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Academy

Under-18s: Haynes praises youngsters for back-to-back wins

2 October 2019

Under-18s manager Pete Haynes has praised the resolute nature of his team's winning performance over Swindon Town last Saturday.

Goals from Aaron Basford and Aaron Evans-Harriott helped the young Robins to all three points in the EFL Youth Alliance in Wiltshire as they secured a 2-1 win.

"It was pleasing how the players were far more hard working and assured out of possession," Haynes said. "Rather than worrying about winning the game the players were hard to beat and they gave themselves a really good platform.

"Swindon is always a tough game so players stuck to a game plan that made them hard to beat and scored a good goal after soaking up a lot of pressure.

"It was 1-1 from a free kick which probably shouldn't have been, but apart from that Swindon didn't really cause us many problems which is good to go away from home and have that. Yes they had a lot of the ball but there was no threat because of how well we defended and how compact we were.

"Our hard work was rewarded with a bit of individual brilliance which gets us a penalty from Aaron Evans-Hariott and he put away the goal in the 90th minute.

"As the manager keeps saying and we keep saying - the hard work does reward you and they worked very hard and got their reward."

The victory follows another win in midweek as an under-17s side made up of first year scholars and under-16s players defeated Birmingham City in the Harriers Midweek Floodlit Cup at Bishop's Cleeve's Kayte Lane.

Haynes highlighted how this competition is seen differently by the Academy set-up and the benefits it can bring.

"It's a brilliant competition," he added. "All the floodlit cups start at under-15s and there's an under-17s competition. They are feeders for the FA Youth Cup.

"We see them as performance games so starting XIs are chosen based on how players are doing but who we think is best equipped to win the game.

"The Youth Alliance games on a Saturday are our development games, so they're opportunities and minutes and practice, but there is more of an emphasis on players and coaching staff that we're playing to win these games and perform to win - like the first team ethos.

"Thanks to Bishop's Cleeve for hosting us all the time. It's a great venue for our players to play.

"To go against category 2 opposition who came full strength and to go 1-0 up, 2-0 up, 3-1 up, is very pleasing.

"When we needed quality the quality came from Callum Ebanks and Dan Stevens which was great."

This Saturday the under-18s travel to Oxford to take on Oxford United's under-18s side.


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