Balague: United U18s did the club proud

Guillem Balague.
Guillem Balague.

Honours this week go to our battlng Under 18 side who earned a place in the next round of the FA Youth Cup with an ‘against the odds’ win at Cogenhoe.

For reasons I can’t go into at this stage but will certainly look to address they started with just 11 players, none of who was a goalkeeper, and fell behind from the first move of the match.

It felt the writing was very much on the wall and we were in for a long hard night. I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was to be proved totally wrong.

What we saw was a battling exhibition of team spirit, belief, togetherness and true grit. We got back on terms quickly and went on to win 3-1 thanks to goals from Sam Sale, Jack Bendon and Kyle Jeffrey and quite frankly we should have won by much more.

Special praise to to Grady Hayden who was ‘volunteered’ into playing between the sticks and who was, apart from the opening minutes, brilliantly protected by our defence.

They then followed this up with a 3-0 win over Potters Bar Town in their opening Eastern Junior Alliance game.

They were a credit to the club and the perfect embodiment of everything we are striving to build here from the bottom up. Plaudits also to coaches Keith Castle and Sam Goodman who have done a wonderful job of building and sustaining a magnificent spirit.

Their reward is a match for the town’s bragging rights with a first qualifying round match at Biggleswade Town next Thursday (ko 7.45pm).

We are up and running in the FA Vase thanks to a 2-0 win in Norfolk against Downham Town from the Eastern Counties League and now look forward to facing Thrapson Town at home in the next round.

The loss of Abraham Eze with a shoulder injury which looks like it is going to need surgery is a blow but one slightly softened by the new found form of Dave Iwediuno up front.

We have also reverted to a flat back four and look much more solid in defence as a result and will be looking to carry on our unbeaten run when we visit Tring Athletic tomorrow, then Barton Rovers on Tuesday.

See you there