Youth v Pilks

The youth side face a tough Pilkingtons side in the Presidents cup, and judging by the past performance against Pilks reserves earlier in the year, many in a cold St Helens were expecting a comprehensive victory for the home side. <br>The Youth side started the more brightly with and created more than the home side. A strong performance by the Youth side stifled the play in midfield and mopped up any home side pressure. A return to the team for Ashton at centre back provided some of the grit that was needed in the reserves league fixture earlier in the year, but some of his early challenges showed the signs of a player returning from 3 months out with injury. As the game went on the back line settled in and not only prevented Pilks from scoring but with Blinkhorn, Tomlinson & Clarke started to create chances. Bently pulled up within 15 minutes resulting in Hindley coming on to maintain the pace up front.<br>Captain Sean Nolan gave a real leaders display, showing the determination and fighting spirit that this side seems to have missed in some recent games.<br>the breakthrough came on 26 minutes, when a strike from Lowe from 35 yards troubled the Pilks keeper who spilled it for Lord to finish hard and low to the keepers right.<br>Witton continued to control play for the remainder of the half.<br>The second half brought with it some of the teams frailties and individual mistakes compounded by poor refereeng resulted in Pilks getting the equaliser within 1 minute of the restart. <br>The second half continued in a similar way to the first, with the more experienced Pilks side attacking constantly to get the winner, but excellent displays throughout the team thwarting their efforts. Another enforced substitution unsettled the side a little as striker Hindley was forced off injured to be replaced by Purcival.<br>Pilks winner came as both sides were contemplating extra time, andother poor refereeing decision resulting in a free kick and cross acros the box, not dealt with by the Youth team making it 2-1 and the final whistle only 6 minutes later.<br>The Youth side can be proud of their performance, with at least 3 regulars out their performance was pleasing and gives a solid foundation for the remaining campaign.<br><br>SQUAD<br>Knowles, Clarke, Webb, Ashton, Blinkhorn, Tomlinson, Lowe, Nolan, Clarke, Bentley, Lord (Scored on 26 mins). SUBS Hinldey (on for Bentley (16 mins), Purcival (on for Hindley 78mins) Donaldson, Hubblewhite.<br><br>NEXT GAME v DATEN RESERVES (4/03/06 3pm @ Moss Farm)<br><br>