FC Halifax Town under 19s head coach Mark Trueman felt last week’s victory over FC United of Manchester served as valuable preparation for next Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final against Hastings United.
James Sunderland bagged a first-half double whilst substitute Eliel Anku grabbed one from the bench as Halifax won 3-1 against a tough FC United outfit.
It was the young Shaymen’s third game within a week after previous wins at Rochdale (5-1) and at home to Harrogate Town (15-0) and maintained their remarkable undefeated record to 19 matches.
“FC United are one of the better teams in our league and they made it hard for us by pressing well, not showing us any respect and getting tight,” Trueman said after the game.
“It was a good challenge in terms of dealing with the ball under pressure, especially for our midfield three.”
“These are the types of games that we want and it’s a good game for us in preparation for the semi-final against Hastings coming up.”
Despite the convincing score-line, Trueman saw plenty for his side to improve upon as they look to be at their optimum for the crucial forthcoming cup tie.
“I thought we were a little bit inconsistent on the ball and gave it away cheaply at times but then at other times we kept it well and broke them down, creating some good goal-scoring opportunities,” he continued.
“We were just a little bit disappointing when we needed to control the game because he gave the ball away from individual errors, whether that be a bad touch or a bad decision.”
“Credit to FC United because they pressed us and caused us problems. I think they were by far the biggest test that we’ve had over the three games this week. But, the lads have got to be able to play when they’re fatigued.”
Central midfielder Liam Healey and left winger Ousman Cham started for Town, a few days after agreeing terms to join the first-team squad for the remainder of the season.
Trueman feels it’s a massive achievement for the two young talents although insisted that there is still plenty of work to be done if they are to earn contracts this summer.
“Players progressing to the first is what we are about,” added Trueman. “Success, in terms of winning things at a youth level is nice but to get these lads pushing towards the first-team is the main aim.”
“They’ve still got a lot of work to do but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. It’s a credit to the staff in the youth set-up and a credit to Liam and Ousman for impressing when they’ve gone to train with the first-team.”
The semi final will take place at Weetwood Sports in Leeds, 2pm kick-off.
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