A nightmare start to the newly formed Evo-Stik West for United saw a 4-0 loss to Leek Town in a game where the Blues ended with nine men.
Dave Powell handed debuts to a number of summer signings while the quartet of Chris Cheetham, Jack Fleming, Tom Molyneux and Mike Roddy kept up a familar look from last season.
Leek made a perfect start as Tim Grice evaded several United defenders before finding Niall Maguire who fired past Cheetham to open the scoring inside two minutes.
The visitors extended their lead with just six miutes played as former Liverpool Academy striker Dan Trickett-Smith swept a low shot into the bottom corner from range for 2-0. United were facing a tough afternoon as Leek made it 3-0 in the 11th minute, Maguire and Grice swapping their earlier roles as the latter hit past Cheetham.
United were hindered unfairly on 20 minutes as a chase between Trickett-Smith and defender Callum Woods saw the forward supposedly felled by the 'last man'. The referee showed Woods a straight red card but replays show that this should not have been the case.
The second half saw United come achingly close to cutting the gap as a clever move sawJ ason Carey's shot cannon off the woodwork before Connor Belger's rebounded effort was saved by Danny Roberts.
United's hopes of a comeback were ended on 62 minutes as Trickett-Smith completed his brace with a superb free-kick which sailed past Cheetham for 4-0. T
he woes for the hosts didn't end there though as a bizarre moment of madness on 81 minutes saw Connor Belger dismissed leaving United with nine men for the remainder of the game. A bad day at the office for United who will need a quick improvement ahead of Tuesday's visit to Kendal Town.
United - Cheetham, Woods, Fleming, Molyneux, White (Brownsword 70), Roddy (c) Belger, Ennis (Griffiths 70), Edgar, Carey (Hawley 70), Moore. Subs not used - Smith, Donnelly.
Leek- Roberts, Green, Kearns, Grocott, Lycett (c), Bailey, Maguire, Walford, Grice (Johnson 70), Trickett-Smith (Brazel 78), Stevenson (Thomas 70)