GUS Poyet was impressed by the Magpies’ efforts against his flock of Seagulls.
Brighton & Hove Albion ran out 3-0 victors in Friday night’s pre-season friendly at the Avenue Stadium.
However, only a debatable penalty decision, converted by Craig Noone, separated the two sides at half-time.
The Npower Championship outfit’s superior fitness levels then told in the second half as Will Buckley and former Magpie Ben Dickenson completed the scoring.
Although pleased with his own team’s display, Poyet paid tribute to the home side’s performance.
He told Echosport: “I think they worked very hard and they tried to respect their system.
“Of course, we did not know each other beforehand so sometimes it’s difficult for teams to know how we play.
“I think for long periods they were very organised and strong. Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve for your effort and commitment but I think it was a good performance and they now know the difference between the divisions.
“It was very hard fitness-wise, especially with the way we play. No one can maintain that pressure and commitment for 90 minutes – it’s very difficult.
“But it was definitely a great experience for the Dorchester players.”
Asked for his thoughts on Dickenson’s development since his move from Dorchester last January, the former Tottenham and Chelsea star replied: “Ben hasn’t been training with us tactically for long.
“From the limited time he has been training since his injury he is showing that he knows when to make the runs at the right time and take his chance.
“That is important as it will help him get better and better.”
The Magpies play host to Yeovil Town tomorrow night (7.45pm) in what will be their final home match of pre-season.