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RESERVE REACTION

Posted on 31 January 2006  - 12:00

Clive Allen was pleased was the application and courage shown by his young reserve side in withstanding big pressure from Southampton to record a 2-1 victory.

Clive Allen was pleased was the application and courage shown by his young reserve side in withstanding big pressure from Southampton to record a 2-1 victory.

It is now eight wins in a row for Clive's team and they certainly had to work hard to maintain the winning streak. Lee Barnard's strike after just two minutes provided an early tonic, but the visitors responded and got a deserved equaliser on 57 minutes.

At this point it looked like the boys would do well to claim a draw, but a Barnard cross on 70 minutes ended up in the Southampton net following pressure from Mounir El-Hamdaoui and Andy Barcham on the Saints full-back. Mounir was called out as the goalscorer, but Clive suspects it was more of an own goal.

"We came up against a good, young Southampton side who were very energetic," reflected Clive afterwards. "We started the game well with another goal from Barney but found the game going away from us in the second half, particularly just before we conceded the equaliser.

"I've got to give the lads credit though, they addressed the problem which, I felt, was that we just got too spread out as a team.

"I think our spirit came through and, without creating too much in the second half, we managed to get back in front and ended up winning the game 2-1.

"For a number of the young players it was their first experience of reserve team football. It wasn't as fluid and as pretty as some of our recent games have been, but there are different ways to go about winning games. In terms of learning from it, I think the lads will take a lot out of the game.

"I thought our winner was an own goal, if I am perfectly honest. Mounir El-Hamdaoui and Andy Barcham were in there and Mounir was awarded it by the announcer, but I feel the last touch came off the Southampton right-back. I am not too bothered though, it was a good cross from Barney who stood the ball up to the back post and gave the lads a chance to attack it."