Darren Edmondson with reaction to the FA Youth Cup victoryYouth boss Darren Edmondson spoke to us about the hard-fought victory over FC United of Manchester shortly after full time on Tuesday night.
“The lads have had to work hard to get through but you have to do that in every game,” he said. “There’ll never be a game where a team just gives you it. I thought we looked very, very nervous in the first half, particularly in the first 20 minutes.
“We made some silly mistakes and it just isn’t like them. One or two weren’t trying their hardest to get on the football. It was also a big crowd and a great atmosphere and it made it an interesting game for us. They’ll learn a lot from an evening like this, because FC have a great following, and it was a good spectacle for everybody.”
“We had a few words ahead of the second half and four or five of the players stood up and were counted,” he added. “In the end we were worthy winners, even though we’ve had to work to get on top and we were down to ten men for 15 minutes or so.
“The sending off was disappointing but that’s the negative side. The positive is that we scored two excellent goals. With the free kick, Max Cowburn has that quality to put set pieces into dangerous areas. In the end two bits of quality won us the game.
“Overall it was a pleasing night for the boys and it’s a big relief as well because it was their first win for a few weeks. They’ve had to deal with a lot emotionally and mentally but they’ve come through it and they deserved to win the game with the way they approached it.”
Speaking more about the goals, including one for birthday boy Luke Lloyd, he said: “Max [Cowburn] has an ability to do that with free kicks. It’s the third time he’s scored like that, from that distance, and it doesn’t come as a surprise any more.
“With Luke, we’ve been asking them to run across people because it does bring rewards. Max Brown and Jack Egan have been doing it, and we’re telling Lloydy to do it a little bit more. Getting into areas where they’re going to score goals will always be a good habit.
“There is a thought process with players of this age that they get to the edge of the box and they’ll be putting it in the top corner. Football just doesn’t do that for you. You’ve got to get on the end of things, win glancing headers and gamble every now and then.
“At the other end the two centre halves were very good. They dealt with everything that was thrown at them and they were the platform from where we could go on and win it.”
“Overall it was very pleasing because they grew in confidence as the game went on and they realised that if they passed the ball to someone in a blue shirt it all worked much better,” he commented. “It sounds simple but it really isn’t rocket science.
“Having said that, we have to give credit to FC United because they really had a go at it. They’ve got some quick lads going forward and they had some good passages of play, which caused us some problems.
“Once we got to grips with it we were reasonably comfortable even though we had to make one or two last ditch tackles and blocks. Both Aidan Hutchinson and Luke Taylor are good at that so I’m extremely pleased with what everyone delivered.
“Aidan’s sending off was harsh but he’s a whole-hearted player. In the end the lads won the game for him anyway so we come away feeling very pleased.”