Match: Tranmere Rovers Reserves v Carlisle United Reserves
The next game that I was involved in was against Tranmere in the Reserves and we had quite a young team out.
There was Jonny Blake, Conor Tinnion and Alex Mitchell from the Youth team and I thought we did well really. We didn’t have much to do in the first half, which was good, and we scored the only goal of the game after the break.
We defended well, not just as a back four, but as a whole team. Alex Mitchell had an excellent game and we were all pleased for him. The game itself was at Tranmere and we played on their first team pitch at Prenton Park. It’s always good to get the chance to play on first team pitches, and theirs was in very good condition.
Youth Alliance Match: Walsall v Carlisle United
We then played Walsall away in the Youth Alliance League, and that was an important one for us. It’s probably the longest trip of the season for us and not one that we particularly look forward to.
We set off at 6.30am, which isn’t a time I see too often if I’m going to be honest! We all had an early night on the Friday night so that we were as ready as we could be. It was a long journey down but for this one we had the big coach and that did make it a lot better. It gave us the chance to get up and walk about and it was much better than the usual mini-bus.
When we got there I thought we started slowly, which was understandable after the three and half hour journey. We weren’t really troubled but we didn’t get going and we came in at half time with the game still at 0 – 0.
When we came out for the second half I felt that if we could get that first goal then we would be ok … and that’s exactly what happened. Conor Tinnion scored with a shot that may well have been a cross … but he says it was a shot so I’ll give it him. Fair play to him though, he scored a really good goal for our second. Conor doesn’t get many but when he does they are usually special so we could relax a bit after that.
Then our third came from Ryan Bowman, our first year centre-forward and that was good for him. It’s also good for us because our leading scorer Andy Cook has gone out on loan for a month to Workington. We are going to miss him and we’ll be looking to people like Ryan to score the goals for us now. If he can carry on it will give us a really good chance of winning the League.
The game finished at 3 – 0 and we could maybe have scored a few more. We were all pleased with the result as Walsall beat us last season, and they won the League last year, so we felt that we’d done ok.
Match: Carlisle United Reserves v Manchester City Reserves
On Monday we had another Reserve match. This one was against Man City and we knew it would be difficult. They have a lot of quality players, particularly the little lad up front (Jack Redshaw). I’ve played against him before and he caused us loads of problems then as well.
We had a young back four with Grant Smith, a midfielder from the first team, filling in as a centre-half. I didn’t think we did too badly in the first half, but we ended up getting beat 4 – 1 which we were all disappointed with. All their goals came from the little lad up front – his first in particular was a really good goal. He’s very hard to play against but it was still disappointing.
It’s been enjoyable having Grant play as centre-half. He seems to know the position and is good on the ball. He slots in well and when we’ve being playing with a young back four it helps with him having a bit of experience in there. That helps us along a bit.
I have now had to cut this blog short as I have been called up to join the Scotland U19 squad for their trip to play France! Obviously I am really looking forward to it and hopefully I will be able to tell you about my Scotland debut when I get back.