A first half goal from debuting Luke Clark was enough to ensure Marine took all three points, in a competitive 1-0 win over 1874 Northwich.
Marine set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with James Barrigan slotting in a left back in place of the injured Joe White. Olly Muir made his home debut at the back alongside Mark Howarth, while Luke Clark and Jack Dunn made their first appearances in a Marine shirt in midfield and attacking midfield respectively.
Dunn almost made the dream start to his Marine career just six minutes in, but Josh Solomon-Davies’ inviting cross was well defended by Northwich before it could reach the former Liverpool academy player.
Approaching the half hour mark, David Lynch also tried his luck, flicking on an out-swinging corner from Dunn, but the midfielder saw his volley tipped over by Tony Adhayere.
Another of the day’s debutants made the breakthrough in front of goal, after the Northwich goalkeeper failed to fully clear a Barrigan cross, Clark was on hand to follow up and finish from just inside the penalty area. The Everton academy graduate has joined Marine after a spell at Chester and took the place of the injured Alex Doyle in midfield.
Looking for a debut goal of his own, Dunn almost found it in spectacular fashion, but his 25-yard volley whistled wide of the post.
The away side pushed for an equaliser however, and Joe Woolley’s deflected cross from the right wing required a save from Bayleigh Passant in the Mariners’ goal.
Just before the half time whistle, Neil Kengni saw his attempt from a tight angle saved by the imposing frame of Adhayere.
The ‘74 kicked off the second half attacking the College Road end and almost came up with an equaliser, as marksman Scott McGowan saw his long-range effort narrowly fly wide.
Lynch went in search of a goal once more, but his effort from distance was always rising over the crossbar.
Club captain Niall Cummins came off the bench and almost came up with a goal, nodding Clark’s free kick towards the net, but it was comfortably saved.
The introduction of James Devine saw Marine switch to a back three, as he slotted into a right centre back position.
Owen Watkinson was the next to try his luck with a curling effort from left of centre of the box, but his strike deflected over.
Solomon-Davies then had a brilliant chance to see the game off, racing through on goal, but his strike on the half volley was blocked once again by the away goalkeeper, before Clark saw his effort blocked.
But there were to be no more goals, as Marine finished with a 1-0 triumph over a battling 1874 Northwich. The win sees the Lilywhites move up to second, three points behind Warrington Rylands with two games in hand.
Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Barrigan, Howarth, Muir, Lynch (Devine), Wignall (Cummins), Clark, Watkinson, Dunn (Irwin), Kengni