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YOUTH: Cockermouth made us feel very welcome

Eric Kinder with reaction to the Cumberland Cup first round win

15 October 2019

Academy boss Eric Kinder brought us up to date with what was a very good victory and performance against Cockermouth in the first round of this season’s Cumberland Cup competition at the weekend.

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“Before we talk about the game I’d like to give you a diary of our week,” he said. “It was off to Fleetwood’s new, impressive and magnificent training ground last Saturday, and for a League One club it’s absolutely outstanding.

“From there we got to the Hummel Training Ground to play Glasgow Rangers, who are obviously one of the biggest sides in European football, and then we go to Cockermouth … and that’s how football works at this level, it really is amazing.

“Some of the lads who’d played at Fleetwood and Rangers then had to play a cup game on a wet, damp, horrible Saturday afternoon against an amateur side - and we had two rugby games going on right beside us as well.

“That meant we had three whistles going off at the same time, so it turned out to be a fascinating afternoon.”

Speaking about the performance, he said: “We controlled the game right from the start, as you would expect, and I’d have been disappointed if that wasn’t the case.

“When it comes to the Cumberland Cup I really do look forward to it because it gives you the chance to look at players and see how they react to having played at some good venues, to then have to do their jobs on a difficult pitch.

“We scored our goals and we should have scored twice the number, at least. It was nice to get a win and good to get complete domination of the game.”

“There was a scramble for the first goal and Keighran Kerr said that he got the last touch,” he explained. “I thought it was an own goal, but I’m going to believe him.

“We then scored from a corner, which was finished off by Liam Lightfoot at the back post. That took us into half time two goals up, and we added to that early in the second half when Lewis Bell scored. Jamie Armstrong made it really comfortable for us before Keighran scored his second.

“If you’re looking at the positives overall it’s nice to see them go up against men and not be frightened of putting tackles in, which made the game easier for them. The negative is that we won’t get away with missing the chances we missed here in a league game.”

With a game against Port Vale coming up on Friday, he said: “We’ll find out if this win has given them confidence when we go down there at the end of the week.

“It’s the scoring of goals that’s concerning me at the moment, and I don’t mind saying that. Taylor Charters must have had 16 attempts and you could tell that it just wasn’t going to be his day.

“To be fair, he’s the least you worry about because he has a lot of quality. I’m sure he’ll score for us when we need him to.

“He definitely left his shooting boots in the dressing room and the longer it went on for him the more we were smiling because it was getting a bit farcical that the harder he tried the worse it got for him.

“Their goal came when a shot was hit from about 35-yards and I think Isaac [Robinson] misjudged the flight of it a little bit. That was a shame because it took away his clean sheet.”

“I have to say that Cockermouth as a club, along with the officials, were very hospitable and they made us feel very welcome,” he commented. “They were brilliant with us, and we have to thank them for that.

“Another bonus from the day was that we introduced DJ Taylor, who is currently one of our under-16s. He impressed us with his wing play, so that’s another massive positive that we’ve seen a young lad who had no fear and who was able to go past their full back time and time again.

“If he adds a bit of quality to his end product he’ll get more rewards, but that’s a really promising sign.”

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With Jamie Armstrong, Charlie Birch and Taylor Charters having played at Glasgow on Tuesday we wondered if they’d had a lift from what had been an excellent performance north of the border.

“I thought all three of them played very well against Rangers,” he said. “Jamie and Charlie played in strange positions for them, as wing backs, but they both impressed.

“I thought Jarrad [Branthwaite] was strong and that’s the best I’ve seen him play. He looks like he’s progressing, and Taylor is enjoying it because he’s always around the first team when it comes to training.

“Tom Wilson came on for the second half in Glasgow, and for these lads to experience playing at facilities like that is fantastic. The test for all of them is that their attitude must be the same wherever they play, and they got that side of it spot on at the weekend, which was very pleasing.”

And looking again to the trip to face the Valiants, he told us: “The reason we aren’t picking up points at the moment is that we can’t score goals.

“We’re going to try to address that and we’re close to securing a trial period for a forward. He’s going to come in and spend some time with us up to Christmas. I can’t say anything more than that about him until it’s all sorted properly, but it does look like it will happen.

“It’s something we need to do because we really haven’t got a second-year centre forward other than Kyle Soper at this moment in time.”

Team – Robinson, Walton, Birch, Lightfoot, Wilson, Day, Bell, Armstrong, Kerr, Charters, Rooks. Subs – Taylor, Soper.

Goals – Kerr (2), Lightfoot, Bell, Armstrong.

Click HERE to watch an interview with Eric Kinder on iFollow United now.

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