Southampton's B Team were edged out by FC Cartagena on Wednesday, with two first half goals the difference at Pinatar Football Centre.
On a blisteringly hot day on the Spanish coast, Dave Horseman’s side battled it out against Cartagena in the first of two pre-season matches at a training camp in Spain.
In a series of preparations for the Premier League 2 season ahead, all 20 members of the travelling squad featured in the tie, with Kamari Doyle and a trialist the only players to feature for the full 90 minutes.
It was a competitive battle for the two sides, who were both presented with goal-scoring opportunities in the opening stages of the match.
As the half hour mark approached, Cartagena nabbed their first goal of the occasion. Some lovely build-up play down the right-flank resulted in Adrian Ayala-Sanmartin released in plenty of space on the right, before crossing in an inch-perfect ball to Alfredo Ortuño who made no error in tapping in from close range to get the better of Ollie Wright.
As Saints looked to find an equaliser, Cartagena hit the counter with a cross-field pass finding the feet of Diego de Pedro on the edge of the box. Working his way past Matt Carson, the midfielder’s shot flew past Wright and into the back of the net to give his side a two goal advantage.
Despite a resilient second-half display, Saints were unable to break down the Cartagena defence with the game ending 2-0 to the Spanish natives.
Dave Horseman’s side next face Villarreal at Pinatar Football Centre on Sunday 17 July, with kick-off scheduled for 7pm BST.