Robins Youth: We'll learn from mistakes as Swindon clashes await
Robins Youth in focus with Russell Milton:
OUR fourth game in the South West Youth Alliance League ended in a 4-2 defeat away against local rivals Oxford.
It wasn't expected to be an easy game, as suggested in last week's column, and this proved the case.
This was further impacted by us not playing particularly well and gifting them two goals in the process.
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We started well in the opening minutes but fell behind when our opponents scored two goals in three minutes, to an uncontested header from a free-kick and through catching us on the counter-attack for the second.
We then upped our game and got back in it with a goal just before half-time, Zack Kotwica with a volley at the far post.
More experienced players probably would have seen the half out and gone in 2-1 down, but we sloppily conceded right on half-time to go in with a two-goal deficit.
The loss of influential midfielder Adam Powell to a late challenge after 20 minutes didn't help matters, but a reshuffle at half-time meant a more controlled second half, with another finely taken goal from Kotwica seeing us end up on the losing side for the second time this season.
Big plusses from the game were the second-half display from first year scholar keeper Harvey Rivers, who saved a penalty and two further one-on-ones, and the all-round performance of midfielder Harry Williams, who was excellent in the number ten role just behind Lewis Morana.
Since we started in July, Cheltenham boy Harry has played at centre-back, the holding role in midfield and now the more advanced role in there too.
An intelligent player with two good feet and an eye for goal, Harry is the type of player any manager would love as he can play in a few positions and look comfortable in every one.
I know the lads were disappointed with their performance and I am sure lessons will be learnt from this game.
Today we play Swindon at home from 11am at Seasons in what will be an equally tough encounter for the first of two games in three weeks against the Wiltshire Robins.
I know Swindon coach Paul Bodin will have them ready for this and it will be important for us to start well and lay down a marker for the rest of the game, and indeed for the one in the League Cup two weeks after.
This game sees the end of the three-week trial period for second year Exeter scholar Morana.
Hopefully a deal can be done to keep him here for the remainder of his scholarship till next May as he has proved a welcome addition to the squad , and a player the type of which we don't have.