MARK Beesley was encouraged by what he saw from Warrington Town’s younger players after watching his side progress in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

A largely youthful Town side took the field at Ashville and emerged as 1-0 victors to book their place in the quarter finals of the competition.

Experienced midfielder Jay Harris made his return from injury by playing the first half while Matty Grivosti and Aaron Bennett were the other first-team regulars to be involved, with the latter curling home the game’s only goal on the hour mark.

With the rest of his front-line players given the night off ahead of their clash with National League North leaders Tamworth on Saturday, Beesley handed opportunities to youngsters from the club’s under 21s side and the Robbie Fowler Academy, where he is head of performance.

“It was really good for them all,” he said.

“It was a difficult pitch, very heavy, which was one of the reasons why we couldn’t risk any of the lads who have been playing long minutes.

“Matty and Aaron just needed some top-up minutes and from our point of view, it was good to see Jay Harris back on the pitch.

“It was a good finish from Aaron – it was difficult for him on that pitch but I thought him and Matty showed a good attitude.

“They need to be right because as we all know, we’ve got a small squad and we need them available.

“We’ve had Sam Gill with us all season and he’s getting better and better. With the way he’s training and the minutes he’s getting in these types of games, it’s good for his development.

“Moving forward, we want to get him a few more minutes on the pitch and maybe get him out on loan to play more games, but he’s quite important to us at the moment.

“The likes of him and Deacon Smalley are important to us in and around the first team as we haven’t got big numbers, but we need to be safeguarding the future of the club with these young players.

“I thought the two centre-halves (James Sudworth and Josh Murray) were excellent, Sam was excellent as well as was Harry McVeigh at right-back.

“There are good lads out there and it was a good opportunity to give them a game tonight.”

The sight of Harris – a key member of the side that won promotion last season – back on the pitch would have been heartening for all involved at Town as he completes his recovery from the groin injury he suffered in pre-season.

He was a planned withdrawal after 45 minutes and while Beesley insists they must be careful with him, the manager admits Harris has been chomping at the bit to get involved.

“Jay looks to have come through it okay but with the injury he’s had, we’ll probably have a clearer picture over the next couple of days,” he said.

“We’ll have to manage it – his first step is getting on the pitch and it’s pleasing for everybody to get him to this stage.

“If you asked Ally our physio, she would probably say this game was a bit too soon for him but he wanted to play. He knows his own body.”

Warrington Town: Goudie, McVeigh, Sinnott, Murray, Sudworth, Harris (Smalley), Gill, Bennett (Brooks), Grivosti (Hussein), Blankendale, McCauley (Pile)