Tom Wardle Reports as Marine win Liverpool Senior Cup Final after penalty shootout triumph…
Joe Bunney scored the winning penalty for Marine to clinch their first Liverpool Senior Cup victory in 15 years. The highly anticipated final against Runcorn Linnets remained goalless after 90 minutes which led straight to a shootout. Bayleigh Passant made two crucial saves from the spot in a 4-3 win on penalties, making it a memorable night for Neil Young’s men.
Three changes were made to the line-up from Saturday’s league defeat to Hyde United. Josh Solomon-Davies, Mark Howarth and Akiel Raffie all returned to the starting eleven ahead of the tie at the DCBL Stadium in Widnes.
Both teams battled away early on in what was expected to be a cagey affair.
The first chance fell to the Yellows when a corner to the back post was headed back into the danger zone by Sam Heathcote, though Will Johnson made a crucial block to prevent an oncoming effort from causing his goalkeeper any problems.
Marine grew into the game as the half went on, with every Sol Solomon corner putting the Runcorn defence under pressure.
Seven minutes after the break, the Mariners had a golden opportunity through Howarth. Raffie performed a brilliant piece of skill down the right before pulling the ball back into the path of the midfielder who should’ve done better from inside the box.
Raffie was haunting the yellows’ back line again when he rifled a stinging effort that had to be firmly pushed wide by Danny Taberner.
The Mariners attacked once more down the right wing with Solomon-Davies who steamed forward and put a low cross in looking for Louis Britton, but Taberner launched himself from his goal to claim.
With a quarter of an hour left to play, Marine’s injury curse struck again, as Solomon had to be stretched off the pitch with a suspected thigh problem.
With the game still in the balance, both sides consumed spells of possession to try and create the perfect attack, though it wasn’t quite happening.
Into stoppage time, a peach of a cross by Howarth almost found the head of Britton, although he wasn’t expecting it and the game ended with penalties to decide the outcome.
Ryan Brooke stepped up first, but his shot was confidently saved by Passant.
Jordan Lussey and Howarth scored their kicks for the Mariners, with Sam Heathcote and Tom Moore finding the net for the Yellows.
Substitute Britton then saw his spot kick saved by Taberner, which Passant followed up with a fine stop of his own to deny James Short.
Lucas Weir and Sean O’Mahony scored for their respective clubs, before Bunney struck the winning penalty straight down the middle to bring the Liverpool Senior Cup to Crosby.
Marine’s final game of the season comes this Saturday, when we welcome Matlock Town to the Marine Travel Arena for a 3pm kick off.
Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies (Smith 79), Hayde, Howarth, Wardle ©, Johnson, Lussey, Doyle, Bunney, Solomon (Weir 77), Raffie (Britton 66).
Unused Substitutes: Hardy, Mendes.
Runcorn Linnets: Taberner, Brown, Short ©, Moore, O’Mahony, Heathcote, Birchall (Gumbs 45), Hayes (Nolan 90), Brooke, Rooney, Hanley.
Unused Substitutes: Moseley, Elverstone, McFadyen.