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A pleasing win for Under 18s

20 October 2016

Notts County head of academy coaching Dan Lievers was 'really pleased' with the Under 18s' performance in the weekend win over Grimsby Town.

First-half goals from Sam Osborne and Tamar Clayton-Naute were followed up by an Alex Howes strike and an own goal as the young Magpies secured a convincing victory.

Lievers said: "After last week's result (a 4-1 defeat against Doncaster) the lads were determined to turn things around again and get back to winning ways, which we managed to do against Grimsby. We were really pleased with the performance.

"After reviewing last week's games and working throughout the course of the week, we decided to make some changes to the line-up. Edwin Towers earned his first start of the season and Harry Bugg came in at centre half. Both are first years but responded really well in training to earn their spot in the team.

"After a slightly shaky first 10 minutes, Edwin provided a clever lofted pass over the defender for Sam to score the first goal. Sam managed to round the keeper and, although two players got back on the line, there was no doubt he was going to finish.

"At 1-0 we started to dominate the game and some of our patterns of play and spells of possession were excellent. We kept the ball for long periods but had a purpose about us, trying to create things.

"It was just after the half-hour mark when Alex opened up their defence with a 40-yard pass into the path of Tamar , playing off the left this week, who killed the ball with his first touch and calmly placed his shot past the Grimsby keeper.

"We were very much in control of the game at this point and, despite some efforts to disrupt our play from the Grimsby players, the likes of Dom Brownhill and Alex in central midfield dominated the game to take us into half-time 2-0 up.

"Despite continuing to control possession and create opportunities, it took a while for the third goal to come. It was Alex again, for his third goal in his last three games, who started and finished a lovely move from deep in our half. Dom, Sam and Harry Gibbons were all involved in the build-up that cut through the Grimsby midfield and defence.

"To round off the performance Alex was again the instigator, crossing from the right-hand side of the box only for the Grimsby defender to trickle the ball into the back of his own net with Jordon Richards ready to tap in if necessary.

"In what was probably our most professional and complete performance of the season, every player had a part to play and the team and individuals continue to develop, which is our main aim.

"What we want to see each week is improvements in understanding and performance and that is what we are getting from the group at the moment.

"This puts us in a good place in the build up to Saturday's League Cup game at home to Wrexham and, after the FA Youth Cup draw this coming Friday, I'm sure everyone will start to get excited about the run into Christmas!"

Notts starting XI: Searson-Smithard, Cobain (Dearle 60'), Dunn, Brownhill (c), Richards, Bugg, Osborne, Howes, Campbell (Ebanks 75'), Towers (Gibbons 65'), Clayton-Naute

Unused subs: Hall, McCartney

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