Hibernian under-20s experienced a 3-1 loss at Selkirk on Wednesday evening, but Head of Academy Coaching James McDonaugh believes it was a valuable lesson learned by his very young squad.
Fielding four schoolboys - goalkeeper Ross Campbell (16), defender David McKay (16) and midfielders Jack Breen (15) and Ollie Shaw (16) - Hibernian under-20s found it difficult to seize control of the match against Lowland League club Selkirk.
Shaw scored with a fine header, but it only proved to be a consolation effort as the Borderers comfortably won the friendly fixture 3-1.
Nevertheless McDonaugh believes his players will have learned a lot more from that defeat than from the previous victories recorded during the squad's pre-season friendly programme.
McDonaugh said: "It was good to see so many of our younger players competing in that environment against a very good Selkirk side.
"Our starting line-up only contained seven full-time players and we also brought three schoolboys on, so I believe the group learned a lot from the game.
"That's now three games in eight days, so it has been demanding, but there is a lot that we can work on and improve on.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping the players make those improvements and become better players."
Hibernian under-20s: Ross Campbell, Scott Martin, David McKay, Jordan Sinclair, Jordan McGregor, Neil Martyniuk, Ollie Shaw, Jack Breen, Conner Duthie, Taylor Hendry, Max Todd.
Subs: Johnny Clements, Callum Donaldson, Adam Watson, Ryan Porteous, Kevin Waugh
Hibernian under-20s' next match is the opener for the new SPFL Development League against Aberdeen on Monday 11 August, kick off 6pm at Glebe Park, Brechin.
Image kindly provided by Maurice Dougan