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YOUTH: Really good game

4 October 2013

Chris Blake on the Preston draw

Youth team coach Chris Blake spoke to us following the away draw at Preston last weekend. 

"It was a really good game," he said. "We had a young side out - only Lewis [Brass] and Jake [Chisholm] were second years - so we had an inexperienced team against what is always a very good side at Preston. 

"We played well but they are a high pressing team and they put us under a lot of pressure. The good thing was that we dealt with it quite comfortably. They had a good spell in the first half hour but, after that, we really came into the game. 

"We had a couple of good opportunities and we were able to play some decent football through midfield. We also had the full backs involved in our attacks and that's something we've worked on. 

"For their goal, they managed to get into the final third and we were all over the place. Their lad had a shot shot and it took a deflection off Connor Hammell's head. That left Lewis with no chance. That put them ahead, and they probably deserved it, but it was very pleasing to see the lads fight back and not allow their heads to drop. 

"We've worked on their control and concentration towards the ends of games and you could see that. They kept going and we got ourselves a late goal. Connor Hammell won it really well in midfield and he drove forward from there. He then played a good through ball for Jason [Blackburn] and he put his shot across the keeper and into the bottom corner. 

"We were pleased with the overall performance because Kyle [Dempsey] and Conor Thomson are injured, and we obviously lost Patrick [Brough] to the first team. That's fantastic to see but it does mean we lose one of our better players. 

"There was a really positive atmosphere in the group which is always pleasing to see. There was a good work ethic and, although some of the football wasn't the best, the lads worked very hard to play to our strengths when we did have the ball. 

"Getting a late goal is always pleasing and it was good to see the lads work hard until the final whistle. In previous weeks we might have let our heads go down but we've worked really hard on staying strong. The late goals makes the lads feel like they've really achieved something by getting back into the game, so that's another big positive for us. 

"We play York in the Youth Alliance Cup this weekend which is a competition we always target. We reached the national final last season and it is a realistic target for us. We have a younger group this time round, so we'll have to work hard, and York will be a very tough test for us. Hopefully we'll do well and we can look forward to another good run."

United - Brass, Chisholm, Marshall, Wallace, Scott, Douglas, Hodgson (Bradbury 75), Hammell, Blackburn, White, Elliott. Subs - Eccles, Dixon, Meagan.

Goal - Blackburn (90)

United v York City, Creighton Rugby Club, Saturday 5 October, kick off 11am

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