Marine manager Neil Young was pleased with the performance despite losing to Bradford Park Avenue on penalties.
The Mariners took the National League North side all the way after scoring a last-minute equaliser but the spot-kicks proved a step too far as they were beaten 3-0.
Their attention now turns to the Northern Premier League as they look to continue their push for promotion.
Marine have two games in hand over their nearest challengers but sit two points clear at the top.
“We’ve gone through on penalties before but got to be proud of the lads to go away to a conference north team [and push them],” Young told Off The Park.
“First half we weren’t great, but second half we were fantastic, the better team and probably should’ve won it on chances, we hit the post twice, we’ve limited them.
“They had a lot of the ball because they are technically very good, considering we had no centre backs, two midfielders playing at the back and until we could get David Raven in there for the second half. Overall, very pleased with the performance against a team much higher than us and it shows how far we’ve come.
“They were sloppy [the goals conceded]. That comes with continuity. I don’t think I’ve been able to pick the same team twice all season, particularly the back four.
“We give a penalty away, dived in when we didn’t need to, second goal good finish but again midfield wide open. We couldn’t get to grips with them in the midfield first half, got the lads in second half changed the shape, made a change to personnel then bossed the game.
“The disappointing thing for us we got back to 2-2, Niall [Cummins] has missed a good opportunity and it’s been all us then they breakaway – we didn’t get tight – they get forward, we don’t close the ball, Bailey [Passant] could’ve done better with the shot but then a simple header when we were on top. They never stop and do it again, get another equaliser. Penalties was just one time too far.
“Very good team. They’ve been top, until this league changed again, technically very good, a brand new 4G pitch – which we’ve played on last two weeks so be well used to them. Got some very good players, Price up front, Trickett-Smith in the 10, well coached by Neil Baker – experienced man, fantastic career – we’re expecting as tough of a game as we’ll get in this division.
“We’ll just see who on the day [performs] and we have to make sure we put in a performance. This will be the one, maybe, people are looking to take points off us because everyone I’ve spoken to about Leek have said how good a side they are. I know good Neil Baker’s teams are, it’s a real tough for us.
“We’re obviously coming off the back of Bradford Park Avenue in the cup but before then we’ve been playing teams in and around the bottom of the division so we’ve got a lot of work to do to win this one.”