Classy kids warm the hearts of fans

Conor Dimaio (right) impressed against Rotherham United in midweek � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Conor Dimaio (right) impressed against Rotherham United in midweek � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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There’s not much that gives football fans as warm a feeling as seeing home-grown youngsters progressing to the first team.

For around 20 minutes on Tuesday United’s midfield was manned by three under-18s who all looked comfortable and confident on the ball.

It is often said that there is too much emphasis on strength and power in kids’ football, whereby a big, fast 12-year-old is always preferred to a smaller, more skilful boy of the same age.

The problem is that by 17 the big lad has been caught up by everybody else and the skilful lad has already given up the game.

The three players who performed so well prove that United don’t follow that route.

Conor Dimaio rarely misplaced a pass, Otis Khan gave the best right back in the division a hard time and Louis Reed looked equally adept with either foot.

Finally, a word on the penalty decisions. I can’t comment on Rotherham’s two claims because they were 120 yards away.

However, when a defender is specifically warned not to cling on to an opponent he is a fool to continue to do so.

Such holding goes on dozens of times each game but if the referee has his eye on you surely more care is warranted.

This is the same Mike Dean who gave two penalties in our game against Blackburn in 2006 for the same thing. He has previous.

Steve Evans (left) should have been aware of Dean’s reputation and warned his players; knowing a referee is part of a manager’s job.