United’s under-18 side were back to winning ways last Friday as they bagged a 2-0 home victory over Accrington Stanley Creighton.
Speaking about the game, Eric Kinder said: “Luckily we played on Friday rather than Saturday, and it was a good day weather-wise for football.
“It wasn’t the best of games. It reminded me of the Morecambe game where it was a bit scrappy. We had all of the possession, but we didn’t use it well enough. We controlled the game from start to finish but we didn’t really look like scoring.”
“We eventually got the breakthrough in the second half,” he continued. “The ball broke in the box and Jimiel [Chikukwa] smashed it home with his left foot. It was the type of finish we’ve been missing, somebody clinical who knows how to put it away.
“It was a really good finish, instead of trying to roll it into a corner he just smashed it in, which was good to see. It felt like we needed the second goal but it didn’t come until the last minute.
“We played a long ball over the top, Jimiel got on the end of it, held the defender off then smashed it straight across the goalkeeper for another fantastic finish. He had a really good debut and he gives us something we haven’t had all season.
“He’s with us on work experience until the start of March so we’ll see how it goes and how he enjoys being here. We’ll sit down and talk when he’s been here for his month and see what both parties think.”
With the game being rearranged to plug a gap in the fixture schedule, he told us: “We didn’t have a game scheduled in but I knew we needed to play as soon as we could after the Salford defeat.
“Like I said at the time after that one, it was the first time I’ve been really disappointed this season with the way we performed. We crumbled in the first 20 minutes or so in that game, so we needed to get back and up and running again.
“Ourselves and Accrington both had a free date, so it seemed a bit of a waste not to use it. I’m glad we played, because it now means if we lose this week’s fixture against Port Vale, with the way the weather is going, it means we’ve been able to dust ourselves and out the poor Salford defeat to bed.”
On the clean sheet against Accrington, he told us: “It was massive to keep a clean sheet because we haven’t had many this season.
“Three of the back five are first years and that does make a difference, so it’s always going to be difficult. They’ve kept clean sheets in the last two home games now which is important for them.
“All of the first years know they have a reason to step up and perform at the moment. Seeing the second-year lads get their contracts will be a big boost to them because they can see that the club is prepared to support youth team players.
“If they can produce performances and work hard then they know they can get a contract for themselves.”
United – Robinson, Barnes, Leslie, Lightfoot, Wilson, Day, Bell (Rooks 67), Walton, Chikukwa, Armstrong, Birch. Subs – Soper, Steele.
Next up: United v Port Vale, Saturday 15 Feb, Creighton, kick off 12pm