, Oakley, Powell (Dugmore ht), Craig, Kinina, Djurovic, Walker, Campbell, Zohore (Williams 61), Hurst, Miller. Subs not used: Rouse, Traore, Nguepissi.