BOSS Mark Phillips insisted Stourport Swifts had gained plenty despite suffering an 8-0 pre-season defeat to Kidderminster Harriers.

Matters were not helped by keeper Callum Grant being forced to play the second half with a hip complaint after Swifts were denied the opportunity to field Harriers youngster Tom Palmer between the sticks in the second half.

The visitors dominated throughout but Phillips was happy to see his side get plenty of off-the-ball work in against full-time opposition.

“We told the players the lesson would be to keep the ball better under pressure,” said Phillips. “When we gave it away, it didn’t come back for five minutes which made life harder.

“It was a good lesson but if we can keep the ball and play quicker then that’s how we will improve. That is what we need to aspire to and the way I want us playing.

“A lot of teams in our league play more direct but that’s not how you develop so I am happier playing a footballing side like Kidderminster than a long-ball team.”

On the goalkeeping confusion, which delayed the start of the second half by 10 minutes, Phillips said: “We agreed with Kidderminster that Tom would play a part but for some reason he was not on the list and the referee would not sanction it.

“Callum was in the shower when he was called back out. He had stiffened up by then and that contributed to some of the goals.”

Swifts have signed full-back Joel Caines from AFC Wulfrunians, while Dan Sweeney has registered permanently having been on loan from Harriers last season.

Ash Parsons-Smith arrives from Halesowen looking to rebuild his career on the back of an injury-plagued two years that has featured a broken elbow and anterior cruciate ligament problems.

“Ash is just coming back and has a lot of fitness to regain,” added Phillips. “He is a quality player, he just needs to get back up to speed and hopefully he will be a big acquisition for us.

Striker Nick MacPherson, central-midfielder Joe Lawley and Joe Hanson, a centre-half or right-back, featured on a trial basis on Saturday.

“They all did well but it was difficult for them to make an impression against opposition like that,” said Phillips.

“That contributed to the score but I was determined to do it because they have been doing well in training. We wanted to see how they coped.”

Swifts were due to host Droitwich Spa last night (Wednesday) before welcoming Stourbridge to Walshes Meadow on Saturday (3pm). Bewdley will then visit on Tuesday (7.45).