Eric Kinder on the weekend fixture
Head of youth Eric Kinder spoke to us about the defeat at the hands of Burnley at the weekend where the home side overturned a three-goal deficit to take all three points in what was an unbelievable game.
He said: “It’s the kind of thing you do see happen every now and then but you never think it will happen to you.
“It’s funny because like a lot of people I was watching when Germany played Sweden a few weeks ago and Germany had a four goal lead. Obviously Sweden brought that back to 4-4 and it was something which the Germans could do nothing about.
“I remember wondering what I would do at full time if it ever happened to me ... never for one moment thinking I’d be in that situation just a few days later! I imagined myself to be extremely angry and to be tearing my hair out but the reality was that I was completely stunned.
“I couldn’t speak at all when the final whistle went. I simply had nothing to say. I told the lads that I needed to leave the talking until after the weekend because there were no words to cover what had just happened to us.
“It’s a fair old walk to the dressing room from the pitch at Burnley and all I could hear as I was making my way back was their staff and players going absolutely mad because of what they had achieved.
“It’s a morning that I will never, ever forget. We’d actually played really well and I’d go as far as to say we were outstanding for an hour. We kept the ball and we looked like a really good side and it all looked quite comfortable for us.
“We’d got our goals when Patrick Brough had two one-on-one situations and he tucked them away with real confidence. Kyle Dempsey got our third from a set-piece routine which we’d worked on during the Friday morning session. We had runners at the front post and Brad Staunch arrived late to head it back into the middle. Kyle then timed his run from the edge of the box to finish it all off for us. It was a dream for us to go three up at their place and it was then just a case of calming things down and staying in focus.
“Connor Thomson headed over from a twenty pass move which could have made it 4-0 just before half time, but even then I felt it was our day. We got into half time and it was the best I had ever seen one of my youth teams play. And this was against a side which has real quality. Mind you, with the way it went we could have been five up at the break and we’d still have lost it 6-5.
“When we played them earlier in the season their internationals were missing. They were back for this one and they all played, so they were always going to have a spell. The last thing I said at half time was that all we had to do was hold them for 15 minutes and we would win the game. I couldn’t have got that any more wrong because their first goal didn’t come until the 62nd minute.
“Even then I thought we’d be fine, but then they grabbed another one. Suddenly there’s a little bit of doubt there and they capitalised on that. They came at us like a steamroller down a hill and there was no stopping them. We’d gone from looking composed to losing the ball every time we got it and every single decision started to go against us.
“I was gutted when they equalised with less than ten minutes to play, but you settle in your won mind for a point, and then we really shot ourselves in the foot. We restarted the game with a pass to Brandon Gwinnutt in the right back position. He tried to play a ball down the line but they closed him down and two touches later it was in the back of the net. We kicked back into action after that but they got everyone behind the ball and we just couldn’t find a way through.
“There was no reason for me to rant and rave as far as I was concerned because for an hour we were magnificent. I just hope that I never have to go through it again because it was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced in this game.
“It meant a lot to them because when they scored their fourth goal it was like when Jimmy Glass scored for Carlisle back in 1999. All the subs raced onto the pitch, they had fans running around everywhere and there was just a massive pile of bodies as they all celebrated. All I could see was ten green shirts falling to the floor with their heads in their hands.
“One of the other things I said to them at half time was that the only team capable of coming back from 3-0 down against us when we were in that mood was Burnley. They are that good a side, but we handled them well until they got their first goal. I can’t criticise them though because they are young players and they will learn a massive lesson from this. Our players have seen the boost Burnley got when they scored and it became a completely different game. It was almost a case of us being able to see what was going to happen but we there was nothing we could do to prevent it.
“Our next game is in the Youth Cup and we will have to see how they react to this. We don’t have a game at the weekend and I have no idea whether that will be a good thing or a bad thing. They’re a good group though and I fully expect them to bounce back from what was a huge disappointment.”
United – Parker, Gwinnutt, Staunch, Morse, Minor, Berwick, Lynch, Brough, Dempsey, Thomson, Hodgson (Dixon 65 (Chisholm 85)). Subs – Brass, Peel, McEvoy.
Goals – Brough (22, 27), Dempsey (42). Goals conceded – (62, 75, 81, 82).