Josh Walker finished off a quick counter-attack to put the Cottagers into a 14th-minute lead at the Training Centre and, after the same player missed a penalty early in the second half, the visitors were able to extend their advantage later in the game through Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson and Stephen Humphrys.
Reflecting on our first defeat of the season in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League, Kieran said our young side found it tough to break down a resilient Fulham defence.
“In the first half I thought we played pretty well in our general build-up play and dominated the possession, but then we got caught by a good counter-attack,” said our Under-18s Coach.
“It was the type of game where the first goal was very important. After that, Fulham were able to defend in numbers and make it really hard for us to break them down and unfortunately we weren’t good enough to get through – we didn’t have enough quality or enough ideas and we left ourselves a little bit open for them to counter attack against us in the second half.”
We finished the match with three Under-16s players on the pitch, Jon Dinzeyi impressing on his Under-18s debut at centre-half, while Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Nya Kirby stepped off the bench to take up duties in midfield during the second period – the latter also making his debut at this level.
In spite of the youthful set-up, Kieran underlined how there remains room for improvement on the whole team’s part in the coming weeks.
“I thought Jon Dinzeyi came out in credit in his first appearance at this level,” he added. “He’s still learning the position of centre-half so he did well but, although we finished with a very young side out there, we still expect the players’ performance levels to be higher than what they were today.”