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U19’s | Clark hails quarter-final win as ‘excellent’
Josh Youll
Author: Josh Youll

24th February 2022

Ben Clark described his U19 side’s National League U19 Alliance Cup quarter-final win as ‘excellent’.

The Heed youngsters went ahead through Eddie Thomas in the National League U19 Alliance Cup on a blusterous afternoon on Tyneside.

Nelson Ogbewe capitalised on a defensive mistake but the linesman flagged for offside, however Rhys McLeod timed his run to perfection moments later to get the second.

McLeod found the net again for the hosts and, despite a strike from Grantham Town in the dying stages, Gateshead earned a place in the semi-final.

“It was a very difficult game,” Clark commented.

“The conditions were tough, but the lads were excellent and played to the wind really well.

“We kept it on the deck when the wind was against us in the first half, and then we scored three good goals in the second.

“It’s getting harder and harder for me to pick a team – I’ve got a brilliant squad and I’ve got lads coming off the bench to make an impact.

“You look in the first-team, we’re blessed with three or four top class attackers, and it’s the same with the U19s.

“We’ve got so many lads who can score goals, you just need to look at the standings – Eddie is top, Rhys is on 20, Nelson has got around 15.”

The Heed‘s second-string have enjoyed a strong campaign thus far, sitting second in the division with recent wins over Harrogate Town and Scarborough Athletic.

“It’s been a really pleasing season,” added the manager.

“We’re into the semi-final of the cup and are baring down on first place with games in hand.

“It’s been a fantastic year – winning breeds confidence and the lads are full of it at the minute.

“They’re just a pleasure to work with – I’ve known them for two years and we’re doing brilliant.”

Clark also praised Kyle Errington and Lewis Leech, after the pair made their professional debut off the bench for Mike Williamson’s men last week in a 4-0 win over Alfreton Town.

“They both played today and were again magnificent,” he said.

“They’ve been consistent throughout the season which is why they got their opportunity last week.

“Like Mike said after the game, they’ve started training with the first-team and have done really well.

“They’ve been a credit to themselves – it’s easy for young players to be inconsistent but them two have been excellent.

“Out of this current group we’ve had them two, Nelson and Eddie all involved which we’re really proud about.”

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