Tom Wardle Reports as Marine Rocked by Rylands in New Year Opener…

Marine started 2023 with a defeat, as they lost 3-1 against Warrington Rylands in the Northern Premier League. Kelly N’Mai scored twice in either half for the visitors along with Scott Duxbury who netted seconds before the half time whistle. Sol Solomon pulled the Mariners level at 1-1, but the Blues proved to be more potent as Marine suffered just their third home defeat all season.

Club captain Josh Wardle served his suspension in two changes made by Neil Young. Lucas Weir was dropped to the bench as Luke Clark and Mark Howarth were given the nod.

Warrington Rylands went ahead inside 11 minutes. A long ball over the top evaded the Marine back five and picked out N’Mai. The forward calmly brought the ball down before volleying it over the onrushing Bayleigh Passant.

However, their lead didn’t last long. Referee Daniel Hitchell played advantage after Andy Scarisbrick was chopped to the floor. The ball ran into the path of Solomon who made no mistake from the edge of the box, finishing smartly into the bottom left corner.

Sean Smith and Howarth both made goal line clearances in a matter of minutes to keep the scoreline level following a spell of pressure from the away side.

At the other end Howarth came inches away from turning the game on its head. An in-swinging corner by Solomon was headed towards goal by the defender, whose powerful effort somehow escaped the bottom corner.

Jonny Spittle had a moment to forget when his heavy touch at the back was latched onto by the Blues. James Neild broke onto it and dribbled the ball around Passant who brought him down, picking up a yellow card for his troubles.

Rylands regained their advantage moments before the interval. A free kick from the left wasn’t dealt with by the hosts and Duxbury with a touch of fortune bundled the ball over the line.

Six minutes after the break, N’Mai doubled his tally in spectacular fashion. AJ Leitch-Smith played it off to the Salford loanee who let rip from 25 yards out, the ball flying into the top corner giving Passant no chance.

Despite a change of formation and personnel, Marine struggled to get to grips with the energy and fluidity that the visitors had played with since minute one.

N’Mai almost netted his hat-trick in the closing stages of the game. A fine run through the Mariners defence ended with a poke towards goal that sailed off the post.

Marine look ahead for a trip to top of the table South Shields next Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.

Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Smith, Howarth, Clark © (A.Doyle 45), Spittle, Lussey (Campbell 57), C.Doyle, Touray (Price 71), Solomon, Scarisbrick.

Unused Substitutes: Mendes, Weir.

Warrington Rylands: Torrance, Mantack, Mustoe, Hockenhull, Egerton, Duxbury, Neild (Leitch-Smith 45), Furman ©, Pratt, N’Mai, Vassallo.

Unused Substitutes: Hunt, Cookson, Cooke.

Attendance: 1,635

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