Oldham Athletic's youth team fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Port Vale on Saturday.
Two goals in either half was enough to seal victory for the Valiants but acting manager Pete Wild, who took the side in the absence of Tony Philliskirk and Simon Cooper, could not fault the effort from his players.
He said: "We put a lot of hard work and effort into the game and full credit to the lads for working their socks off but we didn't have any real quality to kill the game off. It was two poor goals to give away which were individual errors and that was disappointing.
"We started alright but we went behind early in the first half and it was a disappointing goal to give away. We were then in the game and had a lot of possession but we were undone by a free kick which deflected into the back of our net. We threw a lot at Port Vale so we could not fault the effort of the players."
Several under 16 players were trialled in the youth team for Saturday's game and Wild was pleased with their contribution.
"There were some bright sparks, definitely," he admitted. "We started with Ryan Leonard on the right wing and he did well and then we brought our two strikers on for the last 15 minutes of the game and they did really well.
"It was a really good introduction to youth team football for them because Port Vale are not the easiest side to play against but they coped with it well and it looks pleasing for next season."
The youth team are in semi-final action later today as they travel to Accrington in the Youth Alliance cup (north).
For those travelling, please use the post code BB1 8LA (Kick off 1pm).