After a week off Cheltenham Town's Under-18s returned to action last Saturday away at Torquay United.
We came out well deserved 4-2 winners on a boggy pitch. In the first half we scored three goals in a 10 minute spell, the like of which I haven't seen too much of before: we were unbelievable.
From the 15th minute to half-time the one and two touch football we played was probably the best I have seen in my four-and-a-half years back at the club.
We had good combinations between full back and winger on both sides of the pitch, the midfield trio dominated possession and won the ball back quickly, centre forward Alex Dinsmore held the ball up well and scored and at the back we were solid with Callum Craddock, Niall Rowe and goalkeeper Harry Reynolds all very solid.
Two of the goals, the first and the third, came from eight to 10 pass moves where we switched the play to good effect with the final touch coming from Sam Mendes on the first and Alex on the third.
The second goal from Danny Reynolds was from 25 yards out, a great strike which had swerve and dip to go into the top right of the opposition goal .
So we went in at half-time 3-0 up and flying. As was expected Torquay came out strong and won a dubious penalty in the first couple of minutes to make it 3-1.
We then had Callum Craddock sent off for preventing a goal scoring opportunity in the 70th minute.
They scored from the free-kick and we now had a game on our hands to see it out. To the boys’ credit they played really well with 10 men and we managed to nick a goal from closing down by Taylor Cordell, Jamie Goodwin and Adam Page to set up Jordan Lymn for the fourth.
A well deserved win, two in a row and we have Newport and Oxford to play before the Christmas break.
The injuries to the squad are easing slightly, Callum McFarlane is back training after being out since pre-season and Dan Okojie and Liam Sheppard are back too. Jamal Lawrence and Lewis Thompson are still out but both shouldn't be too far away.
This week we have the Under-16s in to tell them who has a scholarship for next season and who hasn’t. It’s never a nice thing to do for myself, Jamie Victory and Mike Davis as some of the boys will have been with us for a number of years, but one that has to be done.
Those successful will obviously be pleased, those unsuccessful will have their next options set out for them, although of course that choice is ultimately theirs.
Finally a big welcome to the club to Rob Edwards who has joined Paul on the first team staff.
We all hope in the youth department their time here is a successful one, and judging by early impressions I’m sure it will be.
Both are very receptive to the young lads, who are included in a lot of things in training and a real care and interest is taken in them. This surely can only benefit the club in the long term.