A depleted Oldham Athletic youth team were beaten 1-0 by Scunthorpe United on Saturday morning.
With Tony Philliskirk having to name seven under 16 players in his team for Saturday’s game, a spirited performance unfortunately ended in defeat.
Scunthorpe scored the only goal of the game just before the half time break but Philliskirk was pleased with his side’s performance.
He said: "I’ve got to be brutally honest, I don’t think we deserved to get beat and I thought we were the better team on the day. It was a poor mistake for their goal but the person responsible knows that.
"Stott had a few chances and so did Glackin. Ty Murphy had a good chance in the second half with a free header but there were so many positives to come out of the game.”
Philliskirk was dealt a blow after the FA Youth Cup game on Wednesday night as it emerged midfielder Alex Read had played over 100 minutes with a snapped cartilage and Brad Kay pulled his hamstring.
With goalkeeper Chris Renshaw also called up for first team duties, that meant Philliskirk had to name a number of under 16s in the matchday squad for the weekend’s game.
“In my 19 years here, I’ve never known a situation like it,” he admitted. “We can hardly train because I’ve only got two outfield players and two goalkeepers because the rest of the players have done a light recovery session today.
"Out of the 15 outfield players, seven have got long term injuries, so that leaves eight available and that includes two goalkeepers. We are analysing what we have done wrong in training but nothing has changed and we have just had bad luck.:
An opportunity has now appeared for the under 16 players to step up and make a good impression.“The under 16s are now going to be elevated and there is no real light at the end of the tunnel for the youth team boys,” he said.
"The lads will be tested now but we have to remember they are schoolboys and having to compete against 18 year olds.
"Usually you are alright to put two or three in but six or seven is a lot and it will be tough for them. We don’t have the luxury of bringing players in so the youngsters will be tested so we’ll see if they can step up to the plate.”