Stevenage U18s kept up their recent good form with a 2-1 win against Barnet on Saturday morning.
Trailing to a header at half time, Darren Sarll’s men turned the game around in the second half at Shephalbury with Ben Kennedy equalising from the spot following a Barnet handball in the box before Rohdell Gordon fired home a late free-kick from the edge of the area to seal the win. That made it two wins on the bounce for the team and four unbeaten.
Reflecting on the game Darren told us, “Defensively we were a hundred times better this week. We defended from the front and pressed the ball a lot better all over the pitch. There were chances for both sides. A lot of their better ones came from long range which forced our keeper into a number of good saves. But if you break that down as a coach, if two or three go in the top corner from 25 yards you have to sit and applaud them yourselves.
“The players have got this great desire to keep going, to keep trying to do the things that we work on rather than panicking when things aren't going our way. We have worked hard on set pieces situations this year, which seem to be the forefront of our goal-scoring at the moment. It’s another part of the game in which you try and educate the boys on and if it helps them you get a little bit of a reward for it. We won at Watford in the last minute with a header from a corner and then Rohdell scored with a set piece on Saturday, so it’s really pleasing.”
In terms of the players who stood out on the day for Boro, Sarll picked three. “Harold Joseph, our captain, was instrumental in terms of the mentality that was displayed and his performance was excellent” he said. “I thought Ross Millard, who’s had a bit of a tricky time since coming over from Australia, was the best he’s been to-date and I think there’s loads more to come from him. And goalkeeper Kavel Patel was outstanding in terms of dealing with the efforts that Barnet had on our goal.”
“It’s made for a happy camp as the lads love winning. I don’t tend to look at the league table as there’s so much more as a youth team coach that precedes the result. If you put the right performance in then you often get the right result. However the players know everything – who’s where in the table, how many goals we’ve scored, who’s done what, this, that and the other. They really buy into it, which is fine. They should enjoy Monday to Friday and win Saturday. That’s the whole purpose of this process.”
“Next up is Gillingham, which is a big, big test but I think we’re more than capable of going there and continuing our recent good form.”
Boro: Kavel Patel, Louis Yamfam (Jack Jones 70), Harold Joseph, Ryan Johnson, Ross Millard, George Casey (Tony Williams 75), Rohdell Gordon, Ben Kennedy, Dale Gorman, Dan Udoh (Jamie Carey-Morrell 65), Fejiri Okenabirhie
Sub not used: Callum Robinson (gk)