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Under-18s win at Plymouth

25 October 2019


Under-18s win at Plymouth

25 October 2019

Aaron Basford netted a brace for the Cheltenham Town under-18s side in a 4-2 EFL Youth Alliance victory over Plymouth Argyle last Saturday.

The second year scholar (pictured) was twice on target for Pete Haynes' young Robins outfit who earned three points on the long early morning trip down to Devon.

First year Aaron Evans-Harriott and Jeff Putz also hit the back of the net in the under-18s final run out before Wednesday's upcoming FA Youth Cup tie with Eastleigh at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

"Plymouth away is always a very difficult trip - mainly due to the travelling involved," Haynes said. "The players deserve a lot of credit for the way they performed considering it was a 6.30am in the morning leave, and having to get changed at different venues to then report for the game. They dealt with that very well and represented the club extremely well.

"The game itself was a very competitive game and a very good game to watch. We deservedly went 1-0 up through a great bit of play by Aaron Evans-Harriott and a good finish from Aaron Basford after some really good team play.

"It was then disappointing to concede from a free kick and a header in the box. The players reacted superbly to respond and Aaron showed great feet to win a penalty and then convert it to make it 2-1.

"Plymouth then scored a very good goal early on in the second half to make it 2-2. Once again when we talk about resilience and the players ability to go again, that's exactly what we did. A great bit of defending resulted in some good team play and Aaron Basford won us a penalty and duly converted.

"The players really showed great physicality to stay in the lead to keep defending well and showed some real quality on the ball. They got their rewards with a fourth goal with some good link up play between Evans-Harriott and Charlie Stanton, with Evans-Harriott then finding Jeff Putz in the box for a finish to make it 4-2.

"Most pleasing was the fact we had four 15 year olds in the game. Three started and one coming off the bench. Plymouth are always very physical and scholar dominated with a lot of second years, so it was great that young players were able to deal with the demands and impose their own game in and out of possession on the opposition to get their rewards.

"The past couple of weeks the under-18s having been playing very well. All the players have been doing well and haven't quite got the rewards like the Exeter game - conceding in the last minute.

"To go to Plymouth and play the way we did in possession and then out of possession is credit to the players and to the mindset that they could deal with the early leave, not make any excuses, get on with it and do the right things.

"Ultimately if you do the right things and work hard you will get rewarded and the players got their reward."

This Saturday's originally scheduled EFL Youth Alliance fixture with Portsmouth is no longer taking place with Pompey taking on Hereford at Fratton Park instead in their FA Youth Cup fixture.

It means the under-18s are next in action under the lights at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Wednesday evening when Eastleigh are the visitors. Kick-off is at 7pm and tickets are available on the turnstiles on the night.

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