Tom Wardle Reports as Solomon’s Stylish Strike Helps Marine Return to Winning Ways…
Sol Solomon’s moment of magic was the difference in Marine’s 1-0 win against Stafford Rangers last night in the Northern Premier League. In a game of fine margins, the Mariners did just enough to claim maximum points for the first time since their 3-1 victory versus Lancaster City at the beginning of last month. The win climbs Marine up to seventh in the league table with four points separating them from the play-off spots.
Neil Young was able to recall Josh Solomon-Davies and Jonny Spittle into his back four, allowing Jordan Lussey and Charlie Doyle to revert into more familiar territory in the centre of the pitch.
A frantic start by the hosts gave Rangers a couple of early chances. Tom Tonks whistled one just wide, before their top scorer Kaiman Anderson hit an effort from a similar area to Bayleigh Passant’s right which he watched away.
At the other end, a cut-back into the box was left by Mo Touray to Andy Scarisbrick whose shot was closed down swiftly by goalkeeper Cameron Belford.
Approaching half an hour of play, Passant made what could’ve been his best stop of the season so far. A great run down the left wing by Joe Dunne was rounded off with a wicked delivery onto the head of Anderson. From point-blank range, Passant superbly beat the ball away to keep his clean sheet intact.
It was déjà vu from Boxing Day for Scarisbrick on 37 minutes, as he was denied of yet another goal from the linesman’s flag after being adjudged to have been a yard offside.
Marine continued to grow into the game as the half went on, with Solomon showcasing some sensational footwork inside the visitors’ box without producing an attempt to show for it.
Following the interval, neither side could gain a real foothold and the match looked to be fizzling out into a goalless draw.
Until the 66th minute when Solomon’s brilliant skill and finish brought the Marine Travel Arena to its feet. Craig Curran’s cross from the right was expertly controlled by the Jerseyman, who took his time before picking out the top corner.
The crucial opening goal took the edge off the 987 in attendance, as despite the Mariners’ rocky New Year spell, they still hold the third best defence in the league.
As the game petered out, the Lilywhites were then more than content to absorb Stafford Rangers’ late pressure, with substitutes James Barrigan and Alex Doyle helping them over the line.
Marine will hope to build on their victory when they welcome Ashton United next Saturday for a 3pm kick off.
Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Smith, Lussey, Wardle ©, Spittle, Curran (Barrigan 71), C.Doyle, Touray (A.Doyle 74), Solomon, Scarisbrick.
Unused Substitutes: Clark, Weir, Earl.
Stafford Rangers: Belford, Burns, Dunne, Baxter, Stewart, O’Neill, Kiwomya (Morgan 55), Tonks, Anderson, Saunders (Kenton 55), Harvey ©.
Unused Substitutes: Willis, Morrison-Derbyshire, Smith.