SAM Rose has stressed that it is “onwards and upwards” for the Young Brewers following their cruel elimination from the FA Youth Cup on penalties to Bolton Wanderers.
Yewo Nyirenda’s strike in the first half was cancelled out by a D’Neal Richards header in the second which took the tie to extra-time. The goalless additional half-hour saw substitute Matty Richardson sent off, but the Young Brewers held on until the penalty shoot-out before going down 3-1 on spot-kicks.
Having collected his thoughts after a long two hours of football, Professional Development Phase Coach Rose said: “I don’t know [how to sum that up]. I think we were the better team in the 90 minutes, and I think we should’ve won the game. It’s difficult to take.
“We’d love to be in the Third Round and I’m disappointed that we’re not. I think we probably deserve to be, but that’s how it goes.
“To take it to penalties was a win in itself looking at the circumstances. Then it’s always a lottery, isn’t it? [There were] some poor penalties and some good penalties. That’s the difference.”
In spite of the result, Rose was pleased with the performance of his side, saying: “The lads have done a lot really, really well tonight. We’ve defended very well. We conceded from a set-piece, which was a little bit uncharacteristic. If you look at the rest of the game, we defended any ball into our box, and we’ve created more chances than the opposition too.
“[We had] a couple of forced changes, as you’d expect going into extra-time. Some of the lads just emptied, they’d got nothing left, so we had to change it and bring players on. That always changes a game, and I think when Bolton made changes it gave them a little bit more life, maybe when we made changes it didn’t.
“But what we’ve learned is that the boys can put a shift in. They work hard and they’re organised. They can defend as a team and they can defend individually as a unit."
As was the case for the First Round Proper victory against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium, First Team Manager Nigel Clough was in the stands, which was a positive Rose was keen to stress.
“The manager [Nigel Clough] is here and he was impressed. He thought that individuals did well and that as a team they’ve done well too. He’s happy with how the boys applied themselves and how they’ve represented the club.
“The bigger picture is: which ones of these boys are going to come back in a year or two and be part of that first team?”
“It’s what they aspire to do [play at the Pirelli Stadium]. They aspire to play in-front of people in cup games under the floodlights against good opposition.
“It’s invaluable, the experience that the boys will have got tonight. You can’t really put a price on it.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Rose is sure Wednesday night will stand his players in good stead for the future.
“We’re not in the Third Round but we’ve learnt a lot about the boys. It’s onwards and upwards.
“In the long run, losing games like this, in these circumstances, will add a little bit to their character. It will give them some extra motivation to try and make it different next time and to not let things like this happen again. That’s a good thing.
“We’ll get back in on Friday, we’ve got Scunthorpe away on Saturday, and we’ll see where we go with that one.”