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INTERVIEW: John Dempster reacts to Sky Blues U21s win over Reading

Danny Cashman and Harrison Nee were on target for the Sky Blues U21s...

23 August 2022

Sky Blues Senior Professional Development Phase Coach John Dempster was delighted after his side got off to a winning start in the Professional Development League.

City started their defense of the PDL with a 3-0 victory at the Alan Higgs Centre against Reading, thanks to a brace for Danny Cashman and a goal for Harrison Nee.

Looking back on the game following the final whistle, Dempster was pleased with what he saw, in what was a ‘brilliant’ game for his side.

“The players got some good minutes in the tank and there were a lot of experiences to learn from and it was a good start to the season, in what was a brilliant development game for both teams.

“We’re pleased with the clean sheet as always, but I think we rode our luck at times and the Goalkeeper (Luke Bell) has played well and made some good saves, especially for the penalty in the first half.

“It was a key moment in the game because after that we grew into it and started to have more of the ball and there was a lot of quality on show.

“Danny Cashman took his goals brilliantly and Harrison Nee took his goal well which is really pleasing because we want the lads who don’t start to come off the bench and impact the game and the boys did that today.”

Luke Bell was making his debut for the Under-21s after signing his first professional contract for the club during the summer.

The ‘keeper was thrown straight into the action, as he had to be alert to make a fantastic stop from the penalty spot to keep the scores at 0-0 during the first half.

“It was a massive moment.” Dempster said.

“He got a really good hand onto it and it was a good penalty, he struck it really well, so it was brilliant for Belly on his debut to make the save and he grew in confidence.

“Whenever you keep a clean sheet it’s always a team effort and they had some good powerful players and there was a lot of balls that come into the box which Belly had to get and we had to clear.”

There was also an Under-21s debut for Cashman, as he lined-up for the first time since returning from his loan spell with Rochdale last season.

After enduring a difficult pre-season with injuries, Dempster was happy that Cashman was able to get off to a good start and look to put those injuries behind him.

“He’s had a stop-start pre-season and the last few days he has started to train more like he can and you can see when gets on the ball that he’s very creative and he makes things happen.

“He’s mobile and he rats about a lot and he did well, but along with him, Will Bapaga played well, as did Fabio who got two assists today, although he will be disappointed he didn’t get on the scoresheet, he did well.”

City’s next outing sees them head to Charlton Athletic next week, as they look to build on their first win.

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