Tom Wardle Reports as Marine Squash Nailers to Climb into Playoffs…
Marine are up to fifth in the Northern Premier League, as Hayden Campbell and Sol Solomon scored either side of Luke Mangham’s strike to give them a deserved 2-1 win against Belper Town. The Mariners extend their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions, picking up 10 points from their last four fixtures.
Top scorer Campbell was pronounced fit to return to the starting eleven following a knock against Nantwich Town. Luke Clark stepped in for the side-lined Jordan Lussey, as Marine began the match with a back five.
The hosts started the game on the front foot. Campbell connected with a free header inside the box but could only direct the ball onto the crossbar.
Though he made up for his miscue moments later, as he put the Mariners ahead inside six minutes. Solomon-Davies found space in behind the Nailers’ backline and cut the ball back where an initial shot was well saved, though parried to the feet of Campbell who couldn’t miss from five yards.
Marine had a great chance to double their tally, when Solomon was thrown to the ground inside the visitors’ box. The Jerseyman took the penalty himself but swept his effort onto the post.
The error from 12 yards looked even worse when Belper equalised minutes after. It was the best football the away side had strung together in the game so far. The ball eventually teed up to Mangham, who finished emphatically from the edge of the box; the ball hitting the inside of the post before crossing the line.
Steve Kittrick’s men would question how they didn’t take the lead, when a wicked free kick fell to Tom Wilson who was almost on the goal line when he connected with the ball, however he bounced his shot over the bar.
Solomon redeemed his penalty miscue in the 24th minute. The ball found its way to the forward who was between the two defenders and he calmly finished into the bottom right corner.
Jonny Spittle was another victim of hitting the post like so many of his teammates in recent weeks. He fired a header at the back post that had slightly too much elevation, as he still hopes for his first goal in Marine colours.
It was more of the same from the home side’s attacking department after the break. Solomon was played through the left side of the box and squared the ball in sight of Jack Dunn, who couldn’t quite find space to pull the trigger.
Belper worked some good spells nearing the full-time whistle and were never out of the match, but the Mariners stood firm to claim their fourth home win at a packed-out MTA.
Marine return to Isuzu FA Trophy action next Saturday, as they travel to Basford United for a 1st Round tie in a 3pm kick off.
Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Smith, Clark (A. Doyle 62), Wardle ©, Spittle, Barrigan, C.Doyle, Campbell (Evans 57), Solomon, Dunn (Price 87).
Unused Substitutes: Weir, Adams.
Belper Town: Moore, Woodcock, Wakefield, H.Middleton, Wilson, B.Middleton ©, Hebda, Reaney (Carnell 74), Mangham, Gratton, Litchfield.
Unused Substitutes: Gibson, Elkossi.