U21s fall to Maidenhead loss
The under-21s faced men's opposition in Maidstone United on Wednesday, battling hard but falling to a 2-0 away defeat.
Playing at York Road, Maidstone scored inside ten minutes through Nathan Blissett's close range finish, with substitute Danilo Orsi-Dadomo scoring a second on the hour mark.
Manager Shaun Cooper gave his reaction to the friendly to afcb.co.uk.
"It was a great game for the boys from a physical perspective," he said. "It was a real test for us - as we thought it would be.
"The scoreline doesn't necessarily reflect what we put into the game. There was a lot of effort and we had some really good spells with the ball but we just couldn't create enough clear-cut opportunities.
"You could argue that we could tighten up in dangerous areas but also you have to give credit to Maidenhead and how they defended last-ditch situations, that's how they've had success.
"We had good possession, committed men in attack and that left us exposed at the back at times and they were quick to be direct when they won the ball back, leaving our defenders in isolated situations.
"That's great for their development. Maidenhead were really good and if it wasn't for some good saves from Cameron Plain they could have had one or two more.
"Ultimately, their direct play forced us back at times, they got two corners and scored from them, even if one of them was from the second phase. That's what we spoke about beforehand, them thriving off set pieces.
"From a learning perspective it was great for the boys to experience that physical, direct side of the game against a team who are so efficient and effective at doing it."
With members of Cooper's squad getting minutes for the first team in pre-season, the manager gave his thoughts on his players' abilities if they were to be given competitive action by Jason Tindall.
"I have no doubt that we have the individuals that if they were thrust into the first team they'd cope," said Cooper.
"We have some lads who are physically ready for it, tactically and technically ready for it and if they were put into our first team that's full of good players they'd do well.
"I'd back our boys if the manager was to give any of them an opportunity in the coming weeks."