Head of Academy Dave Gardiner was delighted to see the B Team start 2024 on a winning note as they grabbed a dramatic late goal to beat Blackpool.
The young Whites overcame the Seasiders 2-1 in their first game in almost a month to register a first win in three games in the Central League this season and move up to fourth place in Group B.
Wanderers trailed to an early goal on a weather-affected playing surface at Bamber Bridge but struck twice after the break through the outstanding Finlay Lockett and defender Yoro’s injury-time strike.
“I think it's a great confidence-booster to get three points,” said Gardiner, who has been overseeing the B Team in tandem with Andrew Tutte ahead of the appointment of a new Head Coach.
“We've gone a long period without games, which have been cancelled for a variety of reasons, so to start the new year with a win hopefully sets us up for a fantastic run of games and we can see how all the players develop.
“We were surprised by the conditions, which were really difficult, but I thought the lads, for the majority of the game, tried to play the way they have been taught and tried to keep possession and dominate the ball.
“They were difficult conditions and I'm really proud of them for sticking to our philosophy. Fair play to the lads, they stuck at it to the end with good perseverance and a bit of fortune, which I thought they deserved, to come away with three points.”
Wanderers had to survive a couple of late scares themselves but also dominated for spells with some decent football and were given a route back into the game by a touch of class from Lockett, who equalised early in the second half.
“Finn was outstanding today,” added Gardiner. “When he's in that type of mood there is no stopping him. He has been out injured for a while so we kept him on for as long as we could and luckily we were rewarded with a great goal.
“We would have liked to have kept him on longer but we need to protect him for the run of games that's coming up.”
The B Team still has seven games to play in the Central League, continuing at home to Wrexham next Tuesday afternoon.