Eric Kinder on the Youth Cup final
Head of Youth Eric Kinder gave us his reaction to the Youth Alliance Cup final game against Bristol Rovers on Wednesday evening.
“I think we deserved to get to the final because we have seen some excellent performances in this competition,” he said. “We’ve scored a bundle of goals along the way, but that deserted us on the very night we needed it.
“We had an opportunity to be three up by half time with the chances we created. The ball fell to the right people but it just wasn’t to be.
“Kyle Dempsey had two fantastic chances and Alex Salmon usually puts the one he had away, and it’s always going to be difficult against a side like this if you don’t score when you’re on top.”
“I think you have to take the occasion and the conditions into account,” he added. “If this was a Saturday morning league game I’d like to bet that we’d have put those away. We’ve made the wrong decisions and we’re now looking back and counting the cost of it.
“Credit to Bristol Rovers, because they handled the weather much better than we did. It was wild at times and it made it very difficult for all of the players to get their football going. That was the same for both sides though, so it can’t be used as an excuse.”
“I think the disappointing thing was that we didn’t get anywhere near the levels we can play,” he continued. “We looked nervous for long spells and there was no real tempo to our game.
“Going into the break all-square meant it was always going to be tough in the second half. One of our big problems this season has been the way we have conceded from set pieces and that came back to haunt us again. It’s definitely something we have to put right next season.”
“The three lads who have the professional contracts did well,” he said. “Brandon [Gwinnutt] is athletic and he is full of energy, and he will never give it up. I know Alex [Salmon] and he will be kicking himself at the moment. He wanted to score and that missed chance will have hurt him.
“Jack Lynch was probably the best of our players on the night. He moved it around and he tried to get things going, and he isn’t scared to put a tackle in. Those three are our success stories and they’ll have wanted to win this as much as any of them.
“The last thing I said to them before they came out of the dressing before kick off was to make sure they gave everything so that they came off the pitch at full time with no regrets. Unfortunately I think they’ll have a million of them.”
“The other disappointment was that I would have loved to have won it for the lads who will leave us on Thursday,” he admitted. “We have a host of them who will come in to say goodbye [Tom Berwick, Jamie Clarey, Danny Dixon, Jordan Parker, Dale Minor, Dillon Morse, Brad Staunch] and it would have been lovely to see them get a winner’s medal.
“However, having said that, the achievement for them is to get to the final in the first place, and we shouldn’t forget that. It's just that right now it feels really disappointing."
“I’d like to say congratulations to Bristol Rovers," he concluded. "They’ve only lost one league game all season and they’ve had a magnificent time as a team.
“I obviously wish it was us who had taken the trophy because this is a competition we always target. It’s the first time we’ve ever got this far so I am very proud of all of them.
"It's going to be very hard to say goodbye to the second years because they’ve worked their socks off. I have no doubt they will all go on to be successful with whatever they choose to do next.”
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