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Lads bounce back in Monthey

Posted on 21 May 2010  - 12:00

Our Academy side bounced back from their opening game defeat with a 1-0 win over hosts FC Monthey at the Tournoi International de Monthey in Switzerland.

Our Academy side bounced back from their opening game defeat with a 1-0 win over hosts FC Monthey at the Tournoi International de Monthey in Switzerland.

The lads were beaten 5-0 by Boca Juniors on Wednesday, but Massimo Luongo's first half strike gives them every chance of reaching Saturday's semi-finals.

A win against Zenit St Petersburg in their final group game tonight will seal our place in the last four, while defeat will send us home.

But our performance against a physically strong local side on Thursday evening was pleasing, and the margin of victory could have been more.

In a first half we dominated, Alex Pritchard and Paul-Jose M'Poku both had goals chalked off for tight offside decisions before Luongo's smart finish from the edge of the box broke the deadlock on 25 minutes.

We continued to be the better side into the second half but had to settle for just the solitary goal. Nonetheless, Academy manager John McDermott was pleased with the overall response.

He said: "The result on Wednesday meant that we were now looking at this as a two-game tournament, both must-win games.

"We made quite a few changes from the Boca game, nothing to do with the result, just to make sure that everyone is getting the opportunity to get minutes under their belt in the tournament.

"We dominated the first half against a big but slightly unorthodox opposition in terms of how they played. The pitch was quite bobbly and it was a good experience to play in a relatively hostile environment, playing against the local team.

"There were particularly good performances from Adam Smith, Callum Butcher and Nathan Byrne. Massimo and M'Poku were very good as well.

"We dominated the play again in the second half and came close on a number of occasions, and what was pleasing was that they didn't have a shot in the second half.

"I thought we were very tough and I was pleased with the spirit. There was no sulking, we just got back to business which is what we wanted to do to ensure that Boca was a blip rather than a crisis.

"The only disappointing thing was that we had a number of chances that we didn't convert and it should have been more than 1-0."

Team:
Butler; Tapping, Butcher, Byrne, Smith; Pritchard (Manyoni, 38), Nicholson, Luongo, M'Poku; Mason (Cox, 60); Stevens