Head of coaching pleased with first gameIan Dawes was pleased with the performance of Shrewsbury Town's Reserves in their 3-3 draw with Morecambe at the Greenhous Meadow on Tuesday.
Town kicked-off their 2014/15 Final Third Development League season by salvaging a point at the end thanks to a tap in from first-team professional Ashley Vincent.
The reserve team included a number of the Club's youth team players as well, with young Ben Burton making the starting line-up in defence.
And Dawes, head of academy coaching, thought the game proved to be of great use for all the Town players involved.
"It was a good exercise in the end," said Dawes.
"I thought the players coped well considering we changed the system to one they're not used to, and credit to the pros because their enthusiasm was great, they drove the game and helped the younger lads on the pitch.
"I thought balance was quite fair with the mix of young and experience in both sides was about right.
"The pros got their minutes and the young lads got to experience what it was like at that level.
"It's not quite the first team but it is a step inbetween, and a couple of them realised how tough it is.
"Our lads have got to grow up quick because their next step is the first team.
"It sounds cruel but they have got to grow up very early physically and mentally, and be able to deal with that next step."
The game itself was of great entertainment for the crowd, with Town coming behind three times thanks to goals from Andy Robinson, a Liam Lawrence penalty and one for Vincent at the end.
Dawes said: "It must have good for the crowd to watch it.
As a coach, I thought there were a lot of things to be worked on, but these reserve games are always tough because you get players from the first team and players from the Under-18s, and you don't get to work with that group of players.
"They just come together on the day and have to adapt and deal with it.
"You're still playing for three points in these games so it's important they get that winning mentality about them and want to do things in the right way.
"To be fair to them, they kept on going until the end and pulled it back. It was probably a fair result at the end of the day 3-3.
"If it wasn't for lacklustre defending I think we would have won the game."