Adam Yates reports from the Marine Travel Arena…
Kick off began promptly with a number of Trialists on both sides looking for a spot in the future lineups of their prospective teams. Marine began brightly applying pressure on a nervous Salford defence with a Louis White shot narrowly wide but covered regardless by Salford’s Shea Callister.
Link up play between new boys Liam Paton and NPL Rising Star Finlay Sinclair-Smith dominated the early minutes but that was cruely interrupted when former Mariner DJ Pedro passed to striker Alfie Henderson who smoothly slotted past Marine’s trialist goalkeeper for an early lead in the 8th minute.
A handball challenge by Marine in the 24th minute would not have gone amiss when Owen Robinson shot from outside the penalty area into a Salford defender’s body, but no attempt to challenge was made.
The remaining highlight of the first period was when Paton won a challenge just outside of the danger zone – the subsequent free kick however flew over the bar.
The second half was marred by multiple substitutions through strategy and injury. Jordan Lussey came on after the interval but was challenged by the Reds within seconds and subsequently was taken off himself with a head injury to an applause as he made his way to the changing rooms.
Minutes later, Salford defender Tosin Olopade found himself also receiving treatment and another change was made.
The stop/start flow of the game was starting to become strained when Salford doubled their lead. One of Salford’s trialists found room in the Marine area and the ball was soon in the back of the net once more.
Both teams benches were ultimately emptied throughout the game in order to give the players much needed match practice in front of a crowd of 413 fans and those fans were rewarded in the 78th minute with a Marine goal from a debut striker.
The ball became free in midfield and Louis White confidently played the ball behind the high pressed defence to a sprinting Finlay Sinclair-Smith who only had the keeper to beat. Finlay rounded the goalie and slotted home confidently from a narrow angle to give Marine a chance to level things up.
The goal arguably gave the game a much needed jolt and both teams fought passionately for each ball in the remaining minutes. A late Salford chance was ruled offside which would have been very dangerous if the flag had not been raised. Despite the dozen plus substitutions in the game, referee Aaron Jackson blew full time shortly after 90 minutes as the friendly was declared a victory for the travelling Salford.
Next up is the second of three consecutive home game friendlies as Marine AFC entertain a Blackpool Xl this Saturday (15th July) at 3pm.
Marine: 1 Trialist, 2 Kyle Hayde, 3 Michael Carberry, 4 Liam Nolan, 5 Chris Doyle, 6 Jonny Spittle, 7 Trialist, 9 Louis White, 10 Owen Robinson, 11 Liam Paton, 12 Finlay Sinclair-Smith.
Substitutes: 8. Jordan Lussey, 13 Richard Cowderoy, 14 Nathan Woodthorpe, 15 Joe Ferguson, 16 Leighton Rimmer, 18 Toby Jones, 19 Trialist, Trialist, Luke Crompton.
Salford City XI: 1 Shea Callister, 2 Tosin Olopade, 3 Ben Collins, 4 Trialist, 5 Jacob Lara, 6 Trialist, 7 Trialist, 8 Jacob Hamman, 9 Djavan Pedro, 10 Alfie Henderson, 11 Trialist.
Substitutes: 14 Matt Cucos, 15 Ethan Smith, 16 Max Leeson, 18 Juan Sanchez.
Referee: Mr. Aaron Jackson.