Adam Yates reports from the Marine Travel Arena as Marine made short work of Atherton Collieries, who seemed already in the duty free lounge, with a four goal rout.

Marine needed a single point to guarantee a playoff spot whereas Atherton’s fate was already sealed midweek as they were relegated following a defeat to Macclesfield.

Buoyed by a sun drenched home crowd, Marine came out of the traps early and won a penalty within 3 minutes. Sol Solomon passed Colls keeper Jack Buckley who promptly took him down but Solomon had his shot saved by Buckley who dived correctly to his right.

Wrexham loanee Scott Butler hit the crossbar from long range and then was the ball provider of the first Marine goal. Scott’s cross reached Freddie Sass whose bullet header passed across the face of Buckley and into the far corner of the net.

Butler was involved again when Marine doubled their lead. Scott provided another delicious cross as it found the head of Chris Doyle followed by top goalscorer Finlay Sinclair-Smith who poached the loose ball and smashed in his 23rd of the season.

With barely half an hour passed, Solomon redeemed himself with a fantastic goal from a tight angle.

Atherton seemed already on their holidays as Sinclair-Smith doubled his tally, and Marine’s fourth from inside the area with ease as the sides entered the changing rooms with the result already assured.

The second half began in the same vein in the first with Atherton looking for some kind of foothold in the game and Marine relentlessly making the Collieries defence work for their supper.

Golden chances for Owen Robinson and Bobby Grant were left wanting with the former beating Buckley with an audacious lob but the ball bounced past the post despite the near 1600 crowd urging it in.

Marine started to ease into possession but momentary lapses of concentration did give Atherton chances of their own with Lewis Thompson inexplicably unable to convert a tap in from yards away for the visitors.

The chances continued for the likes of Josh Wardle and Owen Windsor from perfectly judged crosses but in terms of the second half, it wasn’t meant to be for either side.

Next Up – Marine host City of Liverpool in the Senior Cup final as Neil Young’s men aim to retain the title.

Marine: 1 Bobby Jones, 2 Scott Butler, 3 Freddie Sass, 4 Harvey Gregson, 5 Chris Doyle (Matty Waters 74′), 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Finlay Sinclair-Smith (Louis White 45′), 8 Jack Bainbridge, 9 Bobby Grant (Owen Windsor 63′), 10 Sol Solomon, 11 Owen Robinson

Subs: 12 Jon Routledge, 14 Liam Nolan, 15 Louis White, 16 Matty Waters, 17 Owen Windsor

Atherton Collieries: 1 Jack Buckley, 2 Mo Ali, 3 Lewis Thompson, 4 Teddy Mfuni (Liam Sheppard 75′), 5 Jack Evans, 6 Dylan Thompson, 7 Ben Rydel, 8 Ahmed Ali (Bobby Fenlon 88′), 9 Ethan Beckford (Kyle King 55′), 10 Oliver Putnam, 11 Dylan Moonan

Subs: 12 Bobby Fenlon, 13 Jordan Scanlon, 15 Liam Sheppard, 16 Kyle King

Attendance: 1,589

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