Crewe: Booth, Priestman, Adebisi (c), Odipe, Fenton, Goodrich (Lokko, 65), Djalo, Robbins (Hartshorn, 78), Linton, Heath (Woodthorpe, 80), Onyeka
Unused Subs: Walklate, Southern
Crewe Alexandra were beaten 4-0 by Leicester City in a tough evening for Lee Bell’s boys in the FA Youth Cup fourth round at the King Power Stadium.
Dempsey Arlott-John & Shane Flynn struck in the first half before Terell Pennant & Will Russ added a two more after the break.
It was really tough going for the Alex throughout the contest against the Academy Category 1 side, with Leicester right on their game from the first whistle.
The key man was Arlott-John who looked lively throughout & went close for the first time in just the second minute, heading a Terell Pennant cross narrowly wide.
He should’ve broken the deadlock with 12 on the clock when he was presented with another headed opportunity, this time from Flynn’s left-wing cross. But he planted the effort wide from a central position on the edge of the six-yard box.
Foxes left-back & captain Luke Thomas came mighty close in the 24th minute, expertly curling a 25-yard free-kick over the wall that dropped just wide of the post with goalkeeper Sam Booth beaten.
The pressure was made to tell just after the half hour mark, and predictably it was Arlott-John who got it. Thomas fizzed over a masterful low cross from the left-hand-side & the winger nipped in between two defenders to smash low into the net from six-yards.
For the first time in the game, Crewe then began to create some openings in the final third, with a killer final ball the only thing preventing any real chances being created on goal.
It was against the run of play at that point that the Foxes stuck the suckerpunch of the second goal in first-half stoppage time. It was a sweeping move downfield on the right & when the ball was played to Flynn just inside the box, he stroked his finish low into the far corner – Booth got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.
After the break Crewe managed to keep it tight until Pennant burst into life to make it three-nil with 69 on the clock. He beat a man on the right to get towards the by-line in the box before unleashing a rocket into the roof of the net from the angle that was past Booth before he could see it.
Gyamfi, Pennant & Will Russ all had sights of goal for Leicester in the second period, but it was a much lower tempo affair after the break with the hosts sitting comfortably on their lead.
Tyreece Onyeka tested Foxes keeper Oliver Bosworth for the first time in the 85th minute, curling a free-kick from the edge of the box on the left into his gloves as the Alex continued to play neat football & stroke the ball around the pitch when given the opportunity.
The Foxes rubbed salt into the Alex wounds in stoppage time when Russ pounced on a Sam Booth fumble from a free-kick to slide in the fourth goal from close range to rubber stamp passage into the fifth round.
A tough evening at the King Power for the Under 18s, but no doubt some lessons learned & some experience gained in what was a pleasing FA Youth Cup run overall.