Youngsters impress Hendo

Development Squad manager Ian Hendon was pleased despite his side's 1-0 loss to Blackburn Rovers on Friday night.

Hendon was forced into a number of changes with three key players on loan and a further quartet on first-team duty. He was however pleased the way in which his players conducted themselves after his makeshift young side was formed just hours before kick-off.

"The team was only put together on Friday morning but they put on a good performance, I would not say we deserved to win the game but we did not deserve to lose.

"We lost three players in the morning to the first-team squad, which was basically our midfield, but that is great because I want the players to make the step up."

Ben Marlow was one of the stand-out performers and Hendon revealed his delight after the midfielder made his first appearance following a spell on the sidelines.

"It was an opportunity against Blackburn for some very young players to come in and Ben Marlow in particular put in a very good performance and showed a great attitude. It was his first game in the Development Squad, he has been out injured and has not played much football, but he won his battles and for a slight lad he got stuck in."

Elliot Lee and Frazer Shaw also impressed Hendon and the two struck up a good partnership that he hopes will continue to develop in the future.

"I think it was probably Elliot's best performance for us, he did not get on the end of too much and he did not have many chances but his overall hold-up play was excellent.

"Frazer is very adaptable; he can play anywhere on the left and in the centre of midfield so he has a few strings to his bow. He is a decent lad and he gives everything for you and I cannot ask for more than that."

Hendon also insisted he was not surprised how easily the Academy players made the step up to Development Squad level. The maturity of goalkeeper Sam Baxter was a prime example of the confidence and belief the youngsters showed against more experienced opposition.

"I know what the younger lads are about because I go and watch them play for the youth team. We set up to stop them and we did that, they scored from a set piece.

"Sam (Baxter) has held his hands up and said he should have done better so fair play to him but other than that he has not had a save to make."

The former Barnet manager also believed his side should have been awarded a late penalty when Declan Hunt's shot appeared to be handled in the box.

"I believe we should have had a penalty at the end, the lad has spread himself to block Declan Hunt's shot and it has struck his hands but it was not to be."

Next up for Hendon's side is a rearranged tie against Norwich City on 17 December and despite the FA Youth Cup tie with Aldershot taking place on 10 December, he hopes to field another young side.

"The plan is to play another young side with hopefully a few different younger lads but let's hope they do well in the Youth Cup first and foremost because we want them to have a good run in that.

"Hopefully a few will be available and if they are I will use them and use the game to blood them on a more physical stage than they are used too."