Phillips - Defeat hard to take


Mark Phillips conceded that the better team on the night managed to qualify for the FA Youth Cup 4th round as Stoke City beat West Ham United on penalties.

The U18s’ assistant boss praised his side for responding after conceding two quickfire goals at the start of the second half, but said Stoke deserved to go through based on chances created.

“The first goal was poor from us but they’ll see it as a good goal from their point of view. The second goal was a mistake from us put we responded well to going behind,” said Phillips.

“If I’m honest, we didn’t do enough to win the game. They had the better chances and their No7 caused us lots of problems. Overall, I think they deserved to win it in the 120 minutes.”

The Hammers went in to their 3rd round tie eager to put right the wrongs of their last three failed attempts in the Cup and made a great start when top scorer Jahmal Hector-Ingram converted a delicate through ball from Joe Powell.

Steve Potts’ team set about defending their lead and looked comfortable for the majority of the first half, although they had to be wary of Stoke wideman Thibaud Verlinde who was dangerous all night long.

The Hammers were stung by two quickfire goals at the start of the second half – first, Thomas Edwards broke clear to fire home, then Tyrese Campbell fired home from 18 yards.

The away side picked themselves up on the hour mark – a sweeping move ended with Dan Kemp crossing for Hector-Ingram to head home his second of the game.

Extra time came with both sides struggling to fashion many openings. Stoke could have stolen it after Jordon Greenidge shot wide from six yards.

The penalty shootout arrived at it was the Potters who prevailed with Mate Deczki making two excellent saves to put the home side through.

“We’ve got a very, very good side and I just don’t what it is about the Youth Cup,” added Phillips.

“We’ll dust ourselves and go again at the weekend. That’s what football is all about and the lads will respond.”