Town U18s Manager Alan McLoughlin was proud of his players’ efforts during their 3-1 defeat to QPR in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday.
The young Reds were much the better side in the first-half but were undone by two set-pieces after the break and bowed out of the competition as a result.
“The players are obviously disappointed but it was a fantastic first-half. I thought we dominated the game despite QPR being a Category Two club with lots of financial backing,” he said.
“I thought we matched them toe-to-toe and the stats probably show that we were ahead possession wise.
“The first goal was a silly one to give away. It was our throw-in and we lost the ball and got punished, but it was a great double save by Archie Matthews who hadn’t trained with us since the AFC Sudbury game.
“It was great credit to him and it is wonderful for the football club moving forward that we have a 16-year-old who can come in and perform to that standard.
“I’m really proud of the players for how they tried to play on Tuesday and how they tried to move the ball around.
“We looked very organised in the first-half but we probably overpraised them at half-time because they looked a little bit lacklustre in the opening twenty minutes of the second-half and just allowed QPR a little bit more possession.
“We did get back into the game in the first-half thanks to a fantastic cross from Jordan Young and a good header from Christian Frimpong from close-range and I felt at half-time we thoroughly deserved to come in level.
“We had to change Mason Hathaway at half-time, he picked up a calf injury and we then gave away a penalty.
“I’m obviously disappointed and the players are disappointed but I can’t fault the effort and the commitment.
“Any Swindon Town fan at the game would have been proud and we more than matched QPR on the night.
“We move on to the next game against Bournemouth, which is a league game and we will change it around and bring some fresh legs in.”