Wayne Hatswell was full of praise for the application and effort of Swindon Town's younger players after their 1-0 defeat against Exeter City.

Yanic Wildschut prodded home the only goal of the game after just six minutes to give Exeter in a game which saw few chances at both ends of the pitch.

Hatswell said that following a difficult start to the game in which Exeter got the goal and put Town under a lot of pressure, the team grew into the game and showed what they were capable of.

He said: "I felt the group tonight were outstanding, I felt the youngsters were really good without the ball.

"We knew at times we wouldn't have it as much as we would like and then it was about trying to create an opportunity.

"After the first five to ten minutes, I felt that we grew into the game and with the score line being 1-0, we were always in it, but we didn't have the threat that we needed.

"I thought it could not be an easy night for us and they dug in, so that was good and very pleasing.

"We knew they would play that three at the back and we felt that if we could try and stretch them like the other teams in the group stages then we could have a little bit of joy down the sides.

"We are playing against three hardened professionals in [Pierce] Sweeney, [Will] Aimson, and even Zak Jules coming on for them, they have all got a lot of experience at League One and League Two level.

"It was always going to be difficult for us, but I think that Joel [McGregor] did brilliantly without the ball and he also tried to give us a threat going the other way and he got into a couple of good areas.

"It was a great experience for him, they have had a taste of what it is like to come up against some good players and that is the environment this competition creates."

Hatswell also said that he was pleased to be able to get minutes for some senior players and come through the game without further injuries.

He said: "There is a bigger picture to it all and we have a big game this weekend and then before having a bit of a break we have to got to go to Accrington.

"We have two tough games and fundamentally we are looking towards that, we couldn't progress in this competition tonight, but there were a lot of positives from it in the end.

"We wanted George [McEachran] to get minutes because he hasn't trained and Williams Kokolo, I thought he was very good, and he is another one that we are trying to get minutes.

"We don't want to take him to breaking point, so that has been one for us to worry about.

"We needed that group of players, even if they are quite young, to help out the youngsters."