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Humphreys: "We were excellent from start to finish."

24 January 2017

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Reserve team coach Ritchie Humphreys was pleased with his team’s performance as they beat Notts County 2-0 at the Proact.

A Kristian Dennis penalty and a well taken goal by Reece Mitchell sealed the victory, though the final margin could have been a lot greater.

“I thought we were excellent from start to finish,” Humphreys told Player HD. 

“We played a slightly different system than what we’ve been used to in recent weeks with the reserves and it complimented the players had we’d got.

“From the goalkeeper right the way through the team we tried to play out from the back when it was on, work the ball through midfield using the wing backs to get at their full backs whilst having two strikers up the pitch to cause problems.

“The three lads in the middle of the pitch rotated excellently and from start to finish with the subs coming on as well it was a really pleasing display.”

The likes of Dennis, Mitchell and Angel Martinez all featured for the Spireites alongside young players like Joe Rowley and Jack Brownell – with the result proving that it was the perfect blend of youth and experience.

Humphreys said: “The senior players got minutes, and young players came into the fold. 

“We had people who’d played quite a bit in the reserves and we’d had people who’d played once or twice, so it was a good run out for lads that needed it and good experience for the young lads that stepped in as well.”

With first team manager Gary Caldwell watching from the stands, the performances from both Dennis and Mitchell would have certainly caught his eye.

“Reece was busy down the left hand side and he won a penalty and should have another penalty which wasn’t given,” Humphreys added. 

“Kristian scored a penalty and Reece scored a wonderful goal, it opened up for him and he kept driving through the space and ended up being one on one with the goalkeeper before he stuck it away very well.”

Another pleasing aspect of the performance was the efforts of Rowley and Brownell in central midfield, with both players exuding confidence.

Add to that the performances of George Lynam, Charlie Wakefield and Iffy Ofoegbu it was a good day all around for the club’s academy.

Humphreys said: “They were excellent, and when Angel came off and Charlie came on they were doing rotational work, stuff they’ve been working on with the youth team.

“They’ve brought it from their youth team games into the reserves and that’s confidence of the players to try and get on the ball.

“George at the back was excellent, while ex-youth team players [Jake] Beesley and [Laurence] Maguire contributed to the game in a good way.”

Striker Ricky German also completed 90 minutes as he continues his come back from an injury, he too caught the eye and will benefit from playing in the game.

“Ricky’s another who’s come through the system and he was always a threat on the shoulder of people, he showed his strength at times,” Humphreys said. 

“He’ll be disappointed that not to have put the ball into the net, which would have ended a terrific move which involved all those young players but the minutes is important as is getting him back to full fitness.”

The result now means that the reserves will progress into the next round of the Central League Cup, adding to more games to an already busy schedule.

It also means that there will be different personnel lining up for the reserves on a week to week basis, with the first team also experiencing a packed fixture list, something Humphreys is all too aware of. 

“There’ll always be players that can play in those games, but we’ll decide nearer the time of the first team fixtures who’ll be able to play,” he acknowledged.

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