Smith double defeats Oldham to send U16s into JPL Plate second round

Amari Smith’s double, one either half, assisted the U16s’ 4-2 victory over Oldham Athletic Development Centre on Saturday midday to qualify his side into the JPL Plate second round.

U16s debutant Zac Banjamin, who debutised for the U21s a week ago, opened the scoring while Kieron Murthoo-Williams also scored.

Farsley’s first-half 2-0 lead was halved in first-half added time before Oldham levelled early in the second-half before Murthoo-Williams and Smith restored the lead.

Gavin Meleka, 15, also made his debut, the defender introduced as a second-half substitute.

Commonly on the score-sheet, Kyrell Kavanagh, created the first chance all by himself on 3 minutes, pressing on the half-way and winning the ball. He advanced down right all the way into box before shooting hard at the near post which was tipped wide.

Oldham’s first chance was a cross the left on 6 minutes, over Aeren Pink, landing at a forward at the back post who mis-hit his left-footed volley, the ball spinning over his own shoulder.

A minute later, the same forward received a cut back on the edge of the box. With the ball bouncing, he hit a half-volley which was blocked by Pink this time.

A second cross, on 10 minutes, this time from the right, was aimed at the back post but dealt cleared by Richy Bamba who intercepted ahead of a threatening forward.

Bamba defended well again just a minute later after an Oldham forward had got round Boulton. Bamba beat the forward for pace and stuck in a leg on the edge of the box, intercepting cleanly.

Wingers Smith and Murthoo-Williams switched wings inside 12 minutes and the former benefitted, cutting inside before passing in-field to Abdelaziz. He continued the path of the ball into Josh Carney before he found Smith again who had continued his run into the middle. In front of the Oldham’s defence, he couldn’t control the ball cleanly enough to cause any danger.

Farsley’s opening goal also directly resulted from the switch, giving them the lead on 14 minutes.

Murthoo-Williams’ cross, now on the right, found Benjamin in the centre of the box who kept close control of the ball despite using his head, setting the ball ahead of him perfectly to hook a  right-footed shot, swivelling his body 90 degrees, to find the bottom left corner.

Benjamin then outmuscled his defender on the edge of the box a minute later and eventually forced a foul 20 yards out to the left. Smith’s free-kick is flicked on by captain Shawnee Eddy, towards the back post but a number of waiting, outstretched legs all missed it

A long-ball from Bamba on the right of the back three beat all the Oldham defence and flew into the path of Benjamin who can’t get a clean strike on the ball but did enough to rise it over the ‘keeper, which appeared to skim the bar before going for a goal-kick.

An initial water break on 20 minutes was ordered by the referee.

Carney’s injury forced him to be replaced by Eloi Nyom, the latter positioning himself on the left with Smith moved central.

Oldham looked to have got lucky when a deep free-kick, 32 minutes in, looked to have the perfect length to drop inbetween Hudson and his bar to level but it eventually fell behind the bar.

Farsley doubled their lead as Smith scored another long-distance strike on 33 minutes, having just been moved central.

Kavanagh’s pass right in the middle of Oldham’s half found Smith who took one touch before shooting quickly but with plenty of power and accuracy to beat the ‘keeper and put the ball into the top right corner.

Oldham threatened to level a minute before the break and shot from the edge of the box but a deflection slowed the ball down to make it an easy save for Hudson, although the ‘keeper was initially diving the other way.

The hosts did get a goal back, in first-half added-time.

A high loose ball was eventually controlled well by an Oldham forward on the left of the edge of box. He knocked the ball onto his right foot before placing the ball out of reach of Hudson, into the bottom, far right corner.

Kavanagh attempted to restored the two-goal lead, 3 minutes into the second-half, powering a shot from the edge of the box, wide of the right post.

Murthoo-Williams crossed again minutes later, beating the ‘keeper but the ball flew narrowly ahead of the advancing Eddy at the back, left post.

Oldham were also threatening, although Bamba won the initial challenge on the edge of his box, the hosts played the loose ball into the space the defender had vacated behind himself. He tracked back in time to stop the shot and stood up his attacker to force him away from danger.

Oldham’s leveller capitlaised from a defensive error in Farsley’s box.

Pink failed to clear inside the right of his box, leaving a forward one on one, for him to poke the ball into far corner.

Hudson kept the scores level on 55 minutes as a deep Oldham free-kick bounced inside the box and looked to be going under the bar until Hudson tipped over.

Farsley’s ‘keeper denied again three minutes later as an Oldham forward beat Pink before stretching to poke the ball goalward but only into the outrushing Hudson’s legs.

Murthoo-Williams’ goal took full advantage of his side’s stern defence, restoring Farsley’s lead on 60 minutes.

Benjamin shoulders his defender out of his path down the right wing, advancing the goal-line before cutting back his low cross to Kavanagh on the edge of the box. The forward turned away from goal, shielding the ball before passing left to Murthoo-Williams just inside the box. He knocked the ball onto his left into space away from his marker and shot hard into the near, top corner.

Hudson was tested again a minute later, however, coming to clear on the edge of his box, the loose ball then volleyed at goal hit the retreating ‘keeper and was eventually cleared.

Oldham looked to be one-on-one on 65 minutes before Murthoo-Williams matched his attacking efforts by defending and catching up to the forward before clearing.