WANDERERS’ reserve manager Sam Hird was pleased with his side’s performance in their 2-1 win against Accrington Stanley.

Harry Brockbank and Max Wilcox got on the scoresheet as the Whites’ kicked off their Central League campaign with a victory.

Hird admitted conditions at Hindley Juniors were different but felt his players handled the challenge well.

He said: “I think when we turned up and saw the pitch, it’s obviously got a lot of grass on it but it’s bobbly, it’s hard, it’s dry.

“So we expected it to be a tough game – it’s not exactly the type of pitch we like to play on.

“But I thought in large spells of the first half we played some really good football. We had to battle and work hard, which the lads did.

“In the second half, it got a bit scrappy. But all in all, it’s pleasing to win and get a lot of young lads on the pitch.”

Hird – who played for the likes of Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield - joined Wanderers over the summer, initially to assist boss Ian Evatt with the first team.

He says the addition of the reserve squad will have both immediate and long term benefits for the club.

“I think it’s massively important,” added Hird. “It’s important to realise the reason this team has been set up is fitness for the first team lads who might have been injured or might be on the bench.

“It’s to give them a game if they want a game because some of them have the option. But more importantly, it’s for our young lads, our scholars – to get them used to the way we play.

“Today’s game doesn’t really benefit us as much as I’d like but I can’t fault the lads’ effort and how they applied themselves.

“We played some good stuff in the first half and I thought all in all, considering the pitch, the lads did really well.”

Hird named a strong starting XI featuring the likes of George Thomason, Andrew Tutte, Brandon Comley and summer signing Will Aimson, who stepped up his comeback from injury.

The reserves boss insists having players with experience in men’s football will have a big impact on the younger talent over the coming season.

“It definitely helps to have those experienced players who have played lots of league games,” said Hird.

“And credit to them – they’ve come in and it can be tough coming to places like this as a senior pro, to get your head around that.

“But all of them did fantastically and they set the standard for the young lads. When the young lads come in and see that, they think that’s the level I’ve got to get to.”