The under 18s suffered their second defeat of the season as they let an interval lead slip when they met Reading at Hogwood Park on Saturday.
In coach Mick Halsall’s view, it was very much a case of a game of two halves.
He reflected: “It was good to get back onto the park again after a break last week when our game with Aston Villa was put back.
“We went into this one knowing we were up against a good solid side that, if given opportunity to get at you, would do so and be able to hurt you.
“Our play until shortly before the interval was good and strong and we scored through Ibrahim Keita after a well worked corner in the 36th minute. If Peter Smith had taken a little more care with his earlier shot, which he put over the bar, we could have been two goals to the good.
“But at just one ahead Reading had something of a lifeline which they took although it was more about our team not working hard enough in shape to stop Conor Shaughnessy’s shot from distance after 40 minutes.
“With the game 1-1 at half-time it was a matter of who started the better after the break and to be fair to the opposition it was Reading as they took control and they deservedly went on to win the game 3-1.
“The goals we conceded were poor by our standards and we did not show any real threat up front except for Keita who work tremendously hard with no real quality backing him to give us a platform to work from.
“It is when you are asked to go again in these types of games that you can see the players that may come through. It was a similar situation against West Bromwich when the players showed very good strong qualities but in this game they lacked that extra bit of desire and strength of mind to see things through.”