Lancaster City went down 5-1 to a slick Barrow side in their latest pre-season friendly on Wednesday night.
By the time Ryan Winder scored with a fine 20-yard shot for the hosts shortly after the hour mark the National League side were already four goals to the good.
Darren Edmondson’s Bluebirds have gone full-time ahead of the new campaign and dominated proceedings but City fans will take heart from some encouraging passages of play and the performances of two new recruits.
Former Farsley Celtic full back Michael Aspin was industrious down the right with Spaniard Antonio Lafuente showing why he has impressed in training with an encouraging 45 minutes on the right wing.
The game was as competitive as ever early on between the two sides, one challenge from Jacob Davis might have brought the Blues central defender a red card in a competitive fixture.
After an even opening Barrow began to show their superior class however, hitting a crossbar and testing Mike Donlon from range.
They were in front just after the half hour, Andy Cook hammering home after the ball had dropped to him just inside the area, a fine finish which gave Donlon no chance.
City thought they were level shortly after, Tom Kilifin latching onto Ryan Winder’s through ball and lifting the ball over Barrow stopper Aaron Taylor only to be flagged for offside.
The visitors then went straight up the other end and made it two, David Mellor arrowing a low shot from 20 yards into the bottom left-hand corner.
It was three on the stroke of half-time as Cook headed home his second from Andy McWilliams’ cross.
Both sides then began to ring the changes, Barrow fielding an entirely different team in the second half, but it didn’t change the pattern of play.
Former Morecambe front man Jason Walker added a fourth on 56 minutes, finishing well past Donlon after being played in on goal.
City weren’t without their attacking intent, Aspin overlapping well down the right only to see a tame shot on the stretch comfortably saved.
The Blues got some reward for their efforts with Winder’s goal on 62 minutes. The midfielder capped a good display by driving forward and firing beyond Joel Dixon and into the roof of the net from 20 yards.
It was Barrow who got the game’s final goal though, Elliot Newby finishing well from 12 yards 10 minutes from time.
Edmondson’s men could have had even more but Donlon, whose contribution wasn’t reflected in the scoreline, produced some sharp late saves.
The Dolly Blues’ next friendly is against Penrith at Giant Axe on Saturday, July 25, a 2pm kick-off.
Lancaster City: Donlon, Aspin (Bailey 78), Hudson, Davis (Clark 72), Marshall (capt) (Freeland 49), Hunter, Winder, Akrigg, Kilifin (Poole 52), Taylor (Wearing 60), Lafuente (Pearce 45). Subs not used: Hale.