Young Robins Lose To RoversCheltenham Town U18's fell to defeat away at Bristol Rovers in the EFL Youth Alliance Southwest Division on Saturday morning despite a positive first half display.
Jacob Nutting netted Cheltenham's only goal when he finished well after a fine run from midfield, but goals from James Spruce, Jordan Carey and a double from Lewis Ellington sealed victory for Rovers.
Despite it being a fifth straight defeat for the young Robins, manager Ashleigh Hopkins remained upbeat with his side's performance.
"We are certainly riding a roller coaster at the moment, with lots of ups and downs," said Hopkins.
"We had a great first half performance and Bristol Rovers found it hard to break us down.
"The team went into the break with a positive attitude but it was a game of two halves.
"Rovers finally took the lead early in the second half and there were a comedy of individual defensive errors on our part."
Three U16's players featured for the Young Robins as Hopkins looked to expose them to the tempo and physicality of U18's football.
"It was a great learning curve for these young players in order to get them ready for next season," said Hopkins.
"It's very difficult at the moment as we are playing a lot of teams with many second year scholars, which makes a huge difference at Youth Alliance level.
"We currently have five second year scholars, with most teams fielding at least 10-11 second years."
There is good news on the injury front though, as Hopkins revealed that goalkeeper Ross Grimshaw is back in training and could play by Christmas after breaking his wrist earlier on in the season against Exeter City.
Cheltenham Town U18's are back on the road next weekend away at Plymouth Argyle.