Bristol City U21’s suffer heavy defeat to Sheff Utd with Derby man on fire

Will Osula was a thorn in Bristol City’s side all afternoon. (Image: Sheffield United)Will Osula was a thorn in Bristol City’s side all afternoon. (Image: Sheffield United)
Will Osula was a thorn in Bristol City’s side all afternoon. (Image: Sheffield United) | Sheffield United
Bristol City Under-21’s team end their season on a sour note with a 4-0 loss to Sheffield United.

Bristol City Under-21's season came to a crashing end as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to Sheffield United in the Professional Development League play-off semi-final.

The Blades - who won the Northern league - had too much for the young Robins with Will Osula influential in the victory at Bramall Lane. Sheffield United opened the scoring through Louie Marsh for his 21st goal of the campaign and then before half-time Osula doubled their lead, he then scored twice inside a four-minute spell which made for an emphatic victory in Yorkshire.

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Ali Hines named a strong team that included Joe Low and Dylan Kadji, who returned from their loan spells at Walsall and Swindon Town. Omar Taylor-Clarke and Marlee Francois had also experienced first-team football this season.

It was a confident start from the visitors, who created opportunities from the kick-off. Tommy Backwell fired two half chances, and it was Duncan Idehen who went nearest to breaking the deadlock early on. A corner-kick came in and the former Carlisle United loanee headed just over the bar.

Despite all the early pressure, it was the hosts that opened the scoring and it came in fortuitous fashion. Sai Sachdev’s throw-in deflected off of Joe Low, and allowed Marsh to fire past Harvey Wiles-Richards.

In search of a response, Tommy Backwell did well to direct the ball in Ben Acey’s path and the Guernsey youngster fired his shot just past the post. Attack turned to defence quickly as Will Osula tested Wiles-Richards with a low driven shot outside of the box, but Wiles-Richards had it covered.

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City's best chance came when Low tried to make amends for his error with an attempt on goal. Omar Taylor-Clarke whipped in a corner-kick and Low powered a header at Luke Faxon to save. The away side continued to carve the better of the opportunities and Elijah Morrison danced past the defenders but his effort was saved.

United doubled their advantage before half-time with a fine individual goal. Osula picked up the ball from 30-yards out and dribbled past Duncan Idehen, and despite the angle being tight, fired past Wiles-Richards with a left-footed effort.

At half-time, City made two changes with Ephraim Yeboah and Marley Rose introduced for Marlee Francois and Acey. Sheffield United started on the front foot and carved the defence open with Andre Brooks playing in Osula, but he was was slide tackled by Idehen as he tried to pull the trigger with claims for a penalty.

Substitute Yeboah had a glorious chance to pull City back in to the game, but he was denied by the woodwork. Rose dispossessed Oliver Arblaster and fed in Yeboah, but the Blades defence got back to cover on the line, and did enough for him to be put off to hit the post, and then fire wide on the rebound.

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United once again caused problems with Osula making the most of the empty space left by Harry Leeson and Joe Low, and similar to his penalty appeal, he cut in on the left-hand side, and this time was able to force a save out of Wiles-Richards, having looked to sneak an effort in. Osula - already on one goal - was fed in by Brooks from a scintilating run - but in a one-on-one fired over the bar rather than putting the game to bed.

United ensured the victory with a third goal, and Osula after spurning a few opportunities doubled his tally. A move started inside their own half was finished off when Peck fed in Osula and he stroked home.

Denmark Under-19 international Osula earned the match-ball when he bagged another. The former Derby County loanee ran through the defence and stroked home into the bottom-hand corner.

Osula was a real thorn in the side of the City defence and a lofted ball bypassed both Low and Idehen, but the 19-year-old had his shot saved by Wiles-Richards. The City backline breathed a sigh of relief as the hat-trick hero exited the pitch long with Sachdev, Peck and Marsh for Charlie Staniland, Josh Smith, Fernandinho Macedo and Theo Williams.

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Sheffield United went on the hunt for more goals, but Wiles-Richards in stoppage time made a fine double save to keep the score respectable, but was helpless in his side losing.

Bristol City: Harvey Wiles-Richards, Joe Low, Duncan Idehen, Calum Wood, Harry Leeson (Kai Churchley, 85), Dylan Kadji, Omar Taylor-Clarke, Elijah Morrison, Ben Acey (Marley Rose, 46), Marlee Francois (Ephraim Yeboah, 46), and Tommy Backwell (Zac Bell, 85)

Yellow Card: Joe Low 88’

Sheffield United (3-5-2): Luke Faxon, Sai Sachdev (Charlie Chaniland, 81), Jili Buyabu, Levis Pitan, Connor Barratt, Finley Potter, Sydie Peck (C) (Fernandinho, Macedo, 81), Oliver Arblaster, Will Osula (Theo Williams, 81), Louie Marsh (Josh Smith, 81), and Andre Brooks.

Goals: Marsh 9, Osula 42, 67, 71

Yellow Card: Louie Marsh 59'

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