Castle over the moon with FA Youth Cup victory
CITY boss Steve Castle was over the moon after seeing his side dump Thurrock out of the FA Youth Cup. First half goals from Jonathan O Donnell and Tinashe Muskwe helped knock the highly-rated Essex side out and Castle admitted to being pleasantly surprise
CITY boss Steve Castle was over the moon after seeing his side dump Thurrock out of the FA Youth Cup.
First half goals from Jonathan O'Donnell and Tinashe Muskwe helped knock the highly-rated Essex side out and Castle admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the result.
"We had a big mountain to climb in as much as there are lads that are in Thurrock's team, I've just been speaking to their reserve team manager and that's pretty much Thurrock's reserve team," said the City boss. "They're playing men's football week in week out and there's one lad that's just signed for Bristol City so the quality I knew they had. They beat Leyton Orient 2-1 Andy Edwards kindly informed me on that one, and said they were very good."
"I like to go into every game as optimistic as possible but ... that surprised me.
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"You try and calm them down, you've got lads that are as up for it as you could get and it's great to see, it's so refreshing to see. I'm really pleased that we've managed to get through."
One of the most pleasing aspects for Castle was the improvement his young charges have shown in the last 12 months.
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"I'm so pleased for the lads, there is just so much honesty about it, we've all got smiles on our faces," said the City boss.
"There's a lot of lads there that were getting beat by a big margin only a year ago and (it was) very, very hard to keep their heads up. Obviously it's only early days, we want to take it one cup tie as it comes (but) that's a big scalp for us."
First team star O'Donnell impressed in central midfield and the City boss is predicting a big future for the former MK Dons youngster.
"The sky's the limit. My suggestion, I hope the chairman is listening to this, put him on a contract. I love him to pieces, I did when I first saw him.
"He was very unlucky, I know I'm making the decisions so this sounds very contradictory, but he was very unlucky not to start in the first team on Saturday and arguably should have been on at an early date but that's another matter," added the 43-year-old.
"He's just pushed himself firmly into first team reckoning and I dare say into a few scout's notebooks because there were a few here."
O'Donnell's goal in the 27th minute was soon cancelled out by Lemar Lemonius' header but City recovered to net the winner before half time through Muskwe.
"It's a great little set play, good delivery; he's done a lot of movement," said Castle of Muskwe's winner.
"I thought we could push on but with this nature and with both teams there's going to be some mistakes, it was a wet surface, we've had a good performance in our goalkeeper in Adam McWeeney but he's made a couple of rickets and unfortunately as a goalkeeper when you do it invariably ends up being a goal."
"The lads kept with it and I think we, if I'm honest, we were probably hanging in there a little bit and started giving the ball away a little bit too much towards the back end of the second half but as a cup tie it was very pleasing on our part."
City now face a trip to either Leverstock Green or Aveley with their game due to take place tonight and Castle admits not much is known about either side.
"We're going away from home. I don't know anything about them, Steve's (Eames) just said their game's tomorrow (Thursday) - I think my missus would kill me if I went over there to be perfectly honest with you - but I think we might see if we can get Steve over or someone to have a look just to see what that's all about.