SAINTS B continue search for first win of Premier League 2 season after heavy defeat at Fulham which David Horseman admits is “hard to take.”

The Cottagers, armed with first-team players such as Steven Sessegnon, ran out 3-0 winners over a Saints side that had 16-year-olds again featuring amid injury.

The Daily Echo understands that Caleb Watts and Ryan Finnigan both missed out through injury, with the likes of under-18 regular Kamari Doyle replacing them, while they were also without captain Oludare Olufunwa.

A Jay Stansfield brace and Kieran Bowie strike completed the victory for the table-topping hosts, but Horseman insists it’s a critical learning curve for such a young Saints side.

He told the club website: “Yeah I just said it’s hard to take.

“What the biggest learning point coming out of the game for the 16-year-olds that played tonight is playing against England under-21s, people who have played in the Championship and Premier League, they felt the level you have to play at to get there.

“They will probably learn more from that than the games we’ve dominated recently, okay we haven’t taken our chances but we have dominated for large periods, that will be the biggest learning curve that comes out of that.

“I love the fact that they were experienced, we’ve got to get the boys ready for the Premier League so the more teams that come like that the quicker they will learn.

“They have to learn and develop quicker to get into our first team.”

The result means that Saints are bottom of Premier League 2 Division Two, following relegation from Division One last campaign, with just one point in four matches.

Horseman added: “We had some big chances, but we didn’t quite get it right, a little bit late on the jump, bits and pieces like that.

“There were large parts that were even and large parts that were good, some individuals who are very young so for them to be able to do it at this level is really pleasing.”