Wally Downes is pleased with his young crop of players, despite the scoreline, in AFC Wimbledon’s preseason defeat to Brentford at the Kingsmeadow.

The Dons boss introduced a raft of changes on the hour mark, including Reuben Collins, Paul Osew and Jack Rudoni, to ensure the entire team had a run-out.

But after taking the game to the visitors they found themselves behind when Will Nightingale’s mistake was punished by substitute Marcus Forss.

Late into the game, Brentford’s new signing in Christian Norgaard made it two before Ollie Watkins added a third before time.

In spite of the result, Downes, a former Brentford manager, drew positives from the match - particularly following performances from his younger players.

“First proper game back, everyone came off uninjured and had a very good run out,” he said.

“We achieved all the times that we wanted to for the players at various stages of fitness so we’re happy to come away from the game with a good run out.”

The Dons took the game to the Bees in the opening 45 minutes, and went close to opening the scoring on several occasions.

Paul Kalambayi’s header glanced wide of the post, and efforts from Kwesi Appiah and Adam Roscrow failed to hit the target, before Anthony Hartigan flashed a dangerous free-kick across goal.

However, Brentford’s changes at half-time paid dividends and their quality showed in open play.

Asked whether the scoreline was a little harsh given Wimbledon’s first-half showing, Downes added: “Yeah, perhaps. We had a couple of youngsters come on and the ones that they brought on were a little bit stronger than our young boys.

“But I was very pleased with our youngsters for the 20 minutes they were on – very good.”