First half penalty from Joe Kenton gives Town the 3 pointsTown: Harry Lewis, Jack Butts, Ben Burton, Jeff Watkin, Ryan Hickman (Charlie Mitchell 80), Joel Carter, Niall Flint, Joe Kenton, Kaimen Anderson, Ethan Jones (Jordan Wilson 73)
Subs: Tom Astley, Alex Ashton (gk), George Hassel
Town’s youth team ran out 1-0 winners over Accrington Stanley but the scoreline doesn’t reflect the performance over the 90 minutes. The youngsters showed good promise and potential in parts but when they look back at the game they will be disappointed with the overall performance and the number of mistakes they made.
The tone of the performance was set from the first whistle after Town conceded a free-kick in a dangerous area with just over 30 seconds on the watch. Minutes later captain Jeff Watkin picked up a yellow card on 6 minutes following a strong challenge just inside the Town half
Town looked bright as an attacking force and were finding the space to get in behind the Accrington defence with a number of decent balls down the left hand side. Anderson was showing good pace and was a willing runner if any ball got in behind the defence. Josh Ginnelly had the best of the early Town chances after he found himself one on one with the keeper, he shot low when a chip shot might have been the better option. His strike partner Kaiman Anderson was next to go close after he timed his run perfectly to latch onto a through ball, his shot beat the keeper but the post was there to keep him from giving Town the lead
As the half wore on Accrington started to ask more and more questions of Town and sloppy passing and possession from the home side was helping this. The visitor’s pressure was beginning to see them created a number of good chances and Harry Lewis had to be at his best to pull off a superb save from a point blank range shot.
To their credit Town kept creating chances and when the ball was lifted high into the back post from a free-kick Ben Burton rose well but he got under the ball and his header dropped just over the target.
With the half-time whistle fast approaching Town were handed a great opportunity when the ball was swung into the Stanley box, it was headed away by an Accrington head but then clearly struck the players out stretched arm and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, Joe Kenton placed the ball and calmly struck his shot down the middle to give Town a 1-0 lead.
After the restart Town had a good shout for a penalty after Kaiman Anderson was sent flying in the Stanley box, appeals all round but the ref saw nothing amiss and waved play on.
The second half was much the same as the first with Town quality of letting play break down with a mistimed pass or a stray pass but to their credit they kept going and kept creating some good chances.
There were good chances for Anderson and for substitute Jordan Wilson who found themselves through one on one with the keeper, but on both occasions it was the Stanley keeper who came out on top somehow managing to keep the ball out.
Youth games are all about development and as the final whistle approached Town dug in to help see the game out and finish with a win and a cleensheet. There was a final scare with a minute to go after another free-kick was conceded by Town, the ball seemed to be attracted to the Town goal and kept coming back no matter how hard Town tried to clear it but in the end Harry Lewis got down to smoother the ball and give Town a breather before the ref blew for full-time.
Full-time: Town 1 Accrington Stanley 0