First Team 06/12/2018

Loan Lads: Jakubiak Scores Solo Winner

Alex Jakubiak scored a late winner for Bristol Rovers which also sees them progress into Round Three of the Checkatrade Trophy. With 15 minutes left, Jakubiak was brought off the bench with the game at 1-1. He made the difference, bursting through the middle, beating two defenders and slotting home beneath the Swansea keeper.

Jerome Sinclair helped Sunderland progress through to the Round Three of the Checkatrade Trophy with a 2-0 win over Notts County at the Stadium of Light. Sinclair, who played 87 minutes before being substituted, converted a penalty in the 73rd minute to send his side into the last-16.

Sunderland travel to mid-table Accrington Stanley this weekend as they look to put the pressure on Portsmouth, who are four points clear at the top of League One.

Daniel Bachmann was on form again last night as his Kilmarnock side went top of the Scottish Premiership. Killie beat Livingston 2-0 at home and saw the game out convincingly after a first half brace from Greg Stewart.

This win saw Bachmann’s fourth successive clean sheet between the sticks. His side travel to Celtic Park this weekend for a top of the table clash. It is very rare any team keeps a clean sheet at Celtic, but Bachmann will be looking to make it five in a row!

Dimitri Foulquier played 71 minutes in Getafe’s impressive 5-1 victory in the Copa del Rey second leg  match against Córdoba. They won the tie 7-2 on aggregate and are through to the next round. Getafe travel to Leganes tomorrow night, and Foulquier will be hoping for another three points to help his side climb further up the La Liga table.

Finally, tonight Watford’s Cucho Hernandez will play his second leg in Huesca’s Copa del Rey fixture against Athletic Bilbao. However, Huesca are already 4-0 down in the tie. Perhaps an unlikely comeback could be sparked by the Colombian?

Under-18's 06/12/2018

Herts Cup Reaction: “Sometimes You Have To Struggle For A Win”

Darren Sarll said he was pleased that his Academy side had to “struggle” to come out on top against Leverstock Green in the Herts Senior Cup on Tuesday night, as Dom Hutchinson’s solo-effort ensured the Hornets progressed to the next round.

Having already brushed Potters Bar Town to the wayside, the Academy side – largely made up of Under-18 players – were looking to add another senior scalp to their collection, and Sarll is pleased with how they acquitted themselves at Pancake Lane.

“I think they are just good experiences for the young players who are ‘treated’ with a certain level of standard – pitches and changing rooms and things like that,” said the club’s Head of Academy for the Professional Development Phase.

“I grew up on pitches like that, so it’s nice to come back and have that experience, and try to replicate habits that we do on pristine pitches every day on poorer pitches.

“It was a really good experience; I love bringing young players to play against senior players. I think it’s a really good learning curve, and it’s invaluable for their development.”

Harry Hudson scored against Potters Bar Town in the last round

The young Hornets had to withstand an aerial bombardment towards the end of the game, but held on to claim a clean sheet and a place in the next stage of the tournament.

Sarll was pleased that the players were exposed to the reality of senior football – whatever level – where every ball has to be fought for at 100 per cent.

“These games are never easy, they are always tricky, there’s always an underbelly to them that says this isn’t going to be a walk-through, you aren’t going to be able to tip-tap your way through, you are going to have to use some sort of brute force as well,” said the former Stevenage boss.

“It’s about character – you can talk about substance, shape, strength and adolescence, but you’ve got to have a character, you’ve got to have a big character, a very strong, robust, resilient character to be a top player now.

“I was pleased in patches with some things – but football is a weird and wonderful game. I said to them ‘sometimes you can play really, really beautifully and pleasing on the eye, and take nothing. Sometimes you have to scrap and scrape and pinch and bite to get yourself through little struggles’. I thought it was good when they have to have a bit of a struggle for a win.”

The chance now to progress further sees Watford matched with Bishop’s Stortford in the quarter-finals, and should they win that, St. Albans City, Hertford Town or Royston Town await in the semi-final.

“All they are doing is buying themselves valuable development, and it means we get more and more opportunities against senior players,” said Sarrl. “They are in wonderful form right now.

“As a professional development phase department I think we’ve only lost three games in the last 18 or 19. They are doing wonderfully.”

Keep an eye out on for details of the quarter-final tie with Bishop’s Stortford.