Youth coach Joe McBride said he was delighted with his Watford side despite their 2-0 defeat to Stevenage in the Herts Senior Cup last night.

Watford traditionally name a young side for the competition and it was even more noticeable this year, with Jake Rosier the only second-year scholar included in the squad.

Stevenage on the other hand named a relatively strong side which consisted of four first team players in Charlie Griffin, Ben May, Peter Winn and Joel Byrom.

The home side’s strength told with goals from May and Griffin in each half but Watford Youth team coach McBride, who was appointed in June, was full of praise for his young side.

The former Everton winger said: “We had two 15-year-olds as full backs (David O’Connor and Jesse Parsons) and only one second-year scholar in the whole squad. So when you compare that to their side, which had a number of first team players, then we played really well.

“I am disappointed with the result but I am delighted with the performance, their attitude and the way they went about the challenge.

“I told them before the game to embrace the challenge and they definitely did that so I am delighted. I believe we deserved at least a goal even if we didn’t deserve the win.”

A much-stronger Watford Under-18s side enjoyed more success at the weekend as Gavin Massey scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over MK Dons.

Former Manchester City target Sean Murray continued his fine form this season with another goal and Britt Assombalonga scored a great goal.

McBride said: “The players showed great attitude. It was almost opposite to the match against Stevenage as, without being unkind to MK Dons, we had the stronger side. So it was all about getting the job done and they did that.”