JOINT-manager Carl Heeley has hailed debutants Shaun Donnellan and George Cleet as “outstanding” after they helped Worcester City to keep Brackley Town at bay.

Injuries to Wayne Thomas (hamstring), Tom Sharpe (calf) and Alex Gudger (ankle) had left with one fit centre back in Kieran Morris following City’s bruising 1-0 win over Gloucester City on Boxing Day.

But thanks to Matt Gardiner’s contacts at West Bromwich Albion, Heeley said his right-hand man managed to secure the services of Donnellan and Cleet on a month’s loan.

And Heeley was delighted with how the pair, who are both 19, competed against a determined Brackley side who threw everything at Worcester.

“On the face of it, it was very harsh on Kieran Morris,” said Heeley, who dropped the young centre back to the bench.

“But both Shaun and George have been playing regularly together for West Brom under 21s, so we felt that if they were going to come in and play today, they should play together as they know each other’s game and I thought they were outstanding.

“Considering they walked in the changing rooms and met the boys an hour and a half before kick-off, you’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”

He added: “There is a good relationship developing between us and West Bromwich Albion as Matt is good friends with Darren Moore who is in charge of their loan programme for the under 21s, so we are delighted to reap the rewards.

“Darren was brilliant and Matt and Joe Murphy have worked incredibly hard to get the deals done yesterday.

“Matt was a little worried today as we had signed two lads on his say-so, but his judgement was spot on and I trust him.

“We have been working together as a partnership for a long time, so if Matt tells me they’re good enough I believe him and he has been proved right today.”

City struggled to fashion many opportunities against Brackley and needed a superb display from goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan to keep his side in the match.

But Heeley described the draw as a “great point” as he admitted many players were carrying knocks.

“We were really worried about what was going to happen today, so credit to the boys,” he said.

“They have stood up, been counted and they’ve got a hard-earned point.

“We have got Ellis Deeney, Danny Jackman, Connor Gater and Daniel Nti all carrying injuries.

“Lee Hughes couldn’t play so soon after Saturday either, so we asking people like Tristian Dunkley, who has not played a lot of football, to play three or four games back-to-back.

“They looked tired at the end.

“But we will have a good week now, get some rest and come back refreshed with a couple more options for Saturday.”