TWO former Vics triallists have dropped down a level in a bid to play regular first team football.

Front runner Phil Marsh has signed for Hyde United while winger Michael Barnes has agreed a switch to the Tigers’ Blue Square North rivals Southport.

Both failed to make an impact at the Marston’s Arena.

Marsh, 22, made his debut in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Vics’ Setanta Shield conquerors Stafford.

He left Vics shortly before Dino Maamria’s suspension after making four substitute appearances in the Blue Square Premier.

Meanwhile Barnes, 20, was a spectator for the Sandgrounders’ 1-1 draw at Gateshead yesterday, Saturday.

He left Vics following a single substitute appearance after refusing to play for free, only to later return.

His second brief stint, like Marsh, came to an end after Vics were humiliated at Woodley Sports in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup.

“Michael has real pace, he is both a supplier and goalscorer,” Port boss Liam Watson told the club’s official website.

“I believe he will add considerably to our squad.”

Whether Watson will now cool his interest in Vics’ forgotten wideman Paul Barratt – who had agreed terms to return to his former club a fortnight ago – remains to be seen.

Barratt was once more left out yesterday, Saturday, as stand-in manager Mike Marsh handed a place in the squad to rookie trio Ben Wharton, Ross Farran and Wayne Riley.