THE only way to start this report is to compliment Gerry Murphy and all the staff associated with the Town Academy.
When the team was announced to play Blackpool I and many others in the crowd were rightly nervous about the number of young players given the responsibility of playing an experienced Blackpool side in the middle of a good run.
Our nerves were settled a little following Luke Beckett's tremendous strike after only two minutes and it was after this that the youngsters showed their future potential with a good team performance through to the break.
After we had enjoyed our half-time pies, the second half was going much the same way until the sending-off of Chris Brandon.
The referee had to send him off but the linesman was guilty of missing the initial foul and suddenly the nature of the game had changed.
However, once again the young players rose to the task and defended soundly when Blackpool put them under late pressure.
This could have been avoided had Worthington not missed a sitter and had McAliskey's penalty been better.
Since his first start only two weeks ago Adnan Ahmed has settled down and looks a great prospect. John McCombe, David Mirfin and, of course, the ever-impressive Nathan Clarke will form the basis of our defence in the future, while Tom Clarke and Michael Collins grew in confidence as the game progressed.
The old saying that the referee had us down for a draw seemed apt when he made the farcical decision to send Mirfin and Clarke (N) to the touchline in the final minute following head injuries. We had to restart with only eight players on the field but held out.
The relief of the fans was audible at the end when a huge cheer went up and the players were rightly applauded as they left the pitch.