Saints' Under-23s boss Dave Horseman labelled his side’s match with Wycombe Wanderers at St Mary’s Stadium as “the ultimate pre-season game,” with preparations underway for the new season.
A side featuring a host of returning loanees, academy regulars and ambitious scholars narrowly lost out to their Championship visitors 1-0 following a second half Alex Samuel header on Friday afternoon.
But Horseman took many positives from the game, with the clash forming an even contest for the majority of the 90 minutes.
“It was a brilliant pre-season game. One because we’ve just played a Championship team, and the club have allowed us to play here at St Mary’s.
The more of these experiences we can get the boys the better it is for their development. So it's a really good start to pre-season for us.
“Second half we had so many young scholars playing against Championship players so I think it’s the ultimate pre-season game really.
“I think the game itself was 50-50. Credit goes to Craig Fleming and Kelvin [Davis] who have been working with the boys for the past couple of weeks. I think you can tell that they have taken on the stuff that we’ve practised.
“At times we didn’t move the ball as we liked, and there’s a few things we’ll work on over the next week. But there were definitely some good signs there."