Tom Murphy reports from Moss Rose…

A Finlay Sinclair Smith penalty and a strike from Jack Bainbridge sent Marine to Utopia as they secured promotion to the National League North. 

Despite a nail biting end the Mariners held on and will now compete at the highest level in the club’s history. 

A fast paced start to the first half saw the majority of chances falling to Marine in the opening minutes. 

Owen Robinson struck the crossbar after the ball fell to him on the edge of the area before Jack Bainbridge followed up by striking it straight at Ollie Byrne in goal. 

Marine’s pressure eventually paid off when Sol Solomon was brought down in the area by Paul Dawson. 

Sinclair Smith slotted his kick coolly past Byrne and sent his team to an early lead after 25 minutes. 

The Mariners didn’t slow down as they looked to add a second before the break. 

Harvey Gregson had a go from distance but his effort was only able to find the advertising boards behind the goal. 

The home side became increasingly frustrated throughout the half as Marine went into the interval ahead. 

Marine started the second half the better of the two teams and were rewarded with a second thanks to a powerful Bainbridge strike in the 68th minute. 

Macclesfield hit back thanks to Drummond who saw his effort roll over the line after Jones spilled the ball. 

The home side continued to pressurise Marine but they gave it their all and held on for the biggest win in the clubs recent history and a seventh promotion for the gaffer. 

An incredible season, an incredible team have achieved something they have truly deserved and the performance showcased this. 

Macclesfield: 1 Ollie Byrne, 2 Tre Pemberton, 3 Neil Kengni, 4 Laurent Mendy, 5 Dan Lafferty (Tom Clare 86), 6 Paul Dawson, 7 Kane Drummond, 8 Alex Curran, 9 Babatunde Owolabi (Dan Sweeney 63′), 10 John Rooney, 11 Luke Duffy

Unused Subs: 13 Conor O’Keefe, 14 Sam Perry, 15 Andrew Baker. 

Marine: 1 Bobby Jones, 2 Scott Butler, 3 Freddie Sass, 4 Harvey Gregson, 5 Chris Doyle, 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Finlay Sinclair-Smith (Louis White 73′), 8 Jack Bainbridge, 9 Bobby Grant (Owen Windsor 90’+2), 10 Sol Solomon (Liam Nolan 80), 11 Owen Robinson

Unused Subs: 14 Jon Routledge, 16 Matty Waters.

Northern Premier League – Premier Division Playoff Final

Monday 6th May 2024

Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Joe Moss Stadium

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