West Ham United youngster George Moncur insists the Development Squad should have been home and dry at half time against Tottenham Hotpsur, having passed up opportunities to put the game beyond the visitors' reach at the Boleyn Ground on Friday night.
As it was, the Hammers went into the interval two goals to the good, courtesy of Dan Potts and Sebastian Lletget, before Spurs mounted an improbable second-half revival, netting three times in 30 minutes to snaffle all three Barclays Under-21 Premier League points.
Reflecting on a first defeat of the new campaign, the 20-year-old reckoned it would have been very different had he and Paul McCallum taken their chances in front of goal.
He told West Ham TV: "I obviously thought that first half we played really well and did all the right things in the right areas. We got our reward by going 2-0 up, but we had more chances to maybe get a few more and then the game's dead and buried.
"Paul McCallum had a few chances, I had a couple down the line that I could have maybe done a bit better with. So had we put them away I think the game would have been over early doors."
That said, Moncur had not foreseen the second half that was to unfold, expecting the Hammers to continue where they had left off prior to the interval.
He continued: "I thought as we came out [for the second half] we could have even pressed on and got a couple more, because of the way we played in the first half. It just wasn't meant to be.
"They came out a bit brighter than us. I think our first pass was poor from a lot of us and that obviously sets a bad tone right away. They took advantage of that and scored the early goal, which was lucky off the deflection. But it gave them a boost and then, of course, they went on to get a second and third.
"To be fair, whenever we play Spurs, they always pass the ball well and move it well, they're a great footballing team. They show it every time they play us, so credit to Spurs for that."
In truth, the visitors owed much to the impressive Lewis Holtby, as the German international made his first start of the new campaign. The 22-year-old, who suffered a knee injury in this summer's European Under-21 Championship, was excellent on the night and Moncur certainly appreciated seeing him in such close quarters.
"It's great to play against players like that, especially when you see what he did here, bending that one in the top corner," he confirmed. "He's very comfortable on the ball, finds little gaps between the back four and the midfield.
"Everything was going through him. He scored one and he created chances. All credit to him."
Friday's defeat aside, six points out of nine still represents an excellent start for Moncur and his colleagues, with the young midfielder already looking ahead to next Monday's trip to take on Newcastle United.
Before then, however, Cheltenham Town await in the Capital One Cup and Moncur is hopeful that he, or some of his teammates might play some part in proceedings.
"We got off to a great start by winning two games out of two. This is a bit of a disappointment, losing 3-2, but hopefully we can get our chins up and win the next game.
"It's nice to look forward to a game like that, maybe some of us will be involved [against Cheltenham] - hopefully we will, but if not, then we've just got to be keep going and keep playing."