U18’s Manager Alan McLoughlin hailed the efforts of his players after their 3-2 victory at home to Portsmouth on Saturday morning.
Goals from Tommy Ouldridge, Jordan Simpson and Sol Pryce gave the young Reds a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time at Stanley Park and, although they allowed their guests back into the game, they saw out the remainder of the game to continue their recent good form.
“The first-half was probably as well as we have played all season and we were 3-0 up at half-time,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“Tommy Ouldridge scored a great goal, Sol Pryce deserved his goal for his performances recently and Jordan Simpson scored a great goal as well.
“I was delighted at half-time and we spoke about how we have a tendency to take our foot off the gas and not start the second-half well and allow teams back into the game.
“That’s exactly what happened and we didn’t play with the same intensity, we didn’t play with the same drive, we didn’t move the ball around quick enough and we allowed Portsmouth back into the game.
“It was only the second time we had conceded from a corner all season and it was poor marking at the far post where we are generally very strong.
“That was really the start of Portsmouth coming back into the game but we still had moments in-between where we could have killed the game off and it should have been 7-1 at half-time and it should have been 12-4 at full-time given the chances that were created.
“Again, although we were clinical in the first-half, we weren’t clinical in the second-half and we didn’t get the job done and see them off.
“Even at 3-0 you are still vulnerable and the boys knew they had to go out and perform at the same intensity and they didn’t do it, so that is the learning curve for them.
“I could have quite easily changed formation to see the game out but I was more than confident if we performed well that we could go on and score more goals, but because they performed so poorly I was quite happy for them to carry on and solve it themselves.
“They have to take the initiative and sometimes they don’t do that well enough. They are sometimes found wanting when things go against them and that is the reason why we’ve not won the league.
“We’re going to finish inside the top three or four but I’m disappointed that we’ve not won the league.
“However, over the last twelve games we’ve only lost three so I’ve been very pleased with the players and they now understand what I’m all about as a coach and what I want and expect from them to become professional footballers.”