U18s in 2-2 draw with Forest Green

Aug 14, 2017 | Academy News

Our U-18 side, sponsored by the Supporters Club, faced Forest Green Rovers in their second match of the new season and came away with a point from a 2-2 draw.

Leading twice in the match, thanks to goals from James Spruce and Lucas Tomlinson, Rovers conceded an equaliser just four minutes from time.

That was disappointing, but Tom Parrinello was still able to take some positives from the match, whilst conceding that his side needed to work harder on defending set pieces.

“We were looking for a response after our disappointing result against AFC Bournemouth the previous week, when our performance probably merited a point.

“Forest Green are new into the Youth Alliance League and it was interesting to see how the boys reacted after a good week of training.

“It was our intention to start the game playing at a high tempo, in order to put our opponents on the back foot, but the boys were slow and sluggish out of the blocks.

“We failed to match the intensity of the Bournemouth game and went in at half time on level terms at 1-1, Spruce scoring our goal with a clinical finish into the roof of the net after exchanging passes with Josh Brace.

“That goal gave us the lead, but we conceded a poor goal as half time approached, from a counter attack following our own corner.

“Some stern words were said at half time, as we felt some of the boys were coasting and not showing the right application and desire to have a positive impact on the game.

“The reaction was good, and it was a much improved second half performance and we took a deserved lead when Spruce put a great cross in from the left and Lucas Tomlinson managed to get across his marker and flick his header past the keeper.

“We had numerous chances and opportunities to finish the game off, but failed to take any of them, mainly down to poor decisions and a lack of quality in and around the box. We were punished four minutes from time when we failed to set up properly from a corner which resulted in a free header inside the box.

“Overall, there were some real positives to take from the game, in terms of individual performances, and some pleasing aspects for us to look at in the week. But the overriding feeling is of major disappointment as it’s a game we should have won from the positions we put ourselves in, and we showed naivety in trying to see the game out.

“Conceding goals from set pieces is something that can’t happen again and again and is something we will be looking at in order to address the issue.”

Team: Liam Armstrong, Scott Isherwood, Alfie Clarke, Jordan Carey, Josh Bailey, Jamie Bremner, Josh Brace (Mason Raymond 70′), Harrison Chamberlain, Harry Warwick, James Spruce, Lucas Tomlinson

Substitutes: Ollie Hulbert, Luc Noble, Mason Raymond, Luca Hoole, Graeme Anderson

Watch the highlights from the encounter below;