Macc Youth entertained Fleetwood at the Moss Rose ahead of their quarter final game v Nott’s County on Tuesday and came out with a confidence boosting 5-0 win.
Goals from Joel Swift, George Whiteoak, Jake Prescott, Paul Lewis and Liam Leary capped off a well deserved victory, indeed Macc showed so much movement and creativity it could well have been more.
The first goal was, however, as a result of a mistake by the Fleetwood Town centre back. Taking a heavy touch Joel Swift, as his name suggests, took full advantage robbing the defender of the ball before bearing down on the keeper to finish with a confident strike.
Macc were always threatening from set pieces and after a clever knock back from captain Kieron Kenny, George Whiteoak headed the ball into the net to make it 2-0 at the break.
Fleetwood had their chances in the first half; a well struck shot from 25yds heading for the top corner was expertly parried by Connor O’Keefe in the Macclesfield goal before safely gathering up. A dangerous cross from the left shortly after was again well taken by the keeper.
The second half was all Macclesfield, Dan Cowan coming on for George Whiteoak and confidentially slotting into position. What few chances Fleetwood Town had were well blocked by the young Silkmen defenders, and they were well complimented by a tireless midfield that set up chance after chance for the fleet footed forwards. Paul Lewis, showing his authority in midfield, rued and easy opportunity to score after good work form Paddy Kilburn and Jake Prescott down the left, his side foot shot going wide with the goal at his mercy.
But the third goal was not long in coming; Swift taking a pass with his back to goal turned his man expertly and played the ball wide to Leary who showed all his skill with a mesmerising dribble before placing a low cross slotted in at the far post by the oncoming Prescott. Liam Leary’s and Joel Swift’s movement and interchange of play were causing havoc in the Fleetwood defence and it was clear more was to come.
A rare break from the back by Fleetwood saw their player carry the ball 40 yds before the ever tireless Josh Green in midfield made a superb tackle denying Fleetwood of any chance of a counter attack.
Paddy Kilburn, one of several Youth team players no doubt benefiting from their involvement from training with the first team during the week, was imperious again in midfield and the understanding these youngsters have among each other was well demonstrated when Prescott overlapping on the left took a back heel from Kilburn before sending over a dangerous low cross which eluded everyone in the box.
The fourth goal came from another break down the left, a clever pass from Paul Lewis put Prescott in space, Lewis collecting the return ball looked to have no outlet with defenders either side of him, but a clever turn left them wrong footed before he again slotted the ball home. Another chance fell to Swift whose chip over the oncoming goalkeeper went agonisingly wide. He was later to be denied a second goal when he was deemed to be offside after a well taken volley beat the keeper.
The fifth goal was probably the pick of the bunch scored by Leary who had been in fine form all day. A deft cross by Prescott with the outside of his boot saw Leary beat the keeper from 20yds with a dipping half volley. A well deserved and entertaining win for the Youth Team.
Positive comments from Man Utd and Stoke scouts as well as Football League officials who themselves reflected on the results of hard work put in on the training ground during the week.
It was good too to see many of the first team squad in attendance prior to their game at Hyde and I’m sure they went away inspired.
Good luck to the Youth Team in their quarter final game v Nott’s County on Tuesday.
Team: Connor O’Keefe; Liam Baker; Kieron Kenny (c); George Whiteoak (Dan Cowan); Matt Harris; Josh Green (Will Bailey); Paddy Kilburn; Paul Lewis; Jake Prescott (Nathan Haynes); Liam Leary; Joel Swift.
Subs: Dan Cowan; Nathan Haynes; Will Bailey; Tom Stott; Alex Egerton.