Asfordby FC excelled in a 2-1 defeat against UCL Division One side Birstall United in their second pre-season friendly of the summer.
Head coach Mike Hendey said: “You obviously have your concerns, they’re a league higher and, with their season starting soon, a bit further along in their preparations.
“I needn’t have worried because to a man they played exceptionally, just as they all have since I came in.”
Asfordby came under pressure the first 10 minutes, but defended well only to concede a soft opening goal, typical of pre-season.
But the visitors responded in kind, moving the ball well, and equalised with a slick move.
Alex Johnson chested the ball into the path of Matt Hendey who cut his way past three and slotted home.
Just before half-time Asfordby rang the changes resulting in a slight drop of rhythm which allowed Birstall to net what proved to be the winner.
Hendey added: “Lewis Spencer was excellent in goal, particularly through his distribution, while Harry Forfar is stepping up to every challenge set and Paul Griffiths came into the game more and more.
“In midfield the technical players and options Manny (manager Lee Mann) and I have to choose from are scary and you saw what they can do on Saturday when people are willing to trust them with the ball.”
Asfordby’s first team face two more UCL opponents with Harborough Town visiting Hoby Road on Thursday evening before the short trip to Melton Town on Tuesday (ko 7.30pm).
* Asfordby FC’s Development side started their pre-season with a tough fixture against a strong Fleckney Athletic Reserves side, but they roared into a 3-0 half-time lead.
They made six changes at the break, but held on for a 3-1 win despite a freak hailstorm.
“We have had two really successful seasons getting back-to-back promotions and we are now in the North Leicestershire League Premier, so we needed to test ourselves in pre-season against decent opposition,” said manager Simon Atherley.
“We also knew that we would need to add some quality to the team to help us in what will be a difficult league.
“We handed debuts to four players and they slotted straight into the team and helped us to dominate the first period.
“We limited Fleckney to a couple of chances in the first period, and created countless chances for ourselves.
“I was really impressed we held on to the win despite a change in system and further substitutions which affected the flow of the game.”
Atherley hopes to have more regulars back for their next game against Old Aylestone.