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Smith: "A win’s a win."

Photo courtesy of Phil Tooley

14 August 2017

Academy manager Mark Smith, hailed the Youth Team’s defensive resolve after they defeated Lincoln City in their opening EFL Youth Alliance North East home fixture.

Striker Joel Phillips scored the only goal of the game in the second half and while happy with the result, Smith admitted that victory did not come easy for the Spireites.

“A win’s a win,” he said.

“It wasn’t one of our better performances, but we defended well and the statistics proved that when we analysed the game.

“We kept our shape well but as an attacking threat we weren’t as potent as we should be.

“Dylan Hand took a free kick in the middle of the goal and it ricocheted off the wall to the left, Aaron Sennett kept the ball alive and Joel swivelled and his shot went in off the post, so it was a good goal, especially when there was only 10-15 minutes to go.”

The result maintained the Spireites unbeaten start to the new season, having drawn 1-1 away at Mansfield Town in their opening game, while also providing good experience for the first-year scholars who featured.

Smith said: “The Mansfield game was a decent performance, we stood up to them and battled, we got stronger as the game went on.

“On Saturday, I expected us to beat Lincoln but we made hard work of it.

“We’ve had some really good performances through pre-season at places like Stoke City where they (first-years) really shone.

“They will have their down spells though and Saturday was one for a couple of them, they know they can be better at that and they know I expect better.

“They should be trying to eliminate those type of performances because as they’re growing and developing consistency is what we look at, the kids have got to be consistent, they can’t be going from and eight out of ten performances to a four out of ten.”

Many of the team will be involved in match action tomorrow (Tuesday), with some taking part in an U17s fixture while others will join the likes of Tommy Lee and Reece Mitchell in a friendly with Handsworth Parramore (7.30pm).

“There’s three or four who’re likely to be involved at Handsworth,” Smith explained. “We’ll make up the numbers and supplement substitutes.

“It’s also a busy day because we’ve got an U17 game at Balby Carr College in the Doncaster area, we’ll take a few of the first-year scholars who are not getting minutes and a few of the U16 players will be involved too.

“So, we’re quite busy tomorrow, but it’s what you look forward too and an opportunity for the kids to impress.”

Meanwhile, Smith has confirmed that a replacement for former Youth Team manager Dylan Kerr could be appointed in the coming days.

Kerr left the club last month, to take charge of Kenyan side Gor Mahia and Smith is looking for the new man to start as soon as possible.

“We had interviews last week and we’ve decided on a candidate,” he added.

“It’s now a case of getting it rubber stamped, which we’ll hopefully do by the end of the week. The successful candidate could start as early as next Monday.”

Youth Team XI vs Lincoln City: Jones, Ofoegbu, Fowler, Hand (C), Render, Benn, Sennett, Holmes, Phillips, Amantchi, McKenna.

Substitutes: Marris (gk), Tipping, Walker, Foster, Phillipson.


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