TOWN might have lost 2-1, but manager Andy Ritchie found plenty to savour in this week’s reserve match at Stoke.
“It was what I would term a real blood and thunder clash between two sides who both had experienced players and who were both going for it,” he said of the Pontin’s Holidays League Central Division clash at the Britannia Stadium.
“At one time almost all reserve matches were like that, but these days, when shrinking squads mean more sides field young players, the emphasis has changed.
“And up in the Premiership, it’s a completely different kettle of fish, because a lot of the games seem far tamer.
“That can make it hard when you’re going to scout a young player since you don’t tend to get as good an idea of how he might perform at senior level.”
Town, whose goalscorer Andy Booth played the first 45 minutes before giving way to fit-again Luke Malcher, don’t have a second-teanm game next week.
But the academy players are in FA Youth Cup first-round action against Hartlepool at the Galpharm on Wednesday (7.00).
Town’s reserve match at home to Oldham, which was due to take place on Wednesday, December 12, has been switched to Wednesday, March 5 (2.00).