Calum McIntyre was left a proud man after watching Chester FC ’s youth team book their place in the National League U19 Alliance Cup.
The young Blues beat their Boreham Wood counterparts 4-1 yesterday at the Cheshire Sports Club in Upton.
Dion Jones opened the scoring on the half hour mark when he headed home an Alex Downes cross.
And the Blues turned the screw after the break when Cain Noble lashed home from inside the box just two minutes after the break.
The Wood tried to hit back but that created space for the Blues to stretch them on the break and a quick counter saw Iwan Murray beat his man before slamming home a right-footed effort.
And the game was put beyond any doubt on 66 minutes when Murray caused problems and Ryan Dobson was denied before Noble slotted home the fourth.
Wood did get one back with 16 minutes remaining through Bradley Sachs but they couldn’t muster any more and Iliman Ndiaye saw red for a second bookable offence in added time as Chester held out for a final spot and keep themselves on course for silverware.
And academy head coach McIntyre – who is also taking charge of the first team’s final three games of the season following manager Marcus Bignot’s sacking – said he was ‘delighted’ after his young side overcame the Wood, whose pedigree he highlighted.
“To offer some context that’s a really young group of players for us that have played against in my opinion the best side we’ve faced all season,” he said.
“In terms of their performance last season, they’re regarded as the best in the country at this level.
“For them to have done what they’ve done in the national play-off competition and be runners up in this competition last year is immense for us to have gone out and competed. I thought we were top drawer.
“There were really nervy moments towards the end when they’ve pulled one back with 15 to go, but it’s been massive for us this competition all season.
“Everyone knows what’s gone on at the football club, we’ve had a difficult year on the pitch, off the pitch.
“These boys are just unbelievably proud to play for the football club, the way they represent each other, the way that they’re proud to back each other and back the football club.
“For us to be in a national final with a club of our resource and our group of players, I’m so pleased for them and utterly proud of them.”
McIntyre will take his side to the Banks’s Stadium in Walsall next month, where they will take on FC Halifax Town.
And though the academy head coach is aware of the tests his side will face before then, he wants his players to enjoy the moment
“We’ll recognise an unbelievable achievement and prepare for the final,” he said.
“I think we’ve got in and around 12 games to go in terms of other competitions that’ll be immensely difficult for us.
“We’re going to make sure these players enjoy this feeling and make sure they’re rewarded for an unbelievable cup run.
“I’m utterly delighted for everyone involved at the club and we cannot wait to get to Walsall now.
“I absolutely cannot wait, hopefully we take a little bit of a following with us, but I’m ecstatic for the lads.”