Kirkley & Pakefield boss praises youngsters after Hadleigh win

Paul Tong.

Paul Tong. - Credit: Archant © 2012

KIRKLEY & Pakefield boss Paul Tong heaped praise on his young side after their thrilling 4-3 win at home to Hadleigh on Saturday.

Scott Woodcock gave the Royals a dream start before Ross King made it 2-0 in a bright opening and, despite the visitors pulling one back through Ollie Kanfer, Kyle Baker made it 3-1 before half-time from the penalty spot.

Hadleigh rallied in the second half to make it 3-3 but Tong was proud of the way his side kept their composure, which was rewarded when Baker got the winner with his second of the afternoon.

'We missed a couple of chances and let them back into it but we didn't panic and I thought we deserved the win,' said Tong. 'To be honest I didn't think 3-1 was going to be enough and told the lads that. To be fair to Hadleigh they rallied in the second half but we stood strong and I'm really proud of what these young lads are achieving.

'It was a really good team performance and great to do it in front of our own supporters because we haven't done that enough this season.

'The lads are young and still learning the game. I can't praise them enough for what they have done. Of course it's still a work in progress but to have six youth teamers in the first team means we must be doing something right as a club.'

Tong dedicated the win to general manager Harry Goldspink as he looks to build a Kirkley side capable of making progress each season.

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'That result was for Harry – he's been through a difficult time recently but hopefully that result put a smile on his face,' added Tong.

'He has stuck by us through thick and thin – we are actually really lucky in these difficult economic times that sponsors have stuck by us and we really appreciate their support. Every little bit helps.'

Kirkley are without a game this weekend but travel to lowly Wivenhoe on Tuesday.

'I don't know who will be available yet because it's a very long trip for us on a Tuesday night and the youth team have got a big game as well coming up,' said the Kirkley chief. 'Wivenhoe are fighting for their lives and it's not going to be an easy game.'

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