Under 18s beat Pirates
Thursday 10th December
Football League Youth Alliance
Bristol Rovers 0
Oxford United 2
Andy Whing writes:
“We knew we would be up against a big powerful side in Bristol Rovers and in very difficult conditions and with the pitch very heavy it meant it was always going to be a battle.
We started well enough and were probably the better side in the first half but there weren’t many chances and we had to defend properly. Lewis Hayden played at centre half and looked very assured back there, but all of them did as we asked and we came in at 0-0 at half time.
We asked them to just get on the front foot a little bit more after the break and play with a bit of tempo, and we looked a lot better once we started doing that. Sometimes tight games are decided by one or two moments, and on the hour we brought on Joe Hartley and he scored with his first touch within 20 seconds of coming on! Jordan Graham got the ball across and Joe met it well and put us a goal up.
We created a few chances but also had to defend well- Jordan Graham put his body on the line for a good block and Ty Deacon came on and won some important headers to clear our lines when we needed to. Then Luke Hastings put a really well weighted ball across and it was Joe again in the right spot to put the chance away and give us a 2-0 win.
Rovers are always strong at this level so it was an excellent result. George Jeacock has gone out on loan to Didcot and is doing well there so it has meant one or two players getting opportunities up front, so a win was great for confidence all round."
Stevens, Ricketts, Hayden, McCormack, C. Hawtin, J Graham, Humphreys, Baptiste, Bryan (Hartley 60), Napa (Deacon 80), Hastings