Youth team boss on reaching a national final
Bristol Rovers youth team beat Watford, in the Football League Youth Alliance U-18 Area Final, at the Memorial Stadium this evening.
After a fairly even opening 45 minutes, Rovers took control of proceedings in the second half and dominated for long spells.
The only goal of the game was credited to Watford defender Alfie Young, who diverted a Danny Greenslade free kick into his own net after 68 minutes.
Youth Team manager Alan Walsh was, understandably, delighted with his side’s performance.
“It was pleasing that we dominated the second half in the way that we did, though it was slightly disappointing that we weren’t able to finish the game off and score again.
“When you are only in front through a single goal there’s always the chance that your opponents will get back into the game
“However, I thought the lads were superb tonight. The first half was a close affair and neither side created very much, though I think that conditions played a part in that. The pitch was dry, and a little bit bobbly at times, and there was a strong wind.
“That made it difficult for continuity and fluidity of play, but the players gradually adapted their game to suit the conditions and we did dominate the game in the in the second half.
“Although we were unable to add to our lead, on the plus side we kept another clean sheet and it really was an excellent team effort that saw us through.”
His side will now face Carlisle United in the National Final, and a draw will be made tomorrow to see who will have home advantage in that game.
Sam Kamara, who limped off after half an hour of tonight’s game, may face a spell on the sidelines; “We believe he has a hamstring injury and will assess the extent of the injury in the morning.”
While all the talk is of winning a cup final. We shouldn’t forget that the U-18 side are also chasing a league title. They have three games left of their South West Alliance League programme and three wins will guarantee them the title.
They currently lie in second place, two points behind leaders Oxford, who they play next Tuesday.
“Before that we face Swindon this Saturday and, following the Oxford game we wind up our season with a match against Exeter City.
“It has been a great season as we have lost only once in the league and only went out of the FA Youth Cup, to Birmingham, on a penalty.
“We are through to a National Cup Final and in with a chance of winning the league, so it really has been a great season, and I am very proud of what the boys have achieved this season.