Darren Edmondson with reaction to the Chesterfield FA Cup victoryYouth boss Darren Edmondson gave us his reaction to the fantastic away victory against Chesterfield in the second round of this season’s FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night.
“That was an unbelievable game,” he said. “The effort from both teams was out of this world. There were one or two Chesterfield lads who were crying out on the pitch at the end because everybody was literally out on their feet and giving it everything in extra time.
“It was only a breakaway, a good cross and a good header from Max Cowburn which was the difference between the sides in the end. It was end-to-end all game and what a great little cup tie it turned out to be. Every player has gained a huge amount of respect from their team mates and these nights are also about learning new things. That’s certainly been the case with the way it went.”
“The pleasing thing for both sets of coaching staff is there was a lot of quality on show,” he added. “We played some really good stuff going forward and they had two lads up front who are a real handful. They also used the flanks well and that caused us a heck of a lot of problems.
“A big learning point for us was what crept in as we got tired. We started to play a lot of square balls, which were cut out, and we started to put ourselves under unnecessary pressure. That’s the nature of youth football and that’s why it’s important to pick up on the lessons you need to learn from every game.”
“Every player in the dressing room is buzzing and thrilled at the moment,” he commented. “They’ve given us an exceptional performance. The reason it went to extra time is because the lads didn’t want to give it up. We had a break very late in the game and we had five players in the box.
“A couple of crosses went into the area which didn’t find anybody before that and that can wear the lads down. They didn’t let that happen, they kept going, and credit to Jack [Egan] for the way he finished it off. Once you then get into extra time anything can happen and either team deserved the win, it was that close. Fortunately it came our way.”
“I have to say I’m delighted for our boys because they’ve been really up for this for the last week or so,” he told us. “They’ve got through and we have a couple of injured second years who might well be back for the next round at Barnsley.
“That’s good because it means they can get involved in the FA Cup buzz as well. When you see your team attack so confidently and defend so well you want it to go on for as long as it can. Mind you, we had to defend well in the end because we kept giving the ball away so much!
“That was fantastic though because Luke Taylor made a couple of excellent challenges and Joe Breen was all over the back line making sliding blocks. Liam Brockbank played at left back for us and he’s still an under-16 player. He all-but died on his feet for the team and we got the same from Josh Dixon. The back four had to deal with a side who had real attacking threat and they did very well.
“And let’s not forget Morgan Bacon in goal because he’s taken a lot of stick off me recently for certain things. He played really well, made some top class saves and came for every cross when we needed him. It was a mature display from him.”
Next up for the young Blues is the trip to Oakwell to face Category 2 side Barnsley in the third round.
“The lads will see a big stadium when they walk out at Oakwell and they’ll be glad they put a shift like this in to get there,” he said. “We’ll prepare as much as we can for it and part of that will be watch this game back. That will help us to point things out and hopefully learn some good lessons.
“They’ve been good as gold at trying to put things right all year and I’ve no doubt that will continue. The reward for all of that hard work is the excitement they will feel when they get off the bus at Barnsley for the next game.
“However, right now it’s back to reality. I’ve just reminded them that they have college in the morning at 9am sharp! As much as we want them to enjoy the run they’re on they still have work to do.”