LAST week the academy had their first competitive fixture of the season in the FA Youth Cup.

Unfortunately, it was not the result that the players wanted or deserved as we lost after extra-time.

During the 90 minutes, the young side played with great energy.

They could and should have been four or five goals up before a cruel equaliser in injury-time, scored from a direct free-kick from 30 yards, took the game to an extra 30 minutes.

After falling behind midway through the first half of extra-time, the side remained patient and positive and controlled the game.

A very dominant second half saw us equalise immediately after the restart and then take the lead shortly after.

Chances came and went for the remainder of the game, but what should have been a comfortable win ended in disappointment.

The amount of energy and effort that was put into the first 90 minutes was ultimately the players’ downfall.

They looked very tired throughout extra-time and unfortunately went down 4-2.

On the same day, the new under-21 team played Dartford.

They put in a very encouraging performance against a strong Dartford side that contained a few first-team players and some handy trialists.

We played some excellent football in good areas of the pitch and had the better chances in the game.

It was great to see our third-year players equip themselves well against such a tough opposition and provide a constant threat throughout.