Eric Kinder on the Wrexham away game
Youth boss Eric Kinder gave us his reaction to the narrow defeat at Wrexham on Tuesday afternoon.
“Once again we seem to struggle on these long trips but that’s understandable with the age group we are dealing with,” he said.
“They had to be up at six in the morning and then it’s off down the road to north Wales to play what was a very good side. They’re probably now one of the favourites to win the league because they’ve only lost one game all season.”
“It was a nothing sort of game for long periods,” he added. “We had the best chance of the first half with Jamie Clarey when he put a one-on-one the wrong side of the post, after what had been a very good move.
“We were on the back foot for most of that half and, to be fair to us, we defended really well. We were second best to too many things and it was a relief for us to get into half time at 0-0. I was reasonably happy with that because it was a difficult pitch to play on and it just wasn’t a very good performance at all.
“They adapted better to the bumpy surface and I do think it takes us a bit of time to get going when it’s been a long trip. The second half was very even and I couldn’t see anything other than a 0-0 draw with about 20 minutes to go.
“It became a really poor game to watch and if there was going to be a winner then it was going to be down to a mistake. Unfortunately it was us who made it. Alex Salmon tried to play a one-touch pass in midfield, when he needed to hold it up, and they broke away and scored.”
“They closed things down after that and we couldn’t find a way through,” he said. “We went into it with Patrick Brough and Tom Berwick both injured and you don’t realise how much you miss players like that until they aren’t there. They have had an outstanding season for us and we could have done with them out there.
“It was a very disappointing day and overall we were second best. Defensively we were miles better than in our last couple of games, so that was encouraging. Brad Staunch came back in and he gives us strength and presence, but he knocked his ankle with about 15 minutes left to play and we had to take him off. Hopefully he’ll be fine for Saturday.
“Brandon Gwinnutt was our best player on the day. He showed a lot of determination and aggression and he had a real desire to win the game. It’s the best I’ve seen him play for us and the Wrexham staff commented on how well he had played. Full marks to him for that.
“Cameron Nicholl played for us again and he did well. He’s decent on the ball but he has commitments with Northumberland this weekend and he’ll be missing for the game at Tranmere. Patrick [Brough] and Tom [Berwick] will still be missing so my focus now, with eight games left to go, is to start to blood the first years we’ll be using next season.
“We’ll use Frankie Wallace and Connor Hammill, so we can take a look at them, and we’ll start to target the cup final at the beginning of April as one we want to go and win.”
United – Parker, Gwinnuttt, Staunch (Chisholm 74), Minor, Morse, Lynch, Thomson, Dempsey, Nicholl, Salmon, Clarey (Dixon 80). Subs – Brass, McEvoy.