We took the boys to the Portrush the previous night, just to have a walk and change their environment rather than stay in the campus. We had one injury that we picked up: Jordan Young had a tight groin and wouldn't be risked in the final. Apart from that we were all ok and looking forward to the game.
Swindon kicked off against Everton with both teams trying to pass the ball and gain some possession-based control. The game just seemed to be well balanced until Everton were given a penalty for handball on defender Mason Hathaway. The penalty was brilliantly saved by Swindon 'keeper Declan Lehmann. Swindon had a few chances, with Jordan Morris getting the better of his full back and producing some good crosses but just evading the strikers.
We went into the break 0-0 and I made two changes: Ullas Akkus and Harry Hillerby replaced Sam Beaumont and Jayden Mitchell respectively. I just reiterated to the players that we will continue to get chances and someone would be a match winner in here and it was a case of who it would be.
The second half started and we started well. We were awarded a penalty shortly after the re-start. Scott Twine took the responsibility and stroked the ball home to the 'keeper's left to put us 1-0 up. Ullas Akkus then gave a foul away on the edge of the box. Everton delivered the ball and the defender headed past 'keeper Lehmann to make it 1-1. The second half was mostly controlled by Everton: they passed the ball better at times and although we kept our shape, we were maybe a little too deep at times. However, we made a break-through with a corner on 52 minutes. Callum Gunner took the corner: another special one off the training ground with a double dummy, resulted in Albi Hopkins drilling past the Everton 'keeper to make it 2-1. Everton then gambled and went for it, which played into our hands, as a headed clearance from Callum Gunner was met by Jordan Morris. He passed left to Sol Pryce who found himself in a one-on-one situation. He out-muscled his opponent to slot below the advancing 'keeper to make it 3-1 to Swindon.
We fly back from Ireland tomorrow morning and will be parading the trophy at a home game soon. I would like to thank the Swindon Town Supporters Club, M4 Sales and Van Centre, all the players, staff, and the traveling parents for their support for the team during the week.
Swindon: Declan Lehmann, Jack Stanley, Jordan Morris, William Christopher, Mason Hathaway, Callum Gunner, Albi Hopkins, Sol Pryce, Sam Beaumont, Scott Twine, Jayden Mitchell
Subs: Harry Hillerby, Ullas Akkus, Alex Hallett, Aaron Holloway, Luke Haines, Ollie Rejek.