Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade praised his side’s performance despite going down to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Scottish Championship side Cowdenbeath.
Robbie Dale’s goal shortly before half-time gave Spartans the lead in a first half that was controlled by the men in green and white for long periods.
And Wade described their performance in the opening 45 minutes as “outstanding”.
He ssaid: “The mentality when you start a game is totally different.
“You have more time to work on your shape and in the first half we were outstanding.
“Everybody did their job and Cowdenbeath struggled to get through us.
“We created some cracking chances but we just couldn’t get that second goal, however, we did shade the first half which is pleasing against a professional side.”
Wade and assistant manager Colin Myers took another chance to look at a number of trialists as they look to bolster their squad ahead of the new campaign.
Making nine changes in the second half led to a disrupted performance but the Spartans manager paid tribute to two of his more experienced midfielders but rued the fact his side’s tempo dropped in the second period.
He added: “It’s tough because we have lads playing alongside trialists who they don’t really know.
“I thought Neal Hooks and Paul Robinson did very well and we played some good stuff through them.
“The only disappointment in the second half was the fact that we maybe dropped our tempo a bit and that gave them more time on the ball”
After making four signings during the summer, Wade admits that there was still work to be done as they finalises his squad.
However the Spartans manager reassured the Green Army that plans are on course to get what he wants over the coming weeks.
“We learnt a lot today and we have a big test against Shildon on Tuesday,” he said.
“However, I think we have in our minds now what we have, what we want and who we want.
“It’s just a matter of keeping things together over the next two weeks when we have lads away and then we will have a settled squad ready to hit the ground running come day one of the season.”