Nelson delivered an encouraging performance as they went down 4-2 to a strong Accrington Stanley side at Victoria Park on Saturday.
James Beattie brought his side to Nelson for his first game in charge of the Reds, with the friendly played in front of a crowd of over 300.
Stanley went ahead on 17 minutes when a loose pass from former Reds winger Chris Turner was snapped up by James Gray, son of former Claret Phil, who slipped the ball past Ben Woodhead.
Within a minute, Danny Finch’s attempted clearance from a corner hit Andy Eaton and fell to Northern Ireland Under 21 striker Gray, who doubled his haul.
The action showed no sign of abating, and on 20 minutes, Nelson pulled one backas another former Stanley man Nat Taylor dispossessed Nicky Hunt before his cross was turned into his own net by Tom Aldred.
Mark Fell’s side had chances to equalise, though they were indebted to Woodhead for a fine stop from former Sheffield United striker Danny Webber just before the break.
The Blues were level eight minutes into the second half as Taylor pounced on a heavy touch just inside the Accrington half, advanced and lashed a 25-yard strike into the top corner.
But Stanley restored their lead after the hour as substitute Peter Murphy headed home from six yards.
Shortly after, Laurence Wilson and James Hadfield created an opening, with the latter finishing well.
Nelson lined up: Woodhead (Pilkington 63); Anderton, Lawless (Lloyd 53), Finch, Ahmed (Rossall 60), Dawson, Turner, Mihell (Brooks 76), Taylor (Higgins 63), Eaton, Berry (Coote 46).
The Blues were at Across against Maine Road last night, before a trip to Old Blackburnians tomorrow.
Barnoldswick Town visit Across on Wednesday.
Nelson start the season on August 3rd at Leek CSOB, before two home games against Holker and Chadderton.
Nelson will travel to Consett AFC in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase on Saturday, September 21st.
In the FA Youth Cup, Nelson were drawn at home to Lancaster City.