B team head coach Neil MacFarlane felt his side’s performance against IF Elfsborg in Portugal didn’t deserve the final scoreline.
The Swedish side recorded a 4-1 win over the young Bees but MacFarlane believes the performance level wasn’t quite represented in the overall score.
Discussing the defeat against the Allsvenskan club, MacFarlane said: “I think it’s a very harsh scoreline on our players. We put a lot into the game and I thought that out of possession we were very good. We gave up very few chances from open play against a really good side. Our out of possession work has allowed us to have a platform within the games and I felt we were a threat in the first half too. We had a couple of really good opportunities to score, and I thought it was a very even game for the first 60 minutes.”
Elfsborg opened the scoring with a strike from distance before they doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Alex Gilbert halved the deficit before the Bees were undone by a set piece. The fourth goal then came from an effort from wide which was seemingly a cross but ended up in the top corner of Roco Rees’s goal.
He continued: “These were key moments that have taken the game away from us today but in terms of the way we went about our business, for the second time in Portugal in a month, it’s been exemplary from our young players.
“These teams are a step closer to their season so again it’s another test but the five games, the three in the Atlantic Cup and the two here (v Breiðablik and Elfsborg), have really battle hardened our young players and given them such stiff tests. They’ve risen to the occasion and been competitive and I think for us to be competitive against this level of opposition tells you how far we’ve come.”
The B team now turn their attentions to a match with Arsenal Under-21s in the Premier League Cup on Monday 13 March. MacFarlane hopes as many people as possible can head down to the VBS Community Stadium (Sutton United) to support the young group in the quarter-finals of the competition.
He explained: “The players deserve it for the season they’ve had. It’s been outstanding, the level of opposition that we’ve come up against is improving these players. If you take the Premier League Cup in isolation, for us to perform in our first season in it and have such a mouth-watering game to look forward to is something our staff and players are really excited about. Hopefully people can get down there, it’s a great platform for the players and we can’t wait.”