Frustrations for Letchworth Eagles after opening day defeat to Stotfold

Letchworth Garden City Eagles boss Jason Valentine.

Letchworth Garden City Eagles boss Jason Valentine. - Credit: DANNY LOO

Letchworth Eagles manager Jason Valentine admitted to being frustrated after their opening game of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One season ended in defeat at Stotfold.

The Eagles had been promoted during the summer thanks to their performances over the previous two curtailed campaigns and came within 17 minutes of taking a point at New Roker Park before succumbing to a 4-1 defeat.

And after they had taken the lead on just nine minutes with a well-worked Mark Summers goal, Valentine felt the game swung on one or two crucial moments.

He said: "We had a chance in the first half which would have made it 2-0, Mark put it over the top and had it gone in, it would have been a different game. They would have been really chasing it.

"We rode our luck definitely, I get that, but you could see the differences. We got tired and didn't have the quality to come onto the pitch. 

"This is the first time we’ve been up in this league though and we are where we are. 

"We’ve just got to keep working hard and keep doing the right things. 

"It was just a frustrating night." 

Skipper Sam James leads Letchworth Eagles out ahead of their match at Stotfold

Skipper Sam James leads Letchworth Eagles out ahead of their match at Stotfold. - Credit: Neil Metcalfe

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And while the result was not the start that the boss nor his team wanted, he was happy to see a dogged performance with everybody now knowing exactly what is required to compete at this level.

He said: "I don’t know about the levels of all the teams in the division but you would think Stotfold would be there and if that is the standard, we have to work harder to get there. 

"The two full-backs are both 18 and we just lack a little bit of experience up front. 

"But it gives us a benchmark. The next stage is to look at where we may need to strengthen but we don’t want to do is get scared about who we are playing against. 

"We have enough about us."