SWINDON Town U18 manager Alan McLoughlin says his side were handed a ‘slap in the face’ after surrendering their perfect start to the season in a 2-0 defeat away to Yeovil Town on Saturday.

Going into the game, McLoughlin’s youngsters were sitting proudly on top of the Youth Alliance League South West table after opening the campaign with four straight wins.

However, the Glovers threw the form book out of the window to take all three points courtesy of goals from Nestor Sakoand Jack Rice-Lethaby in the second half.

McLoughlin said: “We had an U16s player in central midfield who did very well and we had a couple of senior players not available.

“That wasn’t too helpful for us, we had to change one or two people’s positions around but generally it was a difficult week.

“Quite a lot of the scholars trained with the first team in preparation for their game at the weekend, but unfortunately for me, being selfish, I didn’t have a structured week as normal.

“It was a little bit off of the cuff on Saturday, the players have struggled a couple of times away from home, we had a slow start against Portsmouth and at Exeter City.

“All the little horrible things that you have to do, like getting on the bus early and being out of their comfort zone, they haven’t got to grips with yet. “I think the players had a bit of a negative spin on it, before they got to the game. Even one or two silly things like shirt numbers.

“Just little things that are fairly unprofessional. They stuck to the game plan in the first (half), it was 0-0 at half-time.”

McLoughlin also says their good start may have proved detrimental to cause as the U18s boss claims the youngsters didn’t think they would have to work too hard to claim a fifth successive win.

“We played a very strong, robust, tall Yeovil team and I think the boys had a little bit of arrogance as well,” he added.

“Winning four games on the spin I think they thought they could rock up off of the mini bus and win the game.

“That proved to be a slap in the face for them and rightly so, I thought Yeovil deserved the victory in the end, they were more persistent than we were.”

Swindon’s youngsters will hope they can get back to winning ways at the first time of asking this weekend, when they host Cheltenham Town.

SWINDON Town will begin the 2017-18 Central League season at home following the release of the league’s fixtures yesterday.

Town have again entered a development side into the competition and kick-off the new campaign against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday, October 24.

That is the first of three fixtures in 2017 before the league really gets into full swing in the new year.