Academy Manager Antoine Thompson praised the work-rate and endeavour of his young Robins as they finished the year with a narrow 2-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon Reserves in London on Tuesday afternoon.
The home side featured a number of full-time professionals – including Ghana international Kwesi Appiah as he returns to full fitness – for the Central League encounter.
But the Robins, who fielded a team full of young Academy talent, pushed the hosts all the way before two goals from Levi Shango won it for the Dons.
“We are happy with the display. It was a youth team against senior pros so we have got to be pleased with the performance,” said Thompson.
“The work-rate was certainly there from the players and we were very committed. We made it difficult for them.
“As a young team, our quality could have been better at times and maybe we would have got in and scored a goal or two. But I am happy overall with the performance.
“We were joking on the sidelines that we might nick one, get an equaliser and give them a scare, we came close but unfortunately not.
“That is our final game for the year,” he added. “We start back in January and it’s shame we didn’t get a win against AFC Wimbledon to finish off.
“But we look back on a positive year, wave goodbye to 2017 and say bring on 2018 for the Academy.”