SOUTHEND United youth team coach Dave Huzzey felt his side’s 4-1 defeat at Luton Town was not a fair reflection of the game.

The setback was the Shrimpers’ first of the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League One season.

And Huzzey thought Blues paid the price for conceding sloppy goals.

“Obviously I’m disappointed with the scoreline but I don’t think it really reflects the way the game went,” said Huzzey.

“We played well in the first half and I thought we were the better team.

“I couldn’t see a way we were going to concede but then we got hit on the counter attack just before half-time.

“I still fancied us to come back because we had been the better team but then we conceded two more sloppy goals after the break and it was always going to be an uphill struggle after that.”

However, Huzzey still feels Blues are well placed to secure success.

“We’ve started the Merit League really well,” said Huzzey.

“We’ve beaten two very strong teams and drawn with another, so we’re still second in the table, two points behind Northampton.

“We’ve done well and I think we can maintain the position we’re in, if not improve it.

“We have six or seven games to go and we’re looking forward to them.”

Blues will look to bounce back against Stevenage at Boots & Laces this weekend.

And Huzzey will head into the game encouraged by two of the club’s under-16 players who shone in the defeat to Luton.

“We try to give the under-16 players a taste of the older age group during the Merit League section of the season and both Oli Coker and Bobby Unwin were brilliant on Saturday,” said Huzzey.

“Bobby scored for the second away game in a row and played really well so we were really pleased with that.

“And Oli did really well after coming on as a substitute so there were still positives for us to take from the game.”

Blues had run out 7-3 winners against Luton at Ely Way during the course of the EFL Youth Alliance South East Conference season.

But they were unable to replicate that achievement on a blustery morning in a match switched to the home of Crawley Green at the last minute.

Schoolboy Unwin was on target for the second away match in succession but, by the time he found the net with a cool finish, the teenage Shrimpers were 3-0 down and, despite Ide Osimeh hitting the post in an attempt to narrow the deficit still further, a late penalty from Connor Tomlinson ensured the Hatters collected all three points.

Southend United under-18s: Taylor, Dabbs (Chandler 68), Osimeh, Brogan (Coker 68), Knock, Mitchell-Nelson, Egbri, Stewart, Mpenga (Vaivada 68), Eastwood, Unwin

Substitute not used: Seaden