A youthful looking Crawley Town squad gave a decent account of themselves as they went down 2-0 to Millwall at the Broadfield Stadium.
The Reds finished with eight teenagers on the pitch, including a number of their under-18s team.
Manager Richie Barker was without four first-team squad players due to minor knocks, including summer signings Andy Drury and James Hurst.
He knows he need to make further additions to the squad but will have taken positives from this contest.
The deadlock was broken on 14 minutes when Lee Martin sent over a cross from the left which Jermaine Easter met with a glancing header which gave Paul Jones no chance.
There was another worrying moment for the hosts when Steve Morison got to the byline but Kyle McFadzean calmly chested his ball back to Jones.
Reds were forced into a change just before the half-hour mark when Jonte Smith, handed a start, was forced off injured.
Crawley struggled to create openings in the first half but passed the ball around well against the Championship side.
Barker made a flurry of substitutions both at the start of the second period and midway through the half including a run-out for former Albion player Adam Virgo who is training with the club.
Goalkeeper Jonny Maddison, on for Jones, made a smart save to deny John Marquis on 67 minutes.
Maddison was beaten five minutes later when Liam Feeney whipped in an inviting cross from the right and Dany N’Guessan rose well to head home at the far post.
The hosts lost their way a little in the second half when the number of youngsters in the side perhaps took its toll.
Billy Clarke went close with a shot from distance and youth teamer Scott Melville headed a Jordan Adekunle cross over the bar.
Millwall, though, were worthy winners and would have had a third but for a fine save by Maddison to keep out Josh Wright’s fierce volley from just inside the penalty area.