I can’t criticise our general play but it’s those fine margins which have been the difference this week.Mike Dodds
Blues Under-18s should have been out of sight by the time Amari Miller broke the deadlock early in the second period.
Mike Dodds youngsters spurned a number of early chances and were made to pay late on when the hosts capitalised on a loose clearance ten minutes from time.
In a game of contrasting halves, the Robins will feel they deserved something from the contest but Blues will look back and wonder how they weren’t runaway leaders after an impressive 45-minute spell.
The result rounds off a winless week for Blues, who were narrowly beaten by Sheffield United on Tuesday, but Dodds says he’s seen enough from the two performances to give him encouragement.
“We’ve ended up taking one point from those games but we could easily have won both of them,” he explained. “Our general play has been fantastic but part of the programme is learning about fine margins and we’ve been on the wrong end of those this week.”
In torrid conditions Blues conjured up an early storm, hitting the woodwork twice and creating a number of chances to go in front.
The youngsters were undeterred by the torrential rain and swirling winds, moving the ball quickly and producing arguably their neatest football of the season so far.
But the hosts stirred after the interval and could have stolen the lead with two decent openings of their own.
Amari Miller, who impressed during his First Team involvement in pre-season, followed up Remi Walker’s strike just after half-time and slotted the ball past the ‘keeper to give Blues a deserved lead.
The goal looked set to see Blues return to winning ways but an under hit cross from the left fell fortuitously to a Bristol shirt ten minutes from time and Blues were pegged back by a firm finish.
“We were outstanding in the first-half and I feel for the lads in a way because I never felt like we wasn’t going to win the game,” Dodds added. “The second period was a bit scrappy and ugly which played into their hands and to conceded a late goal felt like a bit of a sucker punch.
“Compared to where we were after the first few weeks of the season, the group is now in a really good place.
“We’ve been competitive in all our games, there’s a better intensity about our play and we’re happy with the performance levels.
“Bristol sat in a low block, similar to Sheffield United and you have to say we learned from Tuesday because we’ve created so many chances in the game today.
“So I can’t criticise our general play but it’s those fine margins which have been the difference this week.”
Blues: Mayo, Fogarty, Browne, Nguepissi, Oakley, Williams, Walker, Chang, Miller, Dugmore (Patterson 60), Wakefield (Hall 80)
Subs not used: Craig, Djurovic
Goal: Miller (47)