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U19s edge closer to top spot

By Bradley Saxton | 4th November 2021

York City Youth Team Manager Tim Ryan was pleased with how his side bounced back against Darlington on Wednesday afternoon as they secured a 1-0 win in the National League Alliance U19 Academy North at Wigginton Road.  

Josh Knowles scored the only goal of the game, as he tapped home from inside the penalty area after only two minutes. He missed a chance to double the home side’s lead just before half-time as he was denied by the Darlington keeper from the penalty spot. The Young Minstermen had to defend well in the second half, but ended the game with ten men as Jack Degruchy saw red for a late challenge on the goalkeeper.  

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Ryan said he was pleased with his side’s response after rescuing a point late on against Solihull Moors in their previous game.  

“After last week I asked the boys for a little bit of a reaction in terms of effort, determination and grit and I thought in the first half they were really good,” said Ryan.

“I thought the boys handed it to them and went for their throat, if we had come in at half-time two, three or maybe even four nil up, then it would have been justified in our performance.  

“It’s one of them games where we will learn from not taking our chances because in the second-half, It was a very even and gritty game, fair play to Darlington they probably looked the best side in that second period and they hung in there at times.  

“But it’s something from our missed chances that we need to learn to turn them into chances to put the game to bed”. 

The Young Minstermen scored early on through Knowles, which Ryan believed his side a real were given a real emphasis to go out there and try to put the game to bed by half-time.  

“It’s something where an early goal, like Paddy’s (McLaughlin) for the first team last weekend, gives us a real emphasis to go out there and get four goals early on, but sometimes it can go against you where you can take your foot off the pedal but fair play to the boys that they didn’t” added Ryan. 

“Take the first half they really did what we had asked them to do and we should have had at least two or three more goals and been out of sight by half-time”. 

Ryan was particularly happy with his side’s performance in defence, showing praise for centre half Ben Dale who he thought was the stand-out performer for the Minstermen against Darlington.  

"To keep a clean sheet, I thought the back four played quite well. I’ve had Ben (Dale) in and out of the side, I’ve told him what he needs to work on and he’s gone away to think about his game and certainly, over the past two or three weeks he has been outstanding, but it was his best performance by a mile today and I thought he was excellent all over the pitch this afternoon. 

"Craig (Magwere) came in at left back, he did well on his debut and handled it very well after waiting for his chance. Day-in-day out Craig trains hard, so it gave Jonny (Haase) a chance to open his legs up a little further up the pitch and see what he could create.  

“Jacob (McLoughlin) was excellent again today, he has been a standout performer for us every week and has become someone we can rely upon and Lewis (Cunningham) at centre-half, he’s got the experience which showed today and he’s a year older, he brought a lot of calmness on the ball in defence". 

The win sees the Minstermen remain unbeaten in the league this season and moves them up to 2nd place in the National League Alliance U19 Academy North, a point behind league leaders Guiseley. 

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