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CELTIC NATION 2 - 2 UNITED YOUTH

18 July 2012

Well-earned draw at Raydale

Eric Kinder gave us his reaction to the 2-2 draw with Celtic Nation shorlty after full time on Wednesday evening.

He said: "I'm very pleased with what we've done tonight.

"Steve Skinner has put together a squad that is capable of going on and winning the Northern League this year. He has gone out and recruited some really, really good players and it's going to be exciting for them. They have recruited well and I think they will have a really good season.

"The good thing for us is that we have done really well tonight. I'm not being disrespectful to the rest of our side but we're missing two of our main players in Jack Lynch and Alex Salmon, and Patrick Brough is ill. The younger lads have come in and when you put a team of 16, 17 and 18-year olds against a side that is full of ex-pros and very, very good semi-professionals you never really know what you're going to get. They played really well and I am absolutely delighted.

"The one thing which really stands out is that they weren't frightened. They went in there and made some bone-crunching tackles and it tells me I've got a brave group.

"If I'm being honest, if you'd spoken to me before kick-off I'd have told you that I thought we would get beat. I thought they would be too strong for us.

"I thought they'd nail us more from set-pieces and their second goal just before half time was poor defensively from us. They were slinging balls into the box and the question was - could our young centre-halves cope with it? Well, they did. Have they surprised me? No ... after the first 20 minutes I was happy and I knew we'd be fine. As it was, I was disappointed that we went into half time at 2-1 down in the end.

"They responded to what they heard at half time and they did enough to get on top and get their equaliser, and I've learned a heck of a lot about this group. We kept the ball from the start and we have been hammering that, not only since we came back two weeks ago, that if you're going to progress then you have to be able to handle the football.

"I've just told them at full time that they won't get a tougher game than this. Celtic Nation will be very close to promotion in the Northern League, if not a certainty, and we've matched them. I'm really looking forward to this season now.

"I have to keep their feet on the floor though. I have to keep them working hard and we have got to get better on the ball.

"I think we can feel optimistic. I think we've got some good players and we've now seen that we have some good back-up. I think if we have that commitment, enthusiasm and desire to stay in a game and get something out of it then we will have a good season."

United: Parker, Gwinnutt, Minor, Staunch (Morse 46), Chisholm (McEvoy 46), Todd (Dixon 32), Berwick, Dempsey, Watson (Thomson 80), Peel (Clarey 46), Thomson (Hodgson 62). Sub - Brass.


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