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BRYAN HUGHES can be proud of his players as Wrexham performed well but suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Portuguese Primeira Liga side Portimonense SC.

Wrexham's third summer friendly during the annual pre-season training trip to the Algarve was played at Portimonense's home ground, the Estádio Municipal de Portimão, and it was evident to see while the hosts finished 12th in the Portuguese top flight last term.

Portimonense took an early lead and continued to move the ball around well but Wrexham stuck to their task and played some good football themselves in the first half as Bobby Grant struck the woodwork twice.

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Paul Rutherford delivers a cross. Images by Alun Roberts

Both sides had chances after the break and although Wrexham more than held their own as they caused Portimonense problems, the equaliser never arrived.

Striker Jason Oswell, who missed the opening two friendlies after recovering from groin surgery, was named in the starting XI while Adam Barton filled in at centre-back.

There was little between the sides in the opening exchanges but Portimonense took the lead after seven minutes.

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Mark Carrington on the ball for Wrexham

A free-kick was delivered into the danger zone and an outstretched leg of centre-back Jadson steered the ball past goalkeeper Christian Dibble.

Wrexham didn't let their heads drop despite the early setback and Paul Rutherford's cross was eventually cleared by a defender.

Dibble pulled off a superb save to keep out a 25 yard drive but Wrexham came close to an equaliser in the 17th minute when Grant also tried his luck from outside the area and struck the crossbar.

Although Portimonense's passing and movement kept Wrexham on their guard, the Reds were quick to counter and Luke Summerfield's corner was headed back across goal by Akil Wright but the hosts cleared their lines.

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Akil Wright heads back across goal

Grant also headed over the bar following a teasing cross and Rutherford won a corner which was delivered by Summerfield and James Jennings' header drifted wide.

Mark Carrington made a superb challenge in the area to deny Portimonense a shot on goal following a well worked move but Wrexham won another corner and when it was only partially cleared, Grant's low drive struck the base of a post.

Summerfield's free-kick was deflected inches over the bar with the last sight of goal at the end of the first half as Portimonense remained ahead at the break.

Hughes made one change for the start of the second half with Leighton McIntosh replacing Oswell in attack and a curling effort for the hosts was just off target after the restart.

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Bobby Grant in possession

Mark Harris replaced Devonte Redmond on 51 minutes while Wrexham came close to an equaliser as a Portimonense player almost sliced Summerfield's free-kick into his own net.

The hosts saw an effort deflected narrowly wide for a corner from which a header failed to trouble Dibble but the Reds' goalkeeper was needed to make a vital save to keep out another attempt.

Jake Lawlor, making his comeback from a dislocated shoulder sustained at the start of April which kept him out of Wrexham's last five games of 2018-19, and Mark Harris replaced Barton and Summerfield after 61 minutes.

Portimonense saw another header clear the bar before Wrexham had chances of their own.

Harris' volley was spilled and eventually gathered by the goalkeeper before the on-loan striker's shot was deflected just wide following McIntosh's pull-back.

Hughes made his final two changes with trialist goalkeeper Dawid Szcepaniak and JJ Hooper replacing Dibble and Grant respectively.

Hooper was just beaten to the ball by a defender following McIntosh's pull-back while Portimonense headed wide late on but their early goal proved to be the difference in the end.

Portimonense: Gonda, Igor, Jadson, Rodrigo, Henrique, Pedro Sá, Luquinha, Bruno Reis, Aylton Boa Morte, Iury Castillo, Beto.

Wrexham: Dibble (Szcepaniak 72); Carrington, Pearson, Barton (Lawlor 61), Jennings; Rutherford, Summerfield (Young 61), Wright; Grant (Hooper 72), Oswell (McIntosh 46), Redmond (Harris 51).