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FA Youth Cup: Southend United U18s 1-0 Barnet U18s

20 November 2014

Brave Blues beat Barnet after playing nearly a half with ten men.

George Burton's first half header proved the difference as Blues earned their place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a 1-0 win over Barnet at Roots Hall – despite being down to ten men for almost 45 minutes.

At the beginning of the second half, skipper Ross Johnson was sent off for a second bookable offence but Ricky Duncan's side held on galantly with a spirited display.

It was an encouraging start from Blues and after only three minutes, Brandon Scott's looping cross almost deceived Barnet goalkeeper Kai McKenzie Lyle, but the ball hit the bar and bounced away from danger.

Four minutes later and Blues went close again. A neat one-two between Burton and Scott saw the former take a snapshot, which made Lyle tip the powerful effort from just inside the box, away from danger.

On 21 minutes, Blues took the lead through Burton. A cross from the right was superbly headed over the despairing Lyle and into the back of the net off the post.

It could have been 2-0 just moments later. Scott was the instigator again, standing a cross up for skipper Johnson at the back post. The captain headed down but Lyle was there to save on the goal-line.

Barnet had a chance just after the half an hour mark but Dan Masuzaka was on hand to block a strike by Shane Cojocarel.

The second half got off to a disaster for Blues, with Johnson seeing a red card just four minutes after the restart for a foul on an opposing midfielder. The Blues' skipper had already been shown a yellow mid-way through the first half and he walked down the tunnel.

The battling Blues were battling well and it took until the 69th minute for Barnet to muster a clear opportunity in the second half. Substitute Elliot Harris firing well over the bar, and minutes later, Stevens' effort touched the crossbar.

At the other end – with 15 minutes remaining – Matsuzaka headed over the bar after Scott's cross was headed on by Burton.

With six minutes of normal time left, another Barnet substitute – Ryan Gondoh fired into the side netting from an acute angle.

Substitute Imani Matthews saw his powerful strike saves brilliantly by Lyle with just a few minutes remaining.

And that meant Blues deservedly headed into round three, where they will face a home tie against Middlesbrough, after a professional display against their divisional rivals.

Blues: Bexon; Williams, Coutts, Matsuzaka, Adeyeye; Johnson, Scott, Keating, Gard (Bedford, 84), Cotton; Burton

Unused: Macree, Salami, Batlokwa

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