Hartlepool United coach Ian McGuckin was left frustrated as his youthful reserve side crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Rotherham.
A young side were comfortably dispatched in the Central League outing at the Roundwood Sports Complex this afternoon.
And McGuckin admits his side did not really get going in the clash.
He said: "We didn’t really get going in the first half or get a foothold in the game.
"If we had managed to put one of our chances away it could have been different but we were done by a sucker punch to make it 2-0 and that killed us off really.
"We battled hard and we aren’t too disappointed with the lads but Rotherham just showed that little bit of extra quality on the day and that was the difference."
The hosts opened the game the stronger of the two sides, creating a number of opportunites.
But it took them until the 27th minute to find the back of the net as Alex Bray broke free of the Pools backline to lob over the helpless Ben Dudzinski for 1-0.
Not disheartened by falling behind Pools then enjoyed a decent spell in the encounter with Kieran Green and Dylan Elliot going close.
However, their resistance was broken when Mason Warren found sub Suleman Naeem, who made no mistake, early in the second period.
The third goal came with 15 minutes left on the clock, Naeem netting again after positive work from Kuda Muskwe.
McGuckin's lads threatened to trouble the scorers late on when Connor Simpson, fresh off the bench, opened up a couple of opportunities for himself but ultimately he could not apply the finish.
And although the gaffer was frustrated he was willing to cut his kids some slack.
"Rotherham had quite a strong side out with some first team players included so we knew we would be up against it but we came out fighting in the second half and looked better," he said.
Pools: Dudzinski, Nearney, Turnbull, Green, Pollock, Assenso, Orrell, Skidmore (Simpson 70), Rodney, Elliott (Orrell 80), Blackford.
Subs: Moloney, Fielding, Wood.