Forest Green Rovers U18s fell to a high scoring 5-3 defeat at home to Yeovil Town U18s in the Youth Alliance League.
Goals from Daniel Ogunleye, Dan Jones and Under 16 Alessandro Pierpoint made this game a competitive contest at the Royal Agricultural University.
Despite slipping to defeat, there were plenty of positives for boss Hannah Dingley.
“It was a disappointing result”, said Dingley.
“We went into the game with a couple of challenges. A couple of the lads were sick, so Luke Hallett was playing at centre half and he is naturally a centre forward. We also had Owen Orford who is a right back, playing centre half.
“It showed defensively – with the goals we conceded. But we talked here about wherever you play at whatever position you play, you still have to have that desire to win the ball, the desire to work and desire to run back.
“I think they were better at that than us on the day.”
The windy conditions made it a difficult afternoon for Rovers to find their attacking fluency.
“It was horrendous. It makes it really difficult to play. The ball was up in the air a lot as well which made it a lot more unpredictable.
“It was a challenge for them, but it doesn’t excuse the players from working hard and having that desire.”
At 5-1 down, it seemed like the score would only get worse for Rovers. But a change back to the normal system was the key to making the match more competitive in the second half.
“I was definitely proud of the fightback the boys showed. We changed shape to try a match them a little bit, but it didn’t work.
“So, when we made a change to our normal system- the boys looked a lot more comfortable and as a result were better going forward.
“Them taking their centre forward off made a big difference to the game because they were a real threat. When they won possession back, those two forwards were causing us multiple problems. But when they took them off- we controlled the ball a lot more.”