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Home pride

Posted on 11 February 2009  - 12:00

Everything went to plan for coach Alex Inglethorpe at Home Park as our Under-18s beat Plymouth to book a home tie against Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

Home pride

Everything went to plan for coach Alex Inglethorpe at Home Park as our Under-18s beat Plymouth to book a home tie against Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

Alex stressed to the players beforehand not to be fazed by the heavy conditions at Home Park after the pitch passed a late inspection ahead of Wednesday night's fifth round tie.

The playing surface cut up almost immediately but such was the quality of the lads' performance, you hardly noticed.

Ryan Mason opened the scoring after 20 minutes, Paul Jose M'poku curled home a sublime second for 2-0 at the interval and it was one-way traffic after M'poku's second five minutes into the second half.

Steven Caulker had a header cleared off the line, Mason struck the woodwork and home keeper Tom Brooks made a number of fine saves as the scoreline somehow stayed at 3-0.

"The conditions were tricky and we managed to play good football in difficult circumstances," reflected Alex.

"After the initial scrappy 10 minutes I thought we were able to take control of the game and once we did that, we were in familiar territory. That enabled us to create chances and do all the things we wanted to do.

"Our wide play was play was impressive. Andros Townsend was a constant threat and dealt with the pitch well and Paul Jose M'poku on the other side scored his two goals.

"But for them to function within the team everyone else needs to do their bit and that's what happened."

Arsenal are next in the last eight at White Hart Lane on a date yet to be arranged.

"The two teams will try to express themselves and I'm sure it will be a great match," added Alex. "Hopefully we'll get a lot of support and the lads will relish the opportunity to play at White Hart Lane again - what better game than against Arsenal."