Marine slipped to a narrow defeat in their 2nd pre-season friendly at Clitheroe this afternoon.

On a scorching Summer’s day at Shawbridge the Mariners fielded the usual mix of first-team players, U23s, and trialists.

The only goal of the game came after just six minutes, as a ball to the back-post from the Clitheroe right saw young right-back Ben Jones attempt to divert the ball behind for a corner. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Jones met the ball sweetly on the half-volley to crash the ball into the roof of the net.

Other than that indiscretion, Jones gave a good account, combining well with Trialist A on the right, whilst the centre-half pairing of Dean Winnard and Josh Wardle limited the influence of home skipper Gonzales.

The Mariners almost equalised just after the half-hour, as from a free-kick Winnard’s header found Wardle whose low ball across the box was flicked cheekily towards goal by Mo Touray, but trickled the wrong side of the post.

Lucas Weir’s free-kick from distance bounced in font of the home ‘keeper who was nevertheless able to field comfortably, before a ball to the back post at the other end was headed a yard wide by Clitheroe player-manager Priestley.

After the break both sides made the expected raft of changes, Neil Young’s trialists all acquitting themselves reasonably well.

Mark Howarth’s header to Wardle saw the former Witton man volley over early in the half, before Trialist B showed skill to beat his man and drive at goal, his effort being parried by the ‘keeper before Luke Clark’s follow-up was blocked on the line by a yellow-shirted defender. Trialist A picked up the loose ball but he too was denied by a last-ditch block as Marine were denied an equaliser.

Clitheroe almost doubled their advantage ten minutes from time as a loose pass from Winnard found Leigh who slipped the ball through to a home Trialist, however substitute stopper Germano Mendes spared Winnard’s blushes with a good block.

Marine continue their build-up the new season with a trip to the Pure Stadium on Tuesday evening to take on Southport, kick-off at 7:30pm.

Marine: Passant (Mendes 70), B Jones (Trialist C 46), Smith, Howarth (Trialist D 56), Winnard, Wardle (T Jones 79), Trialist A, A Doyle (c) (Weir 74), Weir (Trialist B 46), Touray, C Doyle (Clark 51).

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