Adam Yates reports from the Marine Travel Arena as a brace from Sol Solomon guided Marine into playoff contention as they defeated Gainsborough Trinity.
It was a hastily arranged Mariner debut for Bolton Wanderers goalie Luke Hutchinson after the devastating knee injury to Felix Goddard in midweek away to Morpeth meant he was recalled to his parent club, Blackburn Rovers, for rehabilitation and we wish him all the best.
The game had little going for it in the opening third of play with few chances. Recent head to head meetings against Trinity were not favourable to Marine as well as the more troubling factoid that we hadn’t scored against Gainsborough in over 1700 days. Luckily, Solomon was unaware of such trivia and broke that streak in the 37th minute.
Sol was brought down in the area but referee Adam Watson waved away the striker. Sol climbed onto his feet and was rewarded with an impromptu wayward backpass. Ben Bottomley came out to meet Solomon but he rounded the keeper and slotted Marine’s opener.
New boy Hutchinson wasn’t given much to do but routinely did his duties with saves from Daniel Devine and successfully captured multiple crosses from out wide. Finlay Sinclair-Smith, back in the starting line up, managed to crack a shot from outside the box and it hit the upper crossbar and into the stand.
But as the game entered its final moments of the first half, Marine let Gainsborough back into the game. Joe Ferguson conceded a free kick near the box and a melee in the area resulted in a loose ball which Lewis Butroid did not waste and the game was again level.
Quality remained lacking for both sides as the sun beamed down on the Crosby turf but as the light began to fade, Marine began to shine.
Trinity’s GK Ben Bottomley was one of their better performers but began to feel the heat of Marine breakthroughs. Firstly, a typical Louis White long ranger passed Bottomley but was saved by his crossbar. The ball hit the goal line but was adjudged to not have crossed it. Next up, a strong right handed save from a Sol effort was a particular highlight that was sure to become a goal if not for the Trinity man’s talents.
However, Solomon eventually did get his second of the day halfway through the second period with a poacher style goal after a uncleared free kick reached the forward for his 14th of the season.
Marine got the cushion goal they desired near the end of regular play as Chris Doyle headed from wide into the penalty box and Connor Evans grabbed his first for the season from close range.
Next Up – We travel (again) to Atherton Collieries for our rescheduled matchup on Tuesday night. Marine remain one of the leagues in form teams but are still looking for their first midweek points away from home after earlier defeats to Hyde, Guiseley and Morpeth.
Marine: 1 Luke Hutchinson, 2 Joseph Ferguson, 3 Nathan Woodthorpe, 4 Jalil Saadi, 5 Chris Doyle, 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Finlay Sinclair-Smith (Connor Evans 81′), 8 Louis White, 9 Manasse Mampala (Liam Nolan 87′), 10 Sol Solomon, 11 Harvey Gregson (Owen Robinson 60′)
Subs: 12 Connor Evans, 13 Michael Carberry, 14 Owen Robinson, 16 Liam Nolan, 17 Jordan Lussey
Gainsborough Trinity: 1 Ben Bottomley, 2 George Hornshaw, 3 Ashley Jackson, 4 Bailey Conway, 5 Hamish Douglas, 6 Dylan Cogill, 7 Lewis Butroid, 8 Bobby Johnson (Jack Moore-Billam 78′), 9 Joel Holvey (Fraser Preston 78′), 10 Declan Howe, 18 Daniel Devine (Justin Iwobi 85′)
Subs: 12 Justin Iwobi, 14 Nat Wallace, 15 Jack Moore-Billam, 16 Fraser Preston
Man of the Match – Chris Doyle