Reaction to the Tuesday Rochdale game
Youth boss Eric Kinder gave us his reaction to the 3-3 draw with Rochdale on Tuesday.
“All of our second years were back after their weekend off and it was good to see them,” he said. “I’ll rest them again this weekend when we travel to Oldham and that should mean that they’re all fit and ready to go for the cup final next Wednesday.
“Rochdale have had a terrific season and they have deserved to be up in the top three. They’re a very strong and powerful side but the last couple of results have killed off their league hopes.
“It was always going to be a tough game but, as it turned out, the lads gave us a decent performance on what was a very dry pitch.
“We had a great start when Alex Salmon finished a move off from the left hand side of the penalty box with just 45 seconds played, and we looked comfortable with things for the next 20 minutes. Then one of our big weaknesses from this season kicked in again and we conceded from a corner.
“We’ve let goals in from set-pieces all season and it’s massively frustrating. It’s something we have to get right next season because it has let us down. This one was down to us not getting close enough to their players and it was an easy goal from their point of view.
“Connor Thomson put us back in front just before the half hour mark when he made a great run into the area from the right wing. Jack Lynch found him with a superb pass and Connor did well to put it past the keeper.
“It then became a very even game leading up to half time and we went into the break at 2-1 up. The other weak area which has cost us this season is that we haven’t been able to defend a half time lead. We always seem to let the other team back into it within that crucial 15-minute spell after the restart, and it happened to us again.
“We’d only been playing for two minutes before they got back on level terms, so that was very disappointing. We’d talked about it during the break because it’s the same at any level. If you’re behind in a game then you’re going to get a rocket and you’ll come out fired up. That’s what happened with Rochdale and we just didn’t deal with it. It was a long ball down the middle and unfortunately for our trial player, Ross Teasdale, he completely missed it and their lad took it round Jordan Parker to score.
“It was very even after that. There wasn’t much in it at all. It wasn’t the most entertaining game to watch but we probably had the better of the few chances there were. Then Connor Thomson got on the end of a Dale Minor cross on 77 minutes and I thought that would be it.
“Then we lost our concentration really late in the game and we let them score again. Even at this stage of the season it’s still very annoying when that happens. That’s probably because the goals we have conceded have been from the same type of situation over and over again. We’ve worked on it and gone over it so it’s disappointing when it’s still happening.
“The really good thing from the game was the attitude of the second years. They all put in a powerful performance and, if they do that on Wednesday, we will see a good game. That has to be our focus because it would be fantastic for these lads to win it. We’ll be working towards that all day on Monday and Tuesday and we’ll see what we can do.”
United – Parker, Gwinnutt, Teasdale (Chisholm 70), Morse, Minor, Thomson (Clarey 80), Berwick, Lynch, Brough, Dempsey, Salmon. Subs – Brass, McEvoy.
Note – Trial defender Ross Teasdale will play again on Saturday, at Oldham, before a decision is made. Wallace, Dickson and White were all left out of the squad due to their England Schoolboy commitments.