By Dominic Scurr
GATESHEAD Under-19s strolled to a comprehensive 8-0 victory over Frickley Athletic in National League U19 Alliance at Gateshead College on Wednesday afternoon.
A Jack Burns hat-trick, a Jordan Dobie brace and further goals from Najiih Hassan, Liam Carrick and Harry Outterside saw the Heed youngsters claim a convincing three points that saw them move to second in the league table.
Under-19s manager Ben Clark was pleased to see his side bounce back from back to back defeats with a big win.
“It was another very pleasing performance from the lads,” said the former Gateshead captain.
“They dominated the game from the word go and found themselves deservedly 4-0 up at half-time.
“We were convincingly better than the opposition on the day which was very good to see.
“There were some great goals, Jack scored a good hat-trick and Jordan Dobie got two but all of them were well taken goals and we could have perhaps scored a few more.
“We were a bit sloppy after half-time when we were 4-0 up but we still pushed on and scored four more goals but I had a little chat with the lads after the game just about being a bit more professional.
“After our recent results this was a great confidence boost for the lads not only with the goals we scored but the clean sheet too because we haven’t kept too many this season.
“I’m pleased for Ryan (Lumsden) in goal as well because he’s been excellent and training regularly with the first team so I was happy for him to keep a clean sheet and it was nice to get back to winning ways in the manner we did.
“Ryan is a different person compared to when he first came into the club and I think that’s down to him training with the first team squad. I always go to the gaffer (Steve Watson) and the first team players to check on how the lads are doing when they train with them.
“You can see a massive difference when they come back over in terms of their confidence and that gives everyone a boost really.”
This season has seen Clark’s Under-19s side play in both the Northern Alliance Premier League on Saturday’s as well as the National League U19 Alliance on Wednesday.
And the Gateshead coach feels the mixture of youth and senior football has aided the development of his squad.
“It really helps because it’s all part of their education playing different types of matches every week,” Clark admitted.
“For our lads to mix it up playing against lads their own age midweek and then in an adult league on the Saturday, it really helps with their development.
“They’re playing competitive matches often and on a Wednesday it tends to be more tactical whereas on a Saturday it’s more physical so it’s a good balance for them in terms of their experience and education as young footballers and that’s why I think the programme is so strong this year.”
Gateshead U19 XI: Lumsden; Kamara, Creighton, Emerson, Bennett, Ord, Outterside, Carrick, Burns, Hassan, Dobie
Subs: Roberts, Choudhury, Warriner