SWINDON Town U18s returned to winning ways in the Youth Alliance League on Saturday with a 3-2 success at home to their Yeovil Town counterparts at the weekend.

Jordan Edwards struck twice for Alan McLoughlin’s side, while Luke Haines was also on target at Stanley Park in Chippenham as Town climbed to second in the South West Division table.

The result was the perfect answer to the U18s’ 4-1 loss away at Newport County the previous weekend, which had been just their third defeat of the campaign.

Manager McLoughlin said: “It was a very competent performance.

“We have changed formation recently to a 4-3-3 and struggled for the first couple of games but on Saturday, we really hit the ground running against a decent Yeovil team.

“Overall, I am very happy as right from the first whistle, we were at it. We could have had a couple more goals as well as we missed one or two chances.

“The players gave 110 per cent from the word go and that’s all you can ask.

“They knew they had to respond from a disappointing performance the week before and I was delighted with the attitude and the way they went about the game plan.”

McLoughlin’s tweak in formation in recent weeks is part of his ongoing process to expand his youngsters’ education of the game as although positive results are important, they will always play second fiddle to player development.

“It’s important the players listen to how I would like them to play and the intensity as well,” said McLoughlin.

“They are young players so sometimes they get carried away. We want them to be creative, we want them to express themselves but they also have to understand they have to play within a team format and a team shape.

“We change our formation every six weeks and we make sure the players, whether it be good, bad or indifferent, persevere with it.

“It’s something I actively encourage because it is good for the players’ development and when they step into the first-team arena it is not going to be alien to them.

“We are in a learning environment and I want the players to understand the complexities of changing formations. The only way you can have a grounded learning experience is for the players to have a whole range.

“We have got a great record this year. We have won 11, drew one and lost three of our competitive games and although we want a winning mentality, we will sacrifice that to make sure the players develop properly.”

Town resume battle with recent conquerors Newport on Saturday then they take on the Exiles at the County Ground in the first round of the FA Youth Cup (kick-off 1pm).