Cambridge United’s Jimmy Unwin feels the U18s put 100% into their FA Youth Cup clash with Reading on Tuesday night, which resulted in a 1-3 defeat and ended their cup campaign for 2018/19.

The Professional Phase Lead Coach was pleased with the efforts exerted into the performance on the night, and it was the higher quality of the Royals that eventually told at the Abbey.

Unwin said: “They gave 100% and stuck to the game plan so the boys must go away from this competition with their heads held high.

“We had two under 16s in the game, Diego Miller and Louis Chadwick, which is brilliant for us in terms of development going forward. We also had a number of first year scholars involved too.

“We will analyse the game and the pick the bones out of it when we return to training on Thursday, to learn what we can and improve. But overall we were pleased with the performance.

“The boys were deflated in the dressing room, but it took three magnificent strikes from Reading to beat us and on another day we would have scored two or three more than we did in the first half.”

The U18s coach feels the display from United would have been enough to have progressed against a similarly ranked academy, but given the U’s success to reach the third round stage was not surprised at coming up against a higher calibre of opposition.

“When we play against category three opposition similar to ourselves, you may find that the chances we had find their way in and you end with a slightly different result. But having reached the third round, of course you expect a stronger test and we were up against category one opposition in Reading. Simply that means they had the players to score the quality of goals that they did.

“We broke on Reading a few times in a stretched second half and whilst they had a number of chances at the end of the game I don’t remember Louis Chadwick, our goalkeeper, having to make that many saves throughout the game.

“We couldn’t ask any more of the players, who executed the game plan we set out for them prior to the match excellently.”