SWINDON Town assistant coach Scott Marshall felt his inexperienced group did themselves justice after grinding out a 1-0 win against Newport County in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night.

A second-half goal from stand-in captain Jordan Lyden settled the tie in the hosts’ favour and ensured Swindon will play at home in the first knockout round later this month.

The victory was all the more impressive given Town’s defence featured 17-year-old Callum Winchcombe and 18-year-old Harrison Minturn, while Mo Dabre, Harry Parsons, and Alex Gilbert are all yet to reach their 20th birthday.

Only Harry McKirdy and Rob Hunt had made more than 10 starts this season, and Marshall stated how well he felt his young side grasped their opportunity.

He said: “We’re very pleased with the result tonight. There were a lot of pleasing things in there – the performances of the young boys coming in as well as the other boys who maybe haven’t played as many minutes in the league games.

“But they all showed how hungry, competitive, and fit they are. I think they’ll have enjoyed getting that 90 minutes under their belt.

“This is a great competition to give young lads an opportunity to play. We’re able to get to know more of the lads this way, and we’ve included them a lot in the training when the opportunities have presented themselves.”

Minturn and Winchcombe in particular took their chance with both hands as the former played with an assured nature while the latter produced several key blocks to deny 42-year-old Kevin Ellison – a man at the opposite end of his career.

Marshall was reluctant to highlight individuals but praised the entire group for driving each other to succeed.

He said: “It’s not easy to get young lads into the first-team group, but the young lads have come in and done well today.

“They probably enjoyed their first senior experience – as I’ve said, it’s a good competition to do that.

“I think if you use it well, it can help these boys in the future. They’ve all worked hard, and trained well.

“They all drive each other to make sure they’re improving all the time and make sure everyone is ready to take opportunities when they come along.”