DORCHESTER Town assistant James Wood believes the Magpies showed “flashes” of quality in the 1-0 loss to AFC Portchester, despite going down to defeat.

The Magpies were beaten by a Portchester side containing former Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman, who headed home in the 71st minute from a corner.

His effort gave Portchester an impressive win over Dorchester, the Royals plying their trade two divisions beneath the Magpies.

Dorchester struggled for fluency in the final third and did not test sub keeper Brett Poate enough in the second half following an apparent rib injury for number one Jake Hallett.

READ MORE: Dorchester Town 0-1 AFC Portchester - match report

The closest Dorchester came to scoring was a brief own goal scare for Liam Robinson, who was rescued by Hallett’s save and subsequent collision with the post.

Speaking to Echosport, Wood said: “In patches, it’s probably what we expected.

“Let’s discount the in-house friendly if you want, so it’s their first competitive run-out, albeit a friendly.

“Portchester are a decent side, as we know that, so we knew it was going to be a good challenge, which we were pleased with.

“There was pieces of the first half and second that we were pleased with but like all first pre-season run-outs, it’s now picking up those pieces, putting them all together and sustaining them for longer during the game.

“Obviously, the changes you’re looking at two different elevens. A lot of those players haven’t played together before, so it’s pretty much as we expected.

“There wasn’t a lot of surprises and there was a lot of pleasing points, link-up play and flashes of what we can expect for the season to come but a lot of hard work still to do.

“That’s why we’ve had this schedule with these friendlies in.”

Elaborating on the bright notes, Wood said: “Some good performances at times. We saw flashes. It was very intermittent, our play – again, to be expected.

“We saw flashes of how we want to play at the back with Emmo (Keith Emmerson) and Buckers (Callum Buckley), Louie (Slough).

“There were some really good passages of play coming from the back, through the lines, rotations in midfield clicked quite well.

“Shaq (Gwengwe), Alfie (Stanley), Matt Neale when he came on all looked a threat.

“On reflection, first half we were unfortunate not to score. Our performance probably warranted a goal but the players are rusty.”

Pitman, who last season scored four goals in 16 games with League Two side Bristol Rovers, has dropped five divisions to join Portchester for 2022/23.

And he delivered a reminder of his enduring quality with a clinical header.

Wood said: “Didn’t he score four goals last season in League Two?

“You don’t have that sort of quality and not find the right places in the box. You look at young Josh (Baxter) who was marking him.

“These are young boys playing against a player that has just stepped down from the Football League, very experienced and has scored goals wherever he’s been.

“So, it’s a learning curve and as long as they learn from it, we’ll be OK. It’s when they don’t learn that it becomes a problem.

“These are young boys that want to learn. They’re like sponges at the moment and are absorbing everything we throw at them. They’ll get better and better, no doubts about that.”