Under 18s report: Burton Albion 2-0 York CityJoe Sbarra and Marcus Dinanga co-starred as the brewers returned to winning ways against York on Saturday.
A blistering start from the hosts saw them take the lead as York struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Marcus Dinanga outmuscled his man before producing an electric burst of pace down the left provided him with the space to find Sbarra in the six yard box for an easy finish.
Sbarra would soon return the favour, threading a well executed through ball into the path of Dinanga; who beat the York goalkeeper with a strong, driven shot.
Sbarra and Dinanga ran the show in the early going and a Dinanga flick on teed up Sbarra in the box, but he fired wide.
York did have chances, Jayden Cotterill cleared a deflected effort off the line before York would hit the bar in the second half but Burton held on for a much needed return to form following a run of bad results.
Head of youth development Mike Whitlow was pleased with the result and the overall performance.
“I liked the intensity that we started the game with, I think that Joe Sbarra playing just behind the striker, with Marcus up there worked exceptionally well. A lot of first years played today which is the most pleasing thing, as well as seeing Max Smith and Charlie Dowd coming on.
“We kept the ball well in the first half and had some really good possession, to be fair to York they tried to play as well and it was an interesting game. We took two early chances; I think that Marcus is now in double figures for goals this season, which is pleasing,”
Sbarra was integral to the Brewers’ win and his performance did not go unnoticed by Whitlow.
“Joe was magnificent today, and he always will be. Joe is one of those players that if he is in the game, and if he can exploit space, then he is a very intelligent footballer.
“He has to grow and develop and he knows that, we know that, but his brain for creating things is magnificent and today he found that space in the first half,”
Jayden Cotterill moved into right back midway through the second half, something which helped Burton regain dominance in the second half; Whitlow is happy with his development, and current form.
“At Hartlepool he scored a wonder goal, he can play centre back, he can play right back and he is only 16 years old. He has come into the building two years ago playing as a centre forward. The kid has grafted, worked hard and has a great attitude, as do 99.9% of these lads, every day, every week.
“An interesting game is coming up in November: The FA youth cup, Ilkeston, so the lads will be vying for places in that,”