JASON AINSLEY was delighted with his Spennymoor side’s resilience as they contained Middlesbrough for long spells of last night’s pre-season friendly at Brewery Field.

Moors fell behind in the second minute when they conceded a penalty that was converted by Patrick Bamford, but Boro did not score again until Britt Assombalonga found the net midway through the second half.

Ainsley named a starting line-up that contained six debutants, five of whom were playing in defensive positions. Goalkeeper Matthew Gould was making his first Spennymoor start, along with all four members of the backline.

The Moors boss admits he feared the worst when his side fell behind at such an early stage of proceedings, but was pleased with the way his players dug in for the remainder of the game.

“It was all about fitness really, and looking at the shape of the side, and you’ve got to remember the quality they (Middlesbrough) have,” said Ainsley, whose side will be hoping to win promotion to the National League next season. “You’ve got to be happy with the way things went, although the disappointment was the first goal.

“It was just bad defending really, and it doesn’t matter what level of side you’re playing against, you’ll always be in trouble if you defend like that.

“At that stage, you were thinking it was going to be a cricket score, but to their credit, the lads dug in and the shape of the side was good.

“You could see their quality at times, but I don’t really think there was any stage where we looked like being over-run.

“It was a new defence, and we haven’t had the chance to do a lot with them yet. They’ve only really had a couple of sessions, so with that in mind, I thought they did pretty well.”

Spennymoor announced six new additions at the start of the month, but Ainsley is hoping to make at least two more signings before the new National League North season begins.

“I think we need to bring another couple in,” he said. “If we can do that, and get another couple, then I don’t think we’ll be too far away.

“They’ve got to be the right players though, and they’ve got to be better than the lads that are already here. I’ve had all sorts of names put forward to me, but I’m not going to be signing players just for the sake of it.

“It’s about improving the squad, and if we can do that in the next couple of weeks, hopefully we’ll be in for another good season.”