Gray pleased with night’s work despite cup exit
- Credit: Archant
The result may not have gone their way, but St Albans City joint manager James Gray was pleased with Tuesday night’s work in the 2-0 loss to Bishop’s Stortford in the semi-final of the Herts Charity Cup.
As well as utilising a midfieild diamond, Gray and Graham Golds were able to give four players from the U21 squad their first-team debuts.
“We played David Keenleyside at the tip of the diamond, behind the front two,” explained Gray.
“We wanted to get him in more advanced position because we feel that’s where he’s best - he did well in that position.”
He added: “We wanted to give the young lads a taste, which hasn’t been easy this year with us going up to the Conference South.
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“But they did well. We have got a good crop of players coming through that should be able to emulate what Matt Taylor, Elliot Bailey and James Kaloczi have done.”
Fans will be familar with the likes of Joel Watson and goalkeeper Mason Tewkesbury but Tuesday saw Jack Green, 17, brother of first-team player Danny, David Longe-King and Harry Tew-Robinson all make appearances.
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Jack Green, in particular, impressed on and off the ball with Gray saying the midfielder has a “massive future” in football, but he was buoyed by the displays of all the youngsters.
“We had five U19s on the pitch for the last 30 minutes and it was our best spell of the game,” he told the Herts Ad.
“We sat down with the U21 manager this week and set out what we want to do. It’s difficult because it’s our first season of having an U21 sied and there are some teething problems but we have a good crop of young players at the club.
“And if they can push the first team then that’s even better.”