SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens revealed he almost did not play Sol Pryce on Tuesday night after the young striker inspired a 3-2 victory at home to Stevenage in League Two.

Pryce marked his first senior start with a goal inside 18 seconds at the Energy Check County Ground and then got a second in first-half stoppage time.

The 18-year-old was only playing due to suspension and injury respectively to Town’s two senior strikers, Marc Richards and Elijah Adebayo.

Post-match, Wellens admitted he almost changed his mind about handing Pryce a maiden first-team start, but was ultimately delighted he stuck to his guns.

“We played a friendly last Tuesday and Sol was a threat,” said Wellens.

“The options were to put Keshi Anderson up front and bring Jermaine McGlashan in, but I think Keshi and Scott Twine look a threat coming in off the line, so I didn’t want to disrupt two or three positions when I could only disrupt one.

“I decided on Monday that I was going to go with Sol. We did a bit of shape work and it went OK, then we did five-a-side and his body language wasn’t great.

“He is not great trainer, so I nearly changed my mind before the game, but thankfully I went with him and it is brilliant for the lad.

“He is a local boy and it is a brilliant story.”

Town looked a cut above Stevenage throughout the contest, having led 3-1 at the break after Scott Twine also struck early for the hosts.

However, the visitors pegged them back late in the contest and Wellens was delighted with the battling qualities his young side showed to grind out the result.

“There was some brilliant football, brilliant movement and good goals – when it is 3-1, I’d like us to go and get four or five,” said Wellens.

“Is that being greedy? Maybe, but I thought the way the game went we should have been out of sight.

“We just ran out of legs. For the last 25 minutes, the energy had gone and we couldn’t get out. We had to change to a back five because of the sheer physicality.

“We are asking them to do a lot and these young lads aren’t used to doing that for 90 minutes.

“That is something we will work on, but I think everyone could see there was some really good things happening tonight.

“As a manager in the last 10 minutes, you can’t really do anything. You can shout and bawl, but tactics and shape go out of the window – it’s just defend and put your body on the line and I think they did that.”