Spalding United’s youngsters were given a reality check on Tuesday night.
The Tulips’ under-21s lost to the Lincolnshire League representative team in a friendly played over three periods of 30 minutes at Skegness Town.
Lewis Millington levelled while Marcel Chipamaunga hit the bar and Jonny Lockie wasted a golden chance.
Boss Lewis Thorogood said: “They are a good, strong outfit and at times it looked like men against boys.
“They were more streetwise and it’s a lesson to learn.
“We were still trying to play football. We want to do that, of course, but at times you have to learn to go long for 15 or 20 minutes instead of passing it around.
It was a reality check for those who want to step up to the Evo-Stik South.Lewis Thorogood
“We were the masters of our own downfall in terms of giving the ball away in dangerous areas.
“In under-21 games, we can shift the ball around without many problems. But they pressed us and used physicality to win the ball.
“It was important to give a run-out for 17 players and look at different things.
“It was a reality check for those who want to step up to the Evo-Stik South.”
Spalding have brought in right-back James Gordon from Boston United’s youth system, although he is still available for Pinchbeck United.
Goalkeeper Alex Smith – who kept a clean sheet on his debut for the Knights last weekend – was also involved in Tuesday’s friendly.
He is expected to be on the bench for Spalding’s trip to Chasetown on Saturday in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The next game in the Lincolnshire FA Under-21 Development League’s south section is at home to Sleaford Sports on Wednesday, November 1.
Meanwhile, a race night is being held at the Tulips Social Club on Saturday, November 4 (7.30pm start) to raise funds for the under-21s. To buy a horse (£5), sponsor a race (£25), donate a raffle prize and order a fish and chip supper, email email@example.com