NEW College manager Rob Hopkins stressed that his side’s performance in their 3-0 home defeat to Brimscombe & Thrupp on Saturday was more important than the result.

Hopkins made several changes to his starting line-up for the Hellenic Division One West clash after being left disillusioned by some of his more senior students’ displays of late, and he was pleased by the general reaction of his team against the league champions.

After falling a goal behind in the first half, New College battled hard and provided a stiff test for Brimscombe before running out of steam late on and conceding twice more in the final 10 minutes.

But Hopkins was far from disappointed after the match, saying: “We knew it was going to be a hard game. You can see why they won the league, they’re a good, strong outfit. They’re experienced players – a lot of players are a league, maybe two below where they should be.

“I did mention that we were going to change things around. The older players across all three sides weren’t really hitting the kind of levels we expect from the amount of input they were getting.

“The under 18s performed a lot better going to Poole Town and the side we put out was competitive right down to the last 10 minutes. The first 80 minutes we were right in it.

“All we asked from the players was that they gave us a bit of a shift and a performance and I can’t fault any of their work ethics or commitment on the day. They really put a shift in and all credit to them – that’s what we want.

“We wanted that reaction from them, to put their hands up and say they can hit those kinds of levels. We were competitive right the way up to the 82nd minute and then things started to become a little stretched.

“We started to blow a little bit because they had put a massive shift in all day and space just opened up for them to score a couple of late goals. The result wasn’t important to us.”

Elsewhere in the division, Purton beat Clanfield 1-0 and Cricklade Town saw off Malmesbury Victoria 3-0.