Wrexham 3 Hyde 0 – FA Youth Cup

Ross White: two goals for the skipper from centre back.

A comfortable passage to the next round, more than the result suggested, and Andy Davies and Joey Jones’ lads should be pleased with the professional way they went about getting through this match.

They looked a level above a Hyde side which struggled to get hold of the ball in areas of the pitch where they could hurt them. Their energy was terrific, smothering the visitors and forcing them into errors in their own half, or thrashing the ball away to relieve the pressure and surrender possession.

Naturally the intensity of the performance faded in the second half, but by the 32nd minute the job was done. It was already 3-0 by then, and the only surprise in store was that we didn’t go on to at least double that scoreline.

The state of Hyde’s keeper, Broadhurst, certainly added to that impression even if it didn’t actually affect the outcome. The poor lad was injured early in the game but Hyde opted to leave him out on the pitch. It was a decision which, once the tie was beyond their reach, defied comprehension as the young keeper was left out there to suffer, barely able to get off the ground or leave his line. He was a liability, his defenders unsure of how deep they should set the line, but in the circumstances he was admirably brave.

The goals were all from well conceived set pieces. Iwan Cartwright, who bustled impressively in midfield, was bristling with intent and his eagerness to try a long range shot once he saw Broadhurst was injured and sensed blood. His goal, from a brilliantly worked free kick, was a terrific free kick, and he and Adam Harvey-Davies constantly whipped the ball in nastily from dead ball plays. The skipper, Ross White was the beneficiary with headed efforts to complete the scoring.

However, youth football is more about the development of individuals and results, and there were plenty of interesting performances which made one want to see them tested against more difficult opposition.

It wasn’t a day when you could really judge the defenders, as they had so little defending to do. Indeed, the full backs spent more time in the attacking third than their own half as Wrexham pushed on, Jake Doran’s diagonal to Aaron Simpson being a regular path forwards.

Further up the pitch, though, there was plenty of scope to catch the eye. The central midfielders were tidy in possession and solid when without the ball, Cartwright a bundle of energy, Ross Weaver composed on the ball. The line of three was full of threat as the impressive Danny Reynolds dropped back to assist Weaver and Cartwright when required, but broke menacingly into the area, carrying a genuine goal threat. On the flanks, Harvey-Davies and Matthew Hammonds were quick, direct and positive.

The one frustration in the game from Wrexham’s point of view was that Jack Davis up front didn’t get the goal he deserved. His energetic work was impressive. Strong and mobile, he worked the centre backs constantly and deserved a goal, but he just couldn’t quite get on the end of chances, or put in good efforts which scraped the post. Maybe he’s saving his first goal of the run for Old Trafford!

Wrexham (4-2-3-1): Hodgin; Simpson, Horan, White, Smith; Cartwright, Weaver; Hammonds, Reynolds, Harvey-Davies; Davis. Unused subs: Whitlock, Bains, Jones, McColl, Hope.

Wrexham Supporters Association Commentary Man of the Match: Danny Reynolds

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