Mablethorpe Athletic boss Mick Stubbs saw signs of encouragement as his side claimed a creditable draw against strong opponents Spilsby.
Athletic held last season’s Boston League Premier Division runners-up to a goalless draw as they kicked off their pre-season programme.
Mablethorpe went into the friendly without several key players including Adam Brownson, Adam Cannon, Alex Carter, Andrew Wyer, Courtney Skeldon and Lee Twigg.
The home side made a slow start and nearly conceded early on when Jordan Smith struck the outside of the left post, and soon after Jamie Pittam pulled off a string of saves to keep Mablethorpe on level terms.
But Athletic gradually improved and Lee Bebbington headed over from Anthony Parnell’s corner before guiding a header and from Will Britton’s free kick a fraction too high.
And in the 43rd minute, Parnell cut inside from the right and shot inches wide of the left post.
Soon after the break Parnell played in substitute Jack Potter who narrowly missed the target, while at the other end Jordan Turner rounded Pittam only to see his shot very well blocked on the line by Matthew Sirett.
Mablethorpe kept going with Mitch Whiley firing over a 20-yarder and Britton forcing Conor Carse into a great save from the edge of the box.
And a few minutes before the final whistle, an attempted cross by Parnell looped onto the top of the crossbar.
After an evenly-fought game of chances at both ends, the Mablethorpe manager was pleased with a draw.
Stubbs said: “As I expected we were rusty to start with and were off the pace a bit. However, we improved and had some good periods of play.
“Our passes were sometimes too heavy, but it was a fine effort by all who turned up.
“Although we only had 12 players available they all played well, particularly Paul Mail and Michael Hardy who was the man-of-the-match; they were outstanding in the middle of the park.
“Considering this was our first game in a while and we were playing a strong team I was reasonably pleased.”
Mablethorpe’s next confirmed friendly is on Tuesday, August 4 when they host Cleethorpes Town AKP (kick-off 7pm), but more are due to be arranged for July.
Mablethorpe (4-2-3-1): Pittam; Sirett (c), Bebbington, Billingham (Williamson 79), Williamson (Mackay 46); Hardy, Mail; Whiley, Mackay (Potter 23), Parnell; Britton.