Iron manager Mark Robins praised the young duo of Kyle Wootton and Hakeeb Adelakun for their impact on Tuesday.The academy products stepped off the substitutes’ bench to make second-half cameos which saw them claim a vital point against Port Vale.
The score finished 1-1 at Glanford Park and the pair combined as Wootton headed home Adelakun’s cross for a last-gasp equaliser, which was also his first goal in professional football.
Adelakun’s lively impact started in the 54th minute, as he replaced Kevin van Veen, while Wootton was sent on by the manager with 26 minutes left on the clock in place of Theo Robinson. Manager Robins revealed to Radio Humberside that he told the young forward to “go make a name” for himself, which he certainly did.
The alterations came after United failed to take their chances and Robins told The Iron Player: “We made those changes and Hakeeb put in a great ball for Kyle and you are looking for a bit of movement and a quality ball in and Hakeeb put a few of them in there.
“Neal (Bishop) missed one and you would back him all day long and he has not done that, he is devastated with himself because he beats himself up about it. He got contact on it and tried so hard to put it in the net but he snatched at it.
“For the second ball that came in - Kyle’s movement was outstanding, for a young lad, he got himself free and found himself in acres of space. It is so easy to miss and he kept his head and planted it in the middle of the goal and I am delighted for him.”
Robins was critical of his side for not taking their opportunities before Wootton’s goal, but he was pleased with some of his side’s creativity.
He said: “In the midst of that, we had some good quality chances created and in the end an 18-year-old lad has got on the end of another 18-year-old’s cross.”
It was Wootton’s 12th senior appearance and, when asked whether the two youngsters have given him something to think about ahead of Saturday’s trip to Colchester, Robins added: “Absolutely, it is always good to see young players coming into the team and making a contribution to the result and they have done themselves no harm, I am delighted, they were very good.”