Fareham Town boss Matt Parr felt his fringe players acquitted themselves well in the 1-0 pre-season defeat at Wick & Barnham United on Saturday.
To lose the game would have been disappointing if it was a full-strength Reds side.
But Parr was missing six senior players for the trip to the Sussex League division two club.
He took the opportunity to run the rule over some of the other members of his squad and was not disappointed by their efforts.
‘We haven’t got a reserve side so it’s right to let all the fringe players come in and show how close they are to a regular first-team place,’ said Parr.
‘To come to Wick and face a very capable side was good for them, even though the result didn’t go our way.
‘Six of my side were missing so I’m not as disappointed as I would have been if those senior players had featured.’
The home side wasted several chances but went ahead when striker Kerry Hardwell escaped the Fareham defence to beat keeper Sam Bunton.
In response, Lee Tigwell’s long-range effort flashed just inches wide for the Reds.
Then, just before the interval, Fareham striker Graham Lindsey created a shooting chance for Wayne Boud who let fly only to see the ball race past the far post.
Wick were denied a second when Nathan Park’s effort was ruled out.
The striker found the net but was frustrated because the assistant referee spotted a push by Hardwell on Reds defender Louie Martin in the build-up.
Unfortunately for Fareham, despite plenty of effort and determination, they never looked like forcing an equaliser.
Fareham hope to have a strong squad available when they host Chichester City at Cams Alders tomorrow in their final pre-season friendly.
They kick off their Wessex League premier division campaign on Saturday at home to Bemerton Heath Harlequins.
Wick & Barnham United: Matthews, Salisbury, Cox, Noble, Chapman, Rumble, Enticote, Pedrick, Hardwell, Park, Chick. Subs: Rowland, Ebbers, Farrell, Ayling.
Fareham Town: Bunton, Austin, Tigwell, Humble, Martin, Doswell, Boud, Cripps, Lindsey, Knight, Lilley. Subs: Cotton, Howard, Dove, Russell