UNITED’S youngsters kicked-off the new Youth Alliance season with a heartbreaking defeat at Swindon Town.
Despite a Danny Sullivan hat-trick and an excellent passing performance, a couple of poor refereeing decisions proved fatal.
“It was an absolutely fantastic game,” said head of youth Geoff Harrop. “We started off so brightly and playing away from home was a big problem for us last season until we won at Yeovil on the final day.
“We had about 20 passes before Swindon even touched the ball and that breeds confidence, but we made one mistake on five minutes and were punished. The boys responded brilliantly and kept to the script, and we were 2-1 ahead at half-time after a penalty and then a really well-worked goal.
“Within five minutes of the second half, we were 3-2 down, the first a poor set-play from us and a penalty, which was a bad decision. I don’t like criticising referees but when you get an apology from the opposition, you know it’s wrong.
“We then lost Jake Hutchings to another awful decision from the referee, as he got a second booking for the goalkeeper kicking the ball against him. We were suddenly 4-2 down with 10 men but came back with another penalty, and a hat-trick for Danny. We deserved a draw and I was very pleased with how we passed the ball.
“I have to also mention great performances on the day from Jack May and goalkeeper Sam Shulberg, who both deserve full credit.”