ALAN McLoughlin was pleased with his Swindon Town U18s side after they earned a 1-1 draw against Portsmouth on Saturday.

The two teams played out a goalless first half at Stanley Park before Oliver Rejek broke the deadlock to hand Town the lead.

That was shortlived, however, as Pompey retaliated with a goal of their own through Dan Smith, in what was a positive performance according to the former Town midfielder.

“If I am honest, I was pretty pleased with the performance,” said McLoughlin.

“Considering we played a strong Portsmouth side with eight second-year scholars, whereas we only had four, it was a good draw.

“It was a fairly even first half, although Portsmouth probably slightly shaded it in terms of possession.

“We were certainly the better team offensively and we got ourselves into some good positions.”

Despite their strong start to the second half, McLoughlin says his players need to up their game, after wasting a number of opportunities.

“The final ball, the final shot and the final cross weren’t quite up to the standards that we set,” he added.

“We didn’t panic and in the first 20 minutes of the second half, we really took the game to Pompey.

“We got ahead and then we should have got another two or three goals.

“The game should have been put to bed but it wasn’t due to a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing.

“Credit to Pompey, they got back in the game but I was a little bit disappointed with the goal we conceded.

“Overall, the players know they have to tidy up their game and decision making.

“To be able to compete and be above a team like Portsmouth in the league table, I am really happy with how the boys are doing.”