The Oldham Athletic Youth Team lost out to Burnley U18s on Tuesday afternoon in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup.
The young Latics players put in a decent performance in wet conditions despite the 4-1 scoreline with Lewis McKinney grabbing the only goal.
Head of Coaching Conor Marlin, stepping in for Youth Team Manager Danny Cadamarteri, was proud of the team’s performance on the day.
“The scoreline flattered Burnley, the two late goals make it sound like it was a different story than the actual game.” He said.
“We had an injury in the first 10 minutes, so we had to make a change, but we were very good in the first half.
“We were 1-0 down after seven minutes which was disappointing, but then the performance from then was excellent.
“We should have gone in at half time a couple of goals up, we hit the inside of the post then the outside of the post with a chance.
“Lewis McKinney scored a great goal, so the first half was very pleasing.
“We had to make another change at half time because of an injury, we started a little slow but grew into it as the half went on.
“At 2-1 down we had a really good chance for an equaliser, but we missed it unfortunately then a horrendous refereeing decision made it 3-1 and that was game over.
“There were a lot of good performances overall, we just didn't take our chances.”
The Youth Team had a number of good chances on the day and they were slightly unfortunate to have two goals disallowed for offside.
Marlin believes a bit of luck on the day would have changed things, but there were positives to take for the Academy.
“It was one of them days in front of goal, Junior (Luamba) hits the inside of the post then it hits the goalkeeper then hits the other post and somehow stays out.” He commented.
“It came down to a bit of bad luck on the day and literally a centimetre from us going into half time in front.
“It would have been a different story had we gone in at half time leading because I know their staff were disappointed with their performance, but we were happy with the majority of ours.
“I think it tells a little bit more of the story of the game.”
The Youth Team have been conceding early goals either side of the halves in recent games which is putting a damper on improved performances.
Marlin says that it is something the staff and players must look at going into the next few fixtures.
“We're conceding goals too early in the past few games which is very frustrating.
“As staff and as a group of players we need to try and address that and work on a different strategy to see if we can combat that.
“We're playing some really nice stuff, but we can't give teams a goal lead and expect to come back and win, so a clean sheet is the next objective.”
Next up for the Youth Team is a trip to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday and Marlin is hoping they can get a positive result from the contest.
“I think we just need that clean sheet and some luck in front of goal.
“It's been a small difference between winning, drawing and losing games at times.
“The confidence is high from performance levels because the lads were disappointed but proud of the performance.
“I'm expecting them to apply themselves the same way they did at Burnley and hopefully that leads to a positive result.”
Some more positive news coming out of the Youth Team is that 16-year-old Robert Oseh will be off to a training camp in Nigeria in a bid to make the Nigeria U17s World Cup squad.
Although it will mean a loss to the Youth Team, Marlin believes it is a fantastic opportunity for Oseh and he has the full backing of the staff at Oldham Athletic.
“It's great to have someone involved in international football, if Robert gets to go to the World Cup that would be phenomenal life experience for him.
“It's something we all hope he does, he's been away for a number of weeks, but he was involved against Burnley which was good to see him on the pitch.
“Hopefully we lose him for a positive reason over the Autumn because he'll be playing in South America for the U17 World Cup.”