Frickley Athletic fell to a 2-0 home defeat against North Ferriby United in their final pre-season friendly match of the summer.
Billy Heath’s United side scored twice in as many first-half minutes at Westfield Lane to secure victory against a Blues side that has had a mixed bag of results over the close season.
The visitors showed why they were Evo-Stik Premier League champions last season by causing the Blues defence all kinds of problems throughout the afternoon.
Blues boss Karl Rose fielded a strong side but was without the services of Jimmy Ghaichem, who returned from holiday with an illness. Joe Wilcox moved onto the right of midfield with Andy Villermann starting at left back. Jason Yates moved up front alongside Luke Hinsley.
After an even start the visitors took the lead with the first real chance of the game as former Frickley player Danny Clarke headed the ball on for Nathan Jarman who swivelled to pick out the run of Ryan Kendall who chipped the ball past the advancing Jamie Green from the edge of the box.
Within two minutes Ferriby doubled their lead as Clarke headed on a long clearance from Antoni Pecora for Jarman to drill a low shot past Green at the foot of his left hand post.
The Blues came close to pulling a goal back on 33 minutes when Joe Fox did well on the left and cut inside before playing the ball across the edge of the box for Wilcox to hit a thunderous first time shot which Pecora tipped over the bar at full stretch. Wes Milnes just failed to get his head to the resulting corner from Fox.
Tom Davey tried his luck with a 25-yard shot for Ferriby on 40 minutes which went comfortably wide of the right hand post while Wilcox had his own go from the same distance three minutes later but, although his effort was more accurate, it flew straight at Pecora.
Kendall volleyed over from close range following a cross from Jamie Yates as the visitors looked to increase their lead but Jason Yates had a great chance to pull a goal back on the hour when he latched on to a long ball forward from Steve Gardner to hold off Gregg Anderson but he shot straight at Pecora from close range with Luke Hinsley snatching at the rebound to fire wide.
Mark Gray headed over following a corner on 66 minutes and Villermann played in Yates a minute later but his shot from just inside the box was acrobatically pushed away by Pecora.
Tom Woodhead, who replaced Green at half time, was forced into a couple of good saves as the game entered the last ten minutes. First he was forced to dive to his left to push a curling shot from Kendall past the post then, from the resulting corner, he brilliantly diverted a powerful header from Anderson over the bar.
The Blues will go into the new season with consecutive defeats but having had good workouts against strong opposition.
Frickley: Green (Tom Woodhead 45), Gardner, Villermann, Picton, Gray, Milnes, Wilcox, Bloor, Hinsley, Yates (Fearon 83), Fox. Unused subs: Redfearn, Jeffs, Davies, Oniama.
North Ferriby: Pecora, Robson (Lisles 45), Davey, King (Fry 68), Wilson, Hone (Anderson 45), Clarke (Robson 75), Fry (D’Laryea 45), Jarman, Kendall, Yates. Unused Sub: Nicklin.
Referee: Luke Watson.