Our U-18 side were beaten 3-2 by their Plymouth Argyle counterparts in their final match of 2016.
PDP Coach David Buckwell had this to say afterwards; “Going in to this match our league form had been good.
“Unfortunately, though, we never really got going. It’s been a tough few weeks and, due to injuries and illness, it has been difficult to get some consistency going, both in games and in training.
“For this particular match, we only had seven of our scholars, out of 18, available for selection. Inevitably, that had an impact on our result and our performance, though it did provide a fantastic opportunity for players in the younger age group to challenge themselves in U-18 football.
“On the day there were probably three players from the youth team group available, which demonstrates the expected effort and the quality, in and out of possession, and that puts added pressure on the younger players coming in to step up which isn’t how it should be. “You would like to think that those young players coming into the youth team come into a side which optimises the values of the Academy and the quality which we have, but that simply wasn’t the case in this match.
“Our last game really challenged us to defend our box better from set pieces, so we went into the game knowing that it was something we needed to do better, but we went on to concede two goals from wide free kicks in the first half.
“The first one came on three minutes, with the first ball into our box. Although we responded well and pulled a goal back five minutes later, we were 2-1 down after 15 minutes from another cross into our box.
“Plymouth made it 3-1 ten minutes later from a wide free kick, and they deserved their lead. “We made a change to our shape in the second half in an attempt to get more of a grip, but ultimately it was an opportunity that slipped away.
“We scored from a free kick late on in the game but, in all honesty, we deserved nothing. “Our focus is development, so we will work with the players to understand the reasons behind the performance and, as frustrating as it is, we will be sure to keep moving forward and hit the level of performances required to show that development is taking place.”
Team: Trialist, Luke Russe, Jamie Bremner, Tom Mehew (Lewis Clutton), Toby Rennie, Jordan Carey, Tyrone Tucker-Dixon, Connor Jones, James Spruce, Lewis Ellington, Lucas Tomlinson
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