Paul Stancliffe praised the professionalism his side showed in their 1-0 win over Carlisle United.
The U18s kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season as Jack Watson fired the team to victory in their penultimate game in round one of the Youth Alliance Cup.
Stancliffe said: “I was pleased by the result. The second-half made me happier but in the first-half I said to Gary McSheffrey after 20-minutes that I think our problem was we scored too early.
“As daft as that sounds we stopped playing for a bit but before that I was pleased with what we were doing and how we were moving the ball. After we scored we stopped working and the front three became a little bit complacent.
“Second-half there was more effort around the place and when we had to, we defended well. It was a scrappy game but one-nil is always a pleasing result because you have won and kept a clean sheet.”
The manager praised the spirit of his side who kept their discipline during a tough encounter against a side who are performing admirably in their respective division.
He added: “The lads stuck together and fought when they had to and put their necks on the line when they had too – certainly the defensive line did, I thought they were excellent today.
“With the amount of crosses Carlisle put in, we won a lot of balls in the box and Ben Bottomley has made a couple of good saves.
“It is not always going to be pretty football but we have to show the other side and show the character that they want to win.”