INTERVIEW: Deserved the win

Chris Blake on the York game

Youth team coach Chris Blake spoke to us following the 2-0 Youth Alliance Cup victory over York City at the weekend. 

"It was a really scrappy game but I think we deserved the win," he said. "Lewis Brass had to go off after a minute, which disrupted things. That came from a poor back pass from Connor [Hammell] and they managed to cut the ball out. 

"Lewis was really brave in coming out towards the ball but he ended up getting hurt. He had a dead leg and a cut on his leg which meant that Danny Eccles had to come on. Frankie Wallace also had to come off after about half an hour and Harvey Moyes went on to replace him." 

"I say to the lads who aren't playing every week that they need to be disappointed and not under prepared," he explained. "Danny and Harvey have both shown that they're capable if they're ever needed. Cameron Dickson needs to keep plugging away as well because if anybody gets injured it's likely he'll be the one to come in." 

"We expected it to be a bit of a scrappy game because it was the first round of the cup and both teams wanted to win. We kept the ball really well in our own half but we were a bit sloppy when it came to getting forward. That is becoming a bit of a trend but we're working on improving it. 

"They were a feisty team and our lads did well not to get dragged into that side of the game. Matty Douglas scored off a corner when he timed his run well and got a nice header to it. Danny Hodgson then scored the most unusual goal I've ever seen in youth football. The keeper had it inside his box and his players were saying 'force him out!' 

"I think he must have thought they were saying 'the ball has gone out' so he passed it straight to Danny. Danny obviously thought Christmas had arrived early and he just passed it into the back of the net. It did take a lot of composure because their players were charging back, and the parents on the sidelines were shouting at him, but he held his nerve."

"We switched off a bit towards the end and they had a couple of opportunities to score," he added. "James [Scott] and Jake [Chisholm] both took little knocks but they have to learn to play through that sort of thing. Like I said, we kept hold of it well at the back but our focus for this week is going to be around playing the ball into forward areas. We'll look at creating chances when we win the ball in midfield and counter attacking quickly."

"Our game against Wigan has been postponed this weekend to allow us to play our Cumberland Cup fixture against Wigton Harriers," he explained. "I'm not sure how many we'll have in that squad but I'd say it will be a majority, which will be a good challenge for the lads. It will be good to see some of the lads who haven't had games involved again but that's up to Kav and Davie Irons. 

"It will be like pre-season again for our lads because they'll be playing against men. That's always good for them. It will be a good psychological and physical battle for them and we usually see what type of character they are in this sort of game."

United: Brass (Eccles 5), Chisholm, Marshall, Wallace (Moyes 20), Scott, Douglas, Hodgson, Hammell, Blackburn, White, Elliot. Subs: Dickson, Pearson.

Goals: Douglas, Hodgson.
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