Eric Kinder on the weekend victory
Eric Kinder gave us his reaction to the 1-0 win over Macclesfield on Saturday.
"After the decisions were made about the professional contracts I felt that the second years who didn't get a contract should have the weekend off," he said.
"That meant it was a much-changed side but it gave me a chance to look at the players we have for next season.
"We were up against a very good Macclesfield side and, if I'm being honest, they had the majority of the ball and the better of the chances. If it hadn't been for Jordan Parker we would have probably lost the game.
"We were second best in most areas, but that was always going to happen with the side we put out. A lot of them were under 16 players who haven't played together before and this is a completely different level to what they're used to.
"The overall picture is that we got a win, three points and a clean sheet. You can't really complain about that. Jordan [Parker] was brilliant and it just shows you that if nature had been kind to him he could have been a really good goalkeeper. I'm convinced he'll still play at a decent level because he's got amazing ability."
"Alex [Salmon] scored for us after 11 minutes," he continued. "Connor Thomson went down the right and cut inside, and he could probably have scored himself. He unselfishly played it across to Alex and he had the simple task of tapping the ball in.
"Alex missed a chance right at the end with a header which he should have scored, and Brandon [Gwinnutt] had one from a corner, but as an attacking force we weren't the best. We didn't keep the ball well enough and the young lads who are coming in full-time next year got an early taste of how difficult youth football can be."
"I told them at the end of the game that it was going to very difficult for them next season," he said. "If we go away to Burnley and Preston and play like that then we will be in trouble. However, it is different at this time of year because the contracts have usually been given out, but you have to make sure you use the opportunity and learn from it."
"It will be good for them to get more of this kind of experience so they know what to expect next season," he admitted. "I'll play the cup final side today, against Rochdale, but the young lads will probably play against Oldham at the weekend and again the weekend after."
"Kyle Dempsey played very well and kept us going," he added. "I hope he's learning now that there needs to be some discipline in his play when we aren't in possession of the ball. He was much better with that but, along with our keeper, he won us the game.
"Alex Salmon was just Alex. He came off the pitch and told me he was the difference between the two sides. The scoreline says he was, so he probably has a point, but that's just an example of the type of character he is."
United: Parker, Gwinnutt, Chisholm, Dickson, Marshall, Wallace (Hammell 45), Dempsey, Thomson (McEvoy 72), Brough, White (Lynch 45), Salmon. Subs: Brass.
United v Rochdale, Creighton Rugby Club, Tuesday 9 April, kick off 1pm
And with two more signings secured ahead of next season, Eric Kinder brought us up to date with his latest recruitment drive.
"We've signed Jack Elliott, and he is a left-sided player who can play just behind the front man," he said. "He was released from Newcastle United and we watched him in the exit trials. He came over and trained with us for a couple of days and he played in our game against Pirelli, where he did really well.
"He's different to the players we already have because he likes to run with the ball and he's very quick. It was Dave Wilkes who went across to watch the trials and Jack really stood out. It turned out that he had 18 other clubs showing an interest so that tells us we've potentially got a decent player.
"We have a very good left winger in Patrick Brough at the moment, and I have high hopes for him, so if Jack can get into next year's side as a first-year then he'll be some player. Jack will probably give us a different type of option so they should be able to work off each other."
"Tom White is another one who has came across from the north east," he continued. "I have a contact who keeps an eye out for me and so far this year we have signed Frankie Wallace, Cameron Dickson, Jordan Marshall and now Tom because of him.
"Tom has been with Newcastle City Boys and he played against us for TyneMet College. He was very impressive so we invited him along to train with us. Again, we used him in the bounce game against Pirelli and he was terrific.
"He is another who can play just behind the front man or wide on the right. He's very versatile and he joins a group of players who are capable of playing in more than one position. That gives me a very strong team."
"I feel like I've got 16 players who can all be in the starting 11 next season, so I'm very excited about it," he admitted. "We have one place left and I think I will try to fill that with a defender. We've got Matthew Douglas at our Academy, a school boy who I rate very highly, so if we need another defender he can always fill in.
"I might keep that last gap open until pre-season just so we can make sure we get the right kind of player. There is always one who crops up late - Alex [Salmon] and Gary [Madine] spring to mind immediately - and I'd hate to find somebody with their type of ability and not have a space for them. However, if something crops up and it looks right then we'll do it."