First half goals from Ben Hughes and Lewis Reilly cap off an excellent team performance, as Marine defeat Workington 2-1.
Neil Young made four changes to the side that drew at Colne last week, with James Barrigan, Ben Roberts, Ben Hughes and Lewis Reilly coming in. James Devine partnered Dean Winnard at the heart of defence, as Marine switched to a back four.
Starting on the front foot, Marine looked to apply pressure to the back five of Workington, with Hughes and Neil Kengni pushing up to try and pin wing backs David Symington and Matthew Clarke back.
After coming on as an 11th minute substitute in place of the injured Ryan Wignall, Jack Dunn looked to threaten with a combination of dangerous corners and long throw ins.
In the 28th minute, one of Dunn’s inviting deliveries was the source of the game’s opening goal, as Ben Hughes marked his return to the starting line-up with a back post header, giving Marine a deserved lead.
The Mariners doubled their lead just a few minutes later, as a long free kick forward from Bayleigh Passant was controlled excellently inside the penalty area by Reilly, who made no mistake with the driven finish.
Having battled extremely hard in the first half, Marine enjoyed a two-goal lead, but deep into injury time in the first half, Nic Evangelinos turned and fired into the bottom left corner of Marine’s goal, halving their advantage.
The Lilywhites would have been pleased to take their deserved lead into the halftime break, but would have known there was still plenty of work to do if they were to confirm the three points.
Symington almost levelled the scores inside the first minute after the interval, but his 20-yard effort skimmed the post on its way out of play.
Workington striker Reuben Jerome looked lively throughout the afternoon, striking the crossbar with his header soon after Symington had struck the frame of the goal.
Shortly before being substituted off in the 68th minute, Jerome managed to wriggle free to the left of the box, sliding his effort low across goal, but just past the post.
The Reds, who donned their green away strip, enjoyed most of the ball, working it into some dangerous looking positions, but were largely unsuccessful in testing Passant.
A multitude of battling performances all over the pitch from those in white must be credited, with David Lynch, Hughes and Dean Winnard shining above the rest.
Dunn had a chance to seal the victory late on, but his half-volley rocket kissed the left post before going behind.
Matthew McQuillan’s final whistle brought an end to a gripping, edge-of-your-seat performance from two of the division’s best teams.
Three points sees Marine leapfrog Leek Town into third, with a short trip to Bootle next up for the Crosby natives.
Marine: Passant, Roberts, Barrigan, Lynch, Winnard, Devine, Hughes, Doyle (Clark), Reilly (Watkinson), Wignall (Dunn), Kengni