Youth boss Eric Kinder gave us his thoughts on the home game against Salford City last weekend as his team prepares for the always difficult trip to Poolfoot Farm to face Fleetwood on Saturday.
“We were poor for an hour,” he said. “I’ve got to give credit to Salford, they were better than us for that period, they moved the ball around faster than us and they were stronger than us.
“They look like they’ve got some decent players, which they did last year as well, and for an hour we just weren’t in the game.”
“For the first ten minutes we had good chances with Sam [Fishburn] and Ryan [Swailes] and we could have been 2-0 up if we’d taken them,” he added. “We didn’t, and after that Salford just dominated us.
“We couldn’t handle their centre forward, his enthusiasm to play the game was incredible. I used him as an example for our lads, he was 16 and their staff were telling me he has to get two buses to get to training every day, and I was really impressed with his performance.
“He had a real desire to want to win the ball and play football, it was incredible. He lifted their side, but they dominated us and targeted us from corners and set pieces. They kept putting the ball underneath Isaac’s [Robinson] crossbar and surrounding it, and we couldn’t deal with it.”
“We found ourselves three down just after half time so we made some changes and, to be fair to the substitutes, they made a little bit of an impact,” he explained. “In the end we could have got a draw out of it, but if you look at the overall game we didn’t deserve anything.
“When you’re three down at any level it’s rare that you come back and get anything out of the game. Young Dan [Hill] who is an U16 came on and assisted two goals. All of the subs had an impact, but when you look at the scoreline it makes it look closer than it actually was.
“As soon as we got one back it seemed to affect them more than us for some reason. They sat back and wanted to waste time and they kept giving the ball back to us. In the end we could have nicked a draw, but we didn’t really deserve that. We were beaten by the better side.”
On what he spoke to the players about after the game, he said: “It’s about learning for the lads. Like I said, they targeted our goalkeeper and back four when they were peppering the ball under the bar from set plays.
“We kept rolling it out to our two young centre halves, who aren’t really centre halves, and even though they did ok we kept rolling the ball out to them and the centre forward kept closing them down, and he was too strong for them.
“We have to learn and just go long. Isaac has to take goal kicks and get them to the half way line to stop giving them a chance. The defenders have then got to help the goalkeeper out from set plays and get round him.
“We didn’t do that, I told them at half time we were playing like a school team, and they’ve got to start working things out for themselves on the pitch. We talked to them about it at half time and they weren’t as effective after that, but they’ve got to start working those things out themselves.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, he told us: “Fleetwood on Saturday is a rearranged game because we both had a free weekend.
“It’s an Alliance Cup date but it’s our free Saturday, so we agreed it was better to play a league game. We played them in the second game of the season and they beat us 1-0, but we should have won that game.
“We’re hoping to get a couple of the injured players back this week because we’re a bit thin on the ground at the moment.”
United – Robinson, Steele, Leslie (c), Walton, Ellis, Kilsby, Watt (Taylor 55), Swailes (Hill 59), Fishburn, Garvey (Rooks 10), Bell. Subs – Breeze, Simons.
Goals – Kilsby (70), Fishburn (74)
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