JACK PORTER has praised Windsor for their never-say-die attitude in a thrilling 7-4 defeat to Buckingham Athletic in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday.

Windsor recovered from falling a goal behind three times to force extra time in the second qualifying round tie. They also had keeper Henry Poole to thank for a fantastic penalty save late on at Stag Meadow.

The young stars scored a fourth goal in the dying seconds in the first half of extra time to keep their hopes alive at 5-3 but, ultimately, Buckingham had too much for their weary legs to handle in an epic cup tie.

Speaking to the Observer, Windsor coach Porter said: “Frustration is the biggest word because we lost two players through injury in the first half which meant we had to make two midfield substitutions.

“As the game went on, we done fantastically well to bounce back after every single goal, but not having those fresh legs to bring on in the latter stages of the 90 minutes, and playing extra-time with five or six players walking wounded just killed us off.

“But, for me, if we defend like we did in the whole game and give these teams goals then you’re asking for trouble “I can’t fault the boys. They have a fantastic never-say-die attitude but it didn’t help that we gave them a lot of goals. It was almost the case that they score, then we score and then they score again.

“We weren’t great in the first half but in the second we showed a bit more of what we can do, and maybe we were just unfortunate that we could not knick the win in the 90 minutes.

“The message was once we scored our goals don’t do anything silly or give them anything but their number eight [Tom McElroy] was very good on the night.

“He dribbled through three of four of our players in the box and put it in, and they’re the frustrating ones, when you’ve worked so hard to get yourself back into the game.”

He continued: “The injuries in the first-half hurt us, they were able to bring on their subs a bit later so they had fresher legs.

With us it was just injuries, not fitness, just the fact that we had three of four that were struggling to finish the game in the end. That’s down to the effort that they have put in.

“Unfortunately it’s very difficult to score one goal let alone two to get yourself back into the game when you’ve only got seven or eight fit players on the pitch that can run around."

On the positives to take, Porter said: “I would be worried if we gave up early on, or if we gave up when they scored after we did, but we kept on bouncing back and I know we’ve got good characters in the group.

"It's still early on in the season and last year we used this competition as a bounce back to get ourselves going again.

"We've got other things to play for and we just have to focus on them now.

"The league is a big priority for us as well. We want to bounce back from our defeat the other night as well.

"We're just in a little dip in form but we had a fantastic pre-season and the first two competitive games were brilliant, and sometimes it just needs to bring you back down to earth and keep you focused to push on and work harder."

Commenting on penalty-save hero Poole and the character that epitomised the performance, Porter said: "Henry is very much capable of doing that. I've seen him save a few over the last couple of years or so.

"I think he felt he had to make up for a slight error, well I would say it's an error for his standards, in the first half which gave away a goal.

"He certainly made up for it, not just with the penalty save, he pulled off another couple of good saves and he's definitely got that in his locker.

"That's the sort of character the team has, we make a mistake and know we have to bounce back. Unfortunately we just made more mistakes than bounce backs.

"It hurts you, making mistakes constantly, and you just wonder how how many times can you bounce back from it.

"But, we did it most of the time, it just wasn't enough in the end."

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