Hartlepool United Academy manager John Hewitson thought the performance from his young fledglings was far better than the 5-0 scoreline suggests.
Pools came up against an Ashington side on Monday night who turned in their best pre-season showing so far as they won 5-0 at Woodhorn Lane.
Hewitson said: “It was always going to be difficult for us because the squad we brought up were basically young lads, some just out of school.
“Some are 16-years-old, others 17, and physically we were going to find it hard to compete.
“However, footballing wise I thought we did OK at times and I was pleased with the performance.”
Hartlepool Under-18s play in the North East Alliance League alongside the likes of Doncaster, Rotherham, Grimsby and York.
Hewitson added: “We gave the ball away in silly areas tonight through a lack of experience and naivety at times, and obviously Ashington have either counter attacked us or capitalised on the situation.
“With the ages of the lads in the side, when you get a setback it’s difficult to get back into the game as confidence drops.
“However, all in all it’s been a good experience for them and will stand them in good stead for the future.”