Tom Wardle Reports as Sol Solomon’s Early Strike Keeps Marine in Playoff Mix…

Sol Solomon’s goal after 12 minutes was the difference as Marine defeated Stalybridge Celtic 1-0 at the Marine Travel Arena last night. The Mariners dominated the first half and remained solid in the second 45 to take their clean sheet tally up to 15 in all competitions. The victory takes the Crosby side up one place into ninth in the Northern Premier League table.

Neil Young made two changes from the one-all draw at Radcliffe on Saturday. James Barrigan and Lewis Earl replaced Jordan Lussey and the injured Mo Touray.

Josh Solomon-Davies was causing early problems for the visitors in a more advanced wing-back position. An opportunity fell his way inside the box, but he blazed his shot high and wide.

Marine continued to start the game on the front foot and earned their reward inside the opening quarter of an hour. A direct kick down the middle of the pitch by goalkeeper Liam Isherwood was helped on by Andy Scarisbrick into the path of Solomon, who struck it beautifully on the volley from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.

The hosts were proving dangerous on the counterattack with chances brewing from the forward-thinking Solomon-Davies. Following some good interplay, the full-back fired a ball across goal though a white shirt wasn’t able to make contact.

Stalybridge would count themselves fortunate to only be one goal down after half an hour when another Marine chance went begging. On the second time of asking, Solomon whipped a ball into the six-yard area where Joe Bunney had a free header, though he was always stretching and the ball nestled on top of the net.

The Mariners carried a slender lead heading into the break, despite having complete control in the match.

As expected, the second half proved a much tighter affair, with chances hard to come by for either team.

Just after the hour mark Isherwood was called into action. The ball broke inside the box for substitute Godwin Abadaki who struck from close range, though the ‘keeper on loan from Accrington Stanley was equal to it, making a fine stop low to his left.

Stalybridge huffed and puffed and tried to reward their travelling fans with something to take back to Greater Manchester. However Marine always looked the stronger outfit and deserved their eleventh league win of the season.

The Mariners are back on the road on Saturday, as they travel to the struggling Belper Town for a 3pm kick off.

Marine: Isherwood, Solomon-Davies (A.Doyle 86), Smith (Lussey 81), Earl, Wardle ©, Spittle, Barrigan, C.Doyle, Bunney, Solomon, Scarisbrick.

Unused Substitutes: Clark, Mendes, Weir.

Stalybridge Celtic: Hall, Miller ©, Hanley (Abadaki 62), Harrison, Waldron, Rouse, Pedro, Padden (Klujevs 62), Correia, Dagnall, Benns (Grewal 85).

Unused Substitutes: Lara, Leach.

Attendance: 1,071

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