HOLLAND FC boss Rob Batten hailed the impact of three of the club's young guns in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Lopes Tavares.

The Eastcliff side fielded three of their under-18s - Brandon Hunt, Sam Foley and Taylor McAndrews - in the Thurlow Nunn League contest.

And while disappointed with the final score, Batten believes the long-term future of the club looks bright.

"Even though we lost, I was proud of the boys, considering we had three of our under-18s playing," he told the Gazette.

"Brandon made his debut in midfield and was probably man-of-the-match.

"Sam made his second start and Taylor his first start.

"So looking at the bigger picture, it was a frustrating result but a positive display, full of hard work, character and no little skill.

"I thought a draw would have been a fair result but it wasn't meant to be.

"However, there were positive signs for the club's long-term future."

Steve Eaton scored Holland's goal in the second half but the result means they have only won one of their last eight league and cup matches - their 3-2 success at Wivenhoe Town.

They take a break from league action this weekend.

The coastal club are without a game in division one south, with their next match being at home to Coggeshall United on February 9.