SAM Rose believes that the performance against Mansfield Town in the Youth Alliance Cup was not reflected in the 3-1 defeat.
Albion were again beaten by three Stags goals, while Kyle Clamp managed to pull one back for the Brewers with 20 minutes to go. The under 18s dominated much of the second-half and went close on multiple occasions to reducing the deficit.
Rose admits that the team never want to lose matches but feels that the overall performance was something that will give the team some positives going forward.
He said: “We have said to the lads ‘if you play like we did in the second-half, with that much confidence, to the level and tempo that we did then you will create chances and beat teams.’ But the game is gone by half-time, because a team like Mansfield will make it difficult to score goals.
“We are really disappointed to concede three. We worked before the game on different ways to make it difficult for the opposition to create chances at set pieces, holding a higher line from free-kicks, organisation at corners, but the goals came from the second phase in those situations and that’s disappointing. We didn’t do the basics of defending against a direct team.
"We had lots of the ball and it really was two contrasting teams. We are trying to play football and we want our players to be comfortable with the ball and to be purposeful with the ball. We have played a team who we knew would set-up for set-pieces, to win free-kicks around the box but again we haven’t managed to deal with that.
“It is not a criticism of the opposition, but if our boys are going to develop then they need to be better with the ball to break down teams that are happy to sit in and be able to defend set-pieces against direct teams.
The fixture was moved to The Impact Arena by the Brewers Academy staff, and to an evening kick-off from the traditional morning kick-off times, to provide a different match experience for the players involved.
Rose and Young Brewers Kyle Clamp and Callum Hawkins think that the experience of playing in different competitions and environments will only benefit the players in their development.
“We made a point last season of trying to get something different for the lads in this competition. I think we have achieved that tonight and we have to thank Alfreton Town and particularly Andrew Raisin for their efforts to put the game on. The surface and hospitality was very good. It is an experience that the boys will learn from. We’re looking forward to hosting Grimsby Town here in November.”
Kyle Clamp made it two goals in just five days when he scored last night, and the forward believes the experience of playing in a stadium was a good one.
He said: “As a team, we played really well. The result was unfortunate but the way we played in the second-half was positive. As a team, we missed a few chances to get back into the game.
“It is a nice stadium, a nice pitch. There were a few people here so we had to control the nerves. That is good practice for any of us breaking into the first-team, because there will always be fans there.”
Callum Hawkins already has experience playing in front of crowds from his loan spell at Gresley last season. The goalkeeper has offered some advice to the other players in the under 18s about how to deal with the new situation.
He said: “The experience of playing in the cup at Alfreton has helped everybody. This competition and the FA Youth Cup will help everybody.
“It is a strange one because people will feel nervous, you will get the butterflies when you start. You have just got to build yourself up into the game, especially with a crowd. When you let pressure get to you then you start making mistakes. This experience is key.”