Under-23's 1 week ago

Under-23: Crewe Alexandra 1-4 Watford

By Kevin Affleck

Hayden Mullins knows a thing or two about the art of midfield play so it's worth listening to him when he talks about the role Henry Wise played in the 4-1 Professional Development League win over Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.

The midfielder played a lovely side-rule pass for the first goal, produced a deft touch for the second and then swung over an in-swinging corner for the fourth. Less eye-catching but equally as important was the goal-line clearance he made one minute before joining the counter-attack the next, and then the recovery tackle he made on the Crewe left-back deep in his own half near the end.

"There were some very, very good performances out there today and Henry was one of them," said Mullins of the former Derby midfielder. "He has shown a lot of improvement, he sees a lot of the ball and he likes to pass forward, which is a good attribute. He can play in a pair with him and Callum [Whelan] and then Kaylen [Hinds] as the 10 and then in a three like he did today where he has a bit more license. He can do both and is a good all-round midfielder."

Joseph Hungbo added the garnish at the other end with a crisp finish for the first and then a howitzer for the third. He now has seven for the season ahead of a return to Crystal Palace on Monday.

"He's doing really well and I'm pleased for him as he works really hard," said Mullins of the explosive winger. "His goals and his performances have come through his hard work and it's a good sign for the rest of the team that hard work pays off. We are getting into their head about working hard for the team and that's where a lot of his goals have come from."

Sam Dalby got the second and fourth goals, the first a well-hit one with his left foot that went through the 'keeper's legs and the second a header from a corner. They were the former Leeds man's first goals in a month.

"I'm very pleased for Sam," said Mullins. "He gives us a real different option up there. We can go into him and he is a good team player. I'm glad the big lad is now chipping in with goals as all No. 9s want to score goals. He got two goals but, more importantly, he worked really well for the side."

The goals were just what Mullins was after following the hatful of missed chances at Plymouth in the Premier League Cup last week.

"We were clinical today," said the former Crystal Palace, West Ham and Portsmouth midfielder. "After Plymouth we spoke about being confident and expressing ourselves in the final third and we did that well today. It was a very good, mature performance. To score four goals is good for us. It keeps our run going this year. I've been quite pleased with the boys as they are developing a willingness to learn from what we do in training. We are really trying to push them. The goal we conceded was a negative for us. It was a slip from one of the players, which was a shame, as we would love to have got the clean sheet."

HORNETS: Parkes; Maclean (Spencer-Adams 71), Barrett, Balogun, Zeegelaar; Wise, Whelan (Forster 63), Adebiyi; Bennetts (Hinds 63), Hungbo, Dalby.

Subs not used: White, Conteh.

Ladies 1 week ago

My Matchday: Ryah Vyse

The Golden Girls talk us through their matchday rituals, routines and habits.


Pre Match

I would like to try and make my morning routine sound exciting but it is pretty standard to be honest. I get up, shower, eat and drive to the game...

My Diet

Pre-game of porridge and banana or scrambled eggs on toast depending on what I fancy on the day - or if my bananas are still greenish, I can’t deal with brown mushy bananas. If we are travelling away and have got up early I will have pasta as well (M&S at Cobham services do a lovely spread).

My Journey

I stick my football playlist on, and off I go. Singing isn’t one of my best talents so I’ll have the music up loud enough to drown myself out.

My Music

I listen to a bit of everything really (apart from heavy metal and rock). I made a new football playlist the other day actually that really gets me pumped for the game. It’s got a mix of Fat Joe and Remy Ma, Joel Corry, Drake, Whitney Houston, some house music, basement, you name it. But, if we are travelling away, I will start with some alternative, chill songs to mellow me out and then the last 30 minutes before we get there I will switch it up and put on my football playlist.

 

My Boots

My all-time favourite boots are old-school Predators! For years, I have always had the classic black ‘defender boots’, Copas or Tiempos. However, I got my first ever white boots at the end of last season which I have been wearing the beginning of this year. I got some new black Tiempos the other week, some of the girls commented that I looked weird in black boots. So, now I’m on the white or black boot fence.

My Kit

I love this season’s away kit! I always start off with the socks over the knee but I don’t know why I bother really because they end up falling down after the first jog during the warm-up.

My Superstition

I have always been so superstitious and my superstition often only lasts a season and will change the next. Over the years it’s gone from having to wear the same underwear for gamedays to eating half a snickers bar before every game! The only consistent superstition is that I always put my left sock and boot on before my right. I have got better with them as I have gotten older. When I was younger I would have to have a Lucozade before every game and when I forgot it one time I lost my head and actually made my mum come and bring me one. The Lucozade superstition was creeping back this year but I didn’t have one last week, so I think I have knocked that one on the head!

Post-Match

Post-match debrief is essential! I can talk for England so I will just talk about different parts of the game and how I think it went. On Sundays I will eat whatever I fancy really and dependent on how much I played. Then I normally just go home and wind down and watch Netflix.