Only two of our players were aged over 20 but gave as good as they got against a team that finished just outside the play-offs in League One last season and are fancied to push for promotion again.
They also showed great character to come from 2-0 down to level through Shayon Harrison and Ismail Azzaoui in the second half only to concede a late winner.
“We’d much prefer a test like this in a stadium in front of almost 4,000 fans, against tough opposition, the lads have to deal with all that,” said coach Ugo. “We want to give them a taste of what they will experience when they go out on loan or join up with our first team.
“It was a good learning curve for the players. The only disappointment was that we made a couple of unforced errors but it’s only the second game into pre-season and there were some positive performances.
“I thought Cy Goddard was fantastic. He had to deal with the physicality (up against Jack Collison and Michael Bostwick in midfield) but continued to try to do positive things. He tired towards the end but tried to stay in it. That was a big step up for him.
“Will Miller looked intelligent with his midfield play and young Kaziah Sterling, just 16, was up against a Portugal youth international and Congo international in their central defence. He will learn a lot from that and physically I think it surprised him, but it will stand him in good stead.
“They were strong and we caused them problems with the ball without really having that cutting edge. Overall, we’re pleased.”