Grimsby Town lost their final pre-season friendly as League One Peterborough United won at Blundell Park.
But despite the defeat, it was an encouraging performance from the Mariners as they continue their preparations for the campaign ahead.
The visitors took the lead through a first-half wonder strike by Mohamed Eisa, before former Town winger Siriki Dembele doubled their advantage with a little over 15 minutes to go.
Town asked plenty of questions of their own in attack but were unable to find a way past keeper Christy Pym, who made a string of great saves in the closing stages of the game.
The hosts started with James McKeown in goal, behind a defence of Luke Hendrie, Harry Davis, Mattie Pollock and Sebastian Ring.
Elliott Hewitt, Jake Hessenthaler and Elliott Whitehouse were the midfielders, with Ahkeem Rose, James Hanson and Matt Green in attack.
Peterborough included Dembele, who was making his first return to Blundell Park, while former Hull City, Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder George Boyd was also in the starting XI.
A foul by Hendrie on Dembele gave the visitors a free kick on the left edge of the Town penalty area on four minutes but the winger was unable to make it count as his shot went high and wide.
A corner from the right was punched clear by McKeown, before the keeper was called into action again to stop a 20-yard drive from Boyd finding the top corner of the net.
Hanson did well to win a corner on the Town left on 10 minutes after linking up with Rose but Hessenthaler’s ball was headed clear.
Rose headed wide at the near post after a cross from the right, before Hanson narrowly failed to connect with a header from another chipped cross.
Peterborough took the lead on 21 minutes when club record signing EISA got the ball 30 yards out and unleashed a drive which gave McKeown no chance as it arrowed into the top corner.
Eisa almost had a quickfire second after good link-up play between the former Bristol City man and strike-partner Ivan Toney but this time, he lifted his shot over the bar.
A clever free kick from Hessenthaler led to a corner as Green’s cross was blocked but the ball from the flag was headed clear.
Town won another corner, this time on the right, on 36 minutes and this time, after it was initially taken short, the ball was crossed for Davis at the far post but his header was saved by keeper Pym.
A shot from Green was deflected away for a corner after good work by Rose down the left but Hanson was beaten to the ball in the air from it.
One additional minute was played at the end of the half and with no further chances for either side, it remained 1-0 to the visitors at the break.
No changes were made before the restart and Town won a corner four minutes in when a cross from Green was cut out but it did not lead to an opportunity in front of goal.
Another corner, this time from the left, found the head of Pollock but his effot was caught by Pym.
The next Town corner led to a chance after a good set-piece routine saw the ball played low to Hewitt, whose cross then found Davis at the far post but his header hit the bar.
The Mariners were doing most of the attacking and yet another corner went unrewarded as Davis headed over the bar.
The hosts made the first substitution on 60 minutes, with Harry Clifton replacing Ring in a move which saw Hendrie move to left-back and Hewitt drop in on the right.
Rose shot over the bar soon afterwards after a good touch by Whitehouse, before Jordan Cook replaced Whitehouse in the the second change of the afternoon.
Town had created the better opportunities after half-time but when the second goal came on 74 minutes, it was Peterborough who doubled their lead when DEMBELE showed good skill to work an opening before firing past McKeown at the near post.
Max Wright replaced Rose after the goal and Town kept attacking in search of a way back into the game, with Pym producing a superb save to deny Green.
That proved to be the start of another spell of Grimsby pressure but Pym was equal to everything Town could throw at him as the keeper made excellent saves from Hanson’s close-range header and a good strike by Davis.
Green missed the target with a shot from the edge of the box on 87 minutes, before a drive from Hewitt flew wide of the far post.
Two added minutes were played at the end of the game before the referee’s final whistle brought Town’s pre-season fixture programme to an end.
Attention now turns to the serious business of the season itself, with the Mariners making the trip to Morecambe for their League Two opener on Saturday.
Town: McKeown, Ring, Davis, Pollock, Hendrie, Hewitt, Hessenthaler, Whitehouse, Rose, Hanson, Green.
Subs: Battersby, Cook, Wright, Clifton.
Peterborough Utd: Pym, Butler, Beevers, Kent, Mason, Woodyard, Boyd, Ward, Dembele, Eisa, Toney.
Subs: O’Malley, Barker, Fosu, Jones.
Attendance: 1573 (132)
Highlights coming up soon.