Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard was disappointed with his side’s 3-0 loss to Leyton Orient at the BreyerGroup Stadium on Saturday.
The defeat ended the young Cobblers’ three-game unbeaten run in the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League Two.
Goddard reflected on an uncharacteristic performance from his team, saying: “I thought we were a bit flat and lacked energy and quality.
“We took too long to get into the game and allowed them the time to dictate it.
“They were very effective, but we played into their hands by giving them too much respect in key moments.
“It was a disappointing performance from us, and we never really settled into our principles.
“We kept turning the ball over far too easily which is disappointing because of where we’ve been at and how we’ve been playing, and it was difficult for us to create any clear-cut chances.
“We had spells at the end of the first half and in the last 10 minutes when we created a couple of openings, but unfortunately it was too little, too late.
“The boys have got to look to thrive when we get the opportunity to play at stadiums, and there was a very similar situation when we went to Stevenage last year and didn’t really get going.
“The disappointment in that aspect is that we’ve not risen to the occasion, but we’ve got to give credit to Orient.”
The youth team host Luton Town in a fortnight. The fixture is their penultimate game of the season.