Walsall Assistant Coach Brian Dutton was pleased with the way his team competed despite losing 4-1 away at Scunthorpe United in the Central League.
The Saddlers line-up was formed of mainly Under 16s players while Scunthorpe deployed a more experienced line-up.
Walsall’s resolve was broken after 39 minutes after good play from Jai Rowe and Tom Pugh set up Jordan Hallam to finish.
John McAtee and Jack Lambert both netted in the second half as the hosts pulled themselves out of reach.
George Dunkley pulled on back with a beauty for the Saddlers but the Iron restored their three-goal advantage through George Hornshaw.
Dutton feels the youthful Saddlers can hold their heads high for the way they competed and believes they will benefit from the experience.
“It was a bonus for these boys to play against seniors,” he said.
“It was a rich experience for them and they can come out of it with their heads held high.
“I was relatively pleased with the boys, we managed to keep it to 0-0 until the last five minutes of the first half which was due to the amount of effort the boys were putting in to stifle Scunthorpe who had some 21/22 year-olds on the pitch so really pleased with how they managed to stifle them for 40 minutes.”
“We spoke about replicating that work ethic and desire in the second half but unfortunately we didn’t manage it in the second half and they pulled away from us.”
Dunkley scored a stunner for the Saddlers in the second half and Dutton was impressed with the strike and felt it deserved to be more than a consolation.
“It was a fantastic goal,” added Dutton.
“We’ve managed to counter attack and he’s managed to bring it down from the air and he’s managed to dispatch it accurately and it was a wonderful goal and deserved to win a game but unfortunately it was a consolation goal.”