TOBY Holland’s late strike earned Swindon Town Under 18s a timely three points in their latest Youth Alliance South-West fixture against Forest Green Rovers in Cirencester this morning.

Town led 3-1 at half-time thanks to first half strikes from Sonny Haynes and Harry Parsons – who netted a brace.

But Rovers thought back and were quickly level upon the game’s resumption.

Late appeals for a handball inside the penalty area were turned down by the referee, but David Farrell’s youngsters got their rewards at the death when Holland struck on the counter to lift Town onto 11 points from seven fixtures.

Reacting to the win, Farrell said he was pleased by the youngsters’ response to last weekend’s disappointing performance against Portsmouth at Stanley Park, which ended in a 4-1 loss.

He added: “Forest Green are very good with the ball, they’re very patient – that’s the way they play.

“At times, they dominated possession and we had to put in a couple of good blocks at the end defensively.

“We should’ve taken more care of the ball when we did win the ball back because it is hard to sit in throughout the game.

“But we showed the quality we possess on the break, Toby Holland’s goal at the end proves that.

“We’ve got a lot of first year players that are having to learn the game very quickly, and that’s par-for-the-course.

“I was looking for a better performance today after last week, and we were 30 or 40 per cent better – no question. The result looks after itself when you do that.”

Later on in the game, Rovers appeared to be the team most likely to snatch a late winner.

But their attacking philosophy backfired as Town broke on the counter three times – the last of which resulted in the match-winning goal.

Holland strike will serve as a huge confidence boost ahead of Tuesday’s Youth Alliance Cup second round tie away at Oxford United (1pm).

“They threw everything at the end of the game to win it, and it left gaps for us which we could counter on,” said Farrell.

“That’s how we got the goal, and we could’ve scored a couple more even before that.

“After last week, I’m very pleased.”