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WALSH ON CUP WIN

1 November 2012

Youth Team Manager's post match interview


Youth Team manager Alan Walsh saw his side go through to the Second Round of the FA Youth Cup at a rain drenched Memorial Stadium last night.

Rovers beat Torquay United 2-1 thanks to goals either side of half time from Alefe Santos and Jamie Lucas and although they trailed to a surprise 15th minute goal by the visitors, they controlled the match for long spells. The only surprise was that the winning margin wasn't greater.

"Not for the first time this season, we weren't quite clinical enough in front of goal," said Alan, "and we could have made things a lot more comfortable for ourselves if we'd taken more of the many chances we created.

"Having said that, there's no way I can fault this team for their effort and their work rate and I think some of their play, especially at the start of the second half, was really good.

"You just need that to be finished off with a goal and that's what we are striving for and what we are working on.

"These boys are developing, as individuals and as a team, so hopefully that good play will be finished off with goals eventually. It won't come overnight and we have to work on it but I'm sure that, in the weeks and months to come, we will improve."

Although his side conceded a shock goal on 15 minutes, after dominating the early stages, they refused to panic and played their way back into the game.

"It was a disappointing goal to concede, but I think we have to give Torquay some credit for the way they scored. They blocked off one of our players to allow the goalscorer a free run and header from a corner. The pleasing thing, for me, was that we learnt from that and Torquay had very few free headers after that."

As the game drew to a close, the visitors threw players forward in an attempt to grab an equaliser, but Rovers, with Tom Lockyer in outstanding form at the back, stood firm.

"They did come at us in the last ten minutes or so, but that was to be expected. However we got the tackles in at the right time and held firm.

"Overall, I think we deserved the win, as we had the majority of play and created the better chances."

Jamie Lucas, who scored the second goal, limped off on 76 minutes, having picked up a few knocks and he was replaced by Chad Douglas who made an impression with his brief cameo role.

"Jamie reminds me of an old fashioned centre forward. He's one of those players who puts himself about a little bit. Nothing, to him is a lost cause and he will never pull out of a 50/50 challenge. i

"Inevitably, though, he picks up a few knocks and he's had a few niggly injuries in the last few weeks. He bounces back, and recovers quickly for the next game, though and I expect him to be fit for Saturday's game against Exeter.

"Chad, who replaced him, had a couple of good chances himself and led the line well. he took pressure off the defence at times, as he travelled with the ball into the Torquay half.

"To sum up, I think we controlled the game for the majority of the time, we played some excellent football and our passing good movement was good. it was just unfortunate that we couldn't finish the game off sooner."

Rovers have a home tie in the next round, against either Staines Town or Wroxham, on a date to be arranged.


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