First half goals from Alex Doyle and Neil Kengni extend Marine’s lead at the top to five points, after a 2-0 win at Kendal Town.
To start with, Marine lined up with three centre backs, as Mark Howarth, David Raven and Dean Winnard protected Bayleigh Passant’s goal. Two goals in two games earned Lewis Reilly a place in the starting 11, with Neil Kengni back from suspension.
The league leaders quickly established themselves as the dominant side in the match, controlling much of the early possession and limiting Kendal to few passing patterns.
David Lynch’s performance in midfield deserves mention, as the tenacious ball winner controlled much of the evening’s proceedings and made a number of big challenges.
An opportunity for the opening goal presented itself after Owen Watkinson was fouled down the left flank, giving the Mariners a free kick.
Usual suspects James Barrigan and Alex Doyle stood over the ball, with the latter seeing his delivery evade everyone and nestle in the bottom right corner. Doyle has now scored three goals for the season, a decent return for a more defensively minded midfielder.
Soon after, Neil Kengni doubled Marine’s lead, through a superb effort.
A long ball forward from Raven was controlled on the run by Kengni, with the forward smashing an effort past Kendal ‘keeper Oliver Lombard at the near post. Marine’s top scorer now has eight goals in all competitions.
Reilly almost gave his side a three-goal cushion just after the half hour mark, as he found himself one-on-one with Lombard, but his low shot was saved well by the goalkeeper.
At the break, Neil Young will have been pleased to see his side dominate in such convincing fashion, with Passant hardly involved. The only downside being Winnard limp off after 35 minutes, further adding to Marine’s injury list.
Kendal Town started the second half with much more spring in their step, forcing Marine back and enjoying more of the ball. Despite this, chances were sparse and the division’s bottom side failed to make their increase in possession count.
Marine’s injury crisis worsened throughout the half, with both Doyle and Josh Solomon-Davies leaving the pitch, replaced by Ryan Wignall and Ben Hughes, with the second filling in at right back.
As the half went on, the Mariner’s did not allow their injury issues to deter them, re-establishing their foothold on the match. Kengni in particular had several decent chances to double his tally, but his strikes drove narrowly wide.
Reilly also looked like he may continue his hot streak in front of goal, but a last ditch tackle from Darren Nightingale denied the striker.
The match’s final chance saw set piece specialist Reilly send a free kick inches wide of the right post with a curling effort.
Shaun Taylor’s full-time whistle brought an end to the contest, with Marine securing their 12th league win of the season, with an outstanding record of 36 points out of a possible 42.
Next up is a trip to Widnes, who currently sit 17th in the league.
Marine line up: Passant, Solomon-Davies (Hughes), Barrigan, Howarth, Winnard (Devine), Raven, Watkinson, Doyle (Wignall), Reilly, Lynch, Kengni