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Six of the best for Town youths
BOSS Paul Bodin praised the attitude of his players after Town’s future stars eased into the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 6-1 victory over Sholing at the County Ground.
Swindon’s youngsters kept their shape throughout and retained the ball well in very wet conditions, with Connor Waldon’s two goals setting them well on their way to a simple victory before Curtis Da Costa, Alex Ferguson, Callum McCormack and Mark Francis all found the net.
Captain Ferguson was superb throughout as he supported the strikers and helped out the defence in equal measure, while right back Luke Murden didn’t put a foot wrong in defence.
Bodin was pleased with the way his players performed on the big stage, and believes their willingness to work held the key.
“You expect to beat non-league teams, and from the first whistle we showed a good attitude and a willingness to work hard which is key,” he said.
“We could maybe have got a couple more, but we are pleased to be into the next round.
“We responded well after conceding a goal and Connor scored two good goals having not scored too many in the league, and that will give him a lot of confidence. It was a game we could have come unstuck in, and we are glad to be through.”
The home youths made a quick start in the lashing rain, and a good cross from Mathew Jones forced Sholing keeper Kieran Cottington to drop the ball in the six yard box, which he was fortunate to see cleared.
After home keeper Josh Helm fell to his right to make a good save, Ferguson slid in to bundle the ball into the back of the net at the other end, but his effort was adjudged to be offside.
Town only had to wait a couple of minutes to take the lead, though, as Waldon rose superbly to guide Aaron Ferris’ cross into the back of the Sholing net.
The home side were in complete control of the game, but were soon stung as Jones stood off his man and allowed Kieran Palmer to fire past Helm.
But the natural pattern of the game soon resumed as a ball into the Sholing box caused chaos, and after Francis got in the way of the initial effort, Waldon rammed home his second.
Jones stung the palms of Cottington with a vicious free-kick as Town continued to press, and they were rewarded after corner was headed back across the box, where Da Costa was on hand to bundle home.
Helm had to be alert to save well from Matthew Gray with his legs just before half-time, and after the break Waldon looped a header over the bar as Town continued to press.
Ferris saw two shots blocked before another effort was tipped wide by Cottington, and the keeper needed to be alert once again as he saved well with his legs from Ferguson’s header.
The Town skipper really should have scored when he was sent clean through, but minutes later he beat Cottington to the ball and slid an effort under the keeper which creeped over the line to make it 4-1.
It was soon 5-1 as substitute McCormack drilled in Ferris’ cut-back, and Francis had the final word as he lashed home following a neat pass from Lee Marshall.
Town will now face either Cirencester Town or Mangotsfield, with the two teams meeting tonight at the Corinium.