SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper conceded his team could have played all through last night without scoring after watching the Robins slip to a 2-0 defeat at Stevenage.
Despite an encouraging start to proceedings at the Lamex Stadium, Town were meek overall and were punished by a Boro side that went into the game without a League One victory in seven attempts.
Goals from Lucas Akins and Filipe Morais, from the penalty spot, were more than enough to win the tie as Swindon struggled to create meaningful chances in front of goal – much to the frustration of Cooper.
With the Advertiser barred from asking questions to Town players and management after the game following the banning of the club from the County Ground by owner Lee Power, the Robins boss told BBC Wiltshire: “I think we’d have been there all night and we wouldn’t have scored, to be honest. That was just the way it went.
“We tried to play and we tried to change it from the bench but it was just a disappointing night.
“That’s the frustrating side to us. We have two games where we perform to a decent level and then we go away and over-play at times and make bad decisions and concede sloppy goals. That’s not us but maybe this season that’s the way it has to be while it’s still a work in progress and the younger players are still learning.
“We made bad decisions today. Young Alex (Pritchard) has tried to get a ball on the edge of the box and he’s tried to flick it first time when he should control it. The second one Grant Hall has made a bad mistake and kicked the ball straight at their player and then brings him down for a penalty.
“In the first half we had three really good chances and we played some really good football. Nile Ranger had a really good chance, Alex Pritchard had a good chance, Nathan Thompson got in a few times but we didn’t produce a good finish. If you don’t take those chances against a team that is struggling you give them confidence.”
George Barker came off the bench to make his Town debut following his arrival from Brighton & Hove Albion last week and impressed with his energy and trickery.
“He showed a couple of glimpses when he came on and cut inside and looked as though he was going to open them up and they got a couple of blocks in,” said Cooper. “George is another one who is learning the game.”