Rick Ashcroft, Dale’s Head of Academy Coaching, says the Youth Team were left ruing missed opportunities in their FA Youth Cup second round tie defeat to Notts County at Meadow Lane.
Dale opened the scoring on the stroke of half time and had chances in the second half to extend their lead before the Magpies went on to score twice in a four minute spell.
On a night where Rochdale were excellent, the second goal, in particular, which was assisted by the swirling wind, was a blow, and Ashcroft told Dale PlayerHD that while the result “hurt” he could also take plenty of positives from the side’s performance.
“We had a good chance in the first half and we created a couple of good chances in the second half to put the game to bed. I think if we score the next goal then it starts to change the whole dynamics of the game.
“We had quite a lot of control on the game but they just had periods of a little bit of momentum but if you don’t take your chances then you leave yourself open to being sucker punched.
“It’s disappointing for the lads and it’s a disappointing result. Performance wise we were good - I’m pleased with the performance and pleased with the chances we created, but it’s one of those moments when you look back knowing that we could have done so much more in terms of taking the chances.”
15-year-old Academy goalkeeper Bradley Wade made his Youth Team debut on Tuesday night and showed great confidence throughout the match. He was joined in the squad by eight first year scholars, something which is pleasing for Ashcroft.
“Brad pulled off a couple of good saves and dealt with a lot of pressure into his area in terms of set-plays.
“For a 15-year-old he has done really, really well. That’s pleasing for him, it’s pleasing for us.
“We also had a lot of first year players in the squad for today’s game so that also bodes well for the future, but it still hurts.
“You’ve got to use the emotions of disappointment to go forward for the rest of the season and take it somewhere by making the most of the opportunities that they get in and around the first team and also in the games that we’ve got left for the remainder of the season.”
The full interview is available on Dale PlayerHD.