Tom Wardle Reports as Marine suffer heaviest defeat of the season to relegation battling Dabbers…

Marine’s play-off push took a major setback this afternoon as they lost 3-0 to Nantwich Town. Sean Cooke and Byron Harrison gave the Dabbers a two-goal lead at the break which former Mariner Connor Evans added to in the second half. Despite the loss, Marine remain in seventh in the Northern Premier League table; as for Nantwich they climb out of the relegation zone.

Neil Young made one change from Monday night’s 4-1 win against Southport. Ben Hodkinson replaced the injured Joe Hardy.

The home side’s best chances came within the opening five minutes. Hodkinson’s cross into the box was spilled by Thomas Booth into the path of Sol Solomon, though a vital challenge by Nathan Okome prevented Marine’s top scorer from adding to his tally.

From the subsequent corner, Hodkinson picked out Jonny Spittle whose effort from three yards out was clawed off the line by Booth.

The visitors replied with a chance of their own. Evans drove into the Marine box and narrowly placed the ball wide of the far post.

Bayleigh Passant was then called into action to keep out Perry Bircumshaw’s powerful header.

Nantwich opened the scoring after half an hour of play. Aidan Roxburgh made a spirited run with the ball before pulling it back to Cooke who gave Passant no chance with his finish.

Two minutes prior to the half time whistle, Spittle was adjudged to have brought down Evans in the box to give the away side the chance to double their advantage. Harrison stepped up and guided his penalty into the top corner.

Akiel Raffie was brought on at the interval for his Marine debut in an attempt to turn the game around.

He made an instant impact by threading through Joe Bunney who slotted the ball into the net, but the linesman’s flag had been raised.

Raffie was involved again to force Booth into a stunning save. The Fleetwood Town loanee found space on the edge of the box and rifled a shot towards the top corner which the ‘keeper tipped away.

Five minutes later, the Dabbers ended any Marine hope of a comeback. Thomas Scully’s inch perfect pass found Evans who brought the ball down and tucked his effort under Passant.

Charley Doyle had a chance for a late consolation though directed his header wide of the target.

Marine will lick their wounds and hope to bounce back on Tuesday evening when they travel to Matlock Town for a 7:45pm kick off.

Marine: Passant, Johnson, Bunney (Britton 56), Howarth (Raffie 45), Wardle ©, Spittle, Hodkinson (Hayde 45), Doyle, Lussey, Solomon, Weir.

Unused Substitutes: Clark, Smith.

Nantwich Town: Booth, Roxburgh, Bircumshaw, Okome, Bourne ©, Thompson (Morgan 14), Hewitt, Hughes (Scully 63), Evans (Cockerline 82), Cooke, Harrison.

Unused Substitutes: Connolly, Humbles.

Attendance: 1561.

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