A young Cheltenham Town side suffered a heavy defeat in Somerset against Southern Premier South outfit Taunton Town.
With Premier League Leicester City set to visit the Jonny-Rocks Stadium in less than 24 hours following the Robins trip down the M5, a team made up of 15 to 17 year olds made the trip and came unstuck in a second half where Taunton powered through to a seven goal victory.
It was a good effort from a Robins under-18s unit who have only been together for a few weeks and who were always going to find it incredibly tough against a team expected to push for promotion to the National League set-up this coming season.
They were up against it from the start. A Taunton onslaught saw Freddie Lapworth produce two excellent point-blank saves to deny Josh Grant, and Kian Bedford then did well to get back on the line to block Matt Wright's shot.
Wright was threatening again a minute later. His header from a cross slammed against the post and Bedford cleared up the pieces.
A goal looked to be coming, and it eventually did on 11 minutes. Pinball in the Robins box eventually saw the ball fall to Neal, and he slammed in to break the deadlock.
Lapworth denied Neal from scoring another quickly after, while the second year scholar made another good stop to keep out Jamie Short's effort with his feet.
Taunton made it two on 26 minutes when Neal got in behind the Cheltenham defence and lifted a well-taken goal into the back of the net to give the hosts a two goal lead at the break.
Immediately after half time Taunton threatened again, with Lapworth having to stand firm when Wright was sent through.
They would add a third though when Jamie Price rose highest from a corner, while substitute Dan Sullivan's attempts to make it four were thwarted by Lapworth who stood up tall to save again.
Neal scored plenty for Taunton last season, and the nimble forward proved just why when he completed his hat-trick on 64 minutes as he followed up in the box.
Taunton made it five when Short claimed his second ten minutes before the end.
Charlie Stanton struck the post as he attempted to draw a goal back for Cheltenham. The second year forward produced a left-footed curling shot that hit the upright.
It was six on 85 minutes when Sullivan scored, and after Lapworth had made another good save to deny Ed Palmer, the hosts added a final seventh on 90 minutes to wrap up their evening's work on a night where the Robin youngsters applied themselves brilliantly against senior opponents.
TAUNTON: Irish, Mitchell, White, Adelsbury, Palmer, Price, Chamberlain, Short, Wright, Grant, Neal, Sullivan, Hall, Manley, Rice, Coppin, Sleaman-Keane
ROBINS: Lapworth, T Lawrence, Putz, I Lawrence, Bedford, Chamberlain (Idowu 73), Stanton, Evans-Harriott, Skurek (Romais 76), Stevens, Atwell