Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard was disappointed with his side’s 3-1 loss away to Stevenage in the EFL Youth Alliance League South East on Saturday.
Kai O’Keeffe opened the scoring for the young Cobblers, but Boro turned the game around within 10 minutes and sealed three points in the second half.
Speaking after the match, Goddard said: “It was a difficult day for us, and we looked leggy, which is understandable after the week we’ve had.
“We freshened the team up as much as we felt we could, but we never really got going.
“We made the game quite comfortable for Stevenage - they’ve got a clear identity and we didn’t cope with it well enough.
“Our distances were too big at times, we were easy to play through and we gave the ball away too often in transitional phases.
“We didn’t build ourselves a platform to build periods of attack or sustained possession, and we became one-dimensional.
“We found ourselves one-nil up and it should have given us confidence, but we sank back and invited pressure.
“The disappointment is that all three goals we conceded were avoidable.
“We made ineffective decisions at key points, and we didn’t put up as much of a fight as we needed to today.”
Goddard’s team travel to Wellingborough Town in the Northamptonshire FA Under 18s David Joyce Cup quarter final on Tuesday.