Marine are HEADING in the right direction!
Adam Yates reports from the Marine Travel Arena as Josh Wardle scored a brace and captained a ruthless and attacking Marine team to a 4-1 win over Bamber Bridge.
The Mariners were deadly with set pieces and with goals also from Chris Doyle and Sol Solomon, it ensured that the rescheduled fixture was enjoyed by the chilly 814 in attendance.
As with last week against Workington, Marine pressured early and were in the lead in the first few minutes with the first of 5 headers that the crowd would witness tonight.
Louis White whipped in a corner and Wardle challenged for the ball, Bamber only cleared to the edge of the 6 yard box and with his back to goal, Sol hooked the ball back into the danger zone and Josh got a second chance at glory. His lobbed header nestled into the net and after only 2 minutes, Marine were ahead.
As half time neared, Wardle grabbed his second of the night. Another corner this time by Sol Solomon found the head of Wardle and he aimed the ball down into the turf and past James Pradic to give Marine their first two goal lead since Lancaster City in October.
Jalil Saadi played a delicious through-ball down the middle for Solomon to run onto and he took it inside the box and shot across the diving presence of Pradic but his effort rolled against the far post.
Not to be outdone by his centre half captain, Chris Doyle brought back memories of his Harrogate goal with the third goal of the night from a corner. White placed it perfectly as Bamber should have done better. Doyle was the eager opportunist and from a couple of yards, headed right into the centre of the net.
After great play all night, Sol got his goal on 81 minutes.
Joe Ferguson left his marker on the frozen artificial turf, placed a midrift pass into the 6 yard box and yet again, Bamber Bridge were vampiric in their attempts to defend against crosses and Sol launched his body at the ball and scored the fourth and penultimate header of the night.
On the stroke of full time and the beginning of 3 minutes added time, Bamber Bridge scored a consolation goal from Danny Forbes who had been promising all night and broke the potential defensive clean sheet with a glancing header.
There were many positives to take from the game as the referee, Jacob Graham blew his full time whistle.
In terms of work rate, Marine were outstanding and have arguably their best all-round performance since the FA Cup victory against Halifax Town. Standouts who didn’t get on the scoresheet tonight included Harvey Gregson and Manasse Mampala and the ever commanding playmaker in Louis White. Gregson seemed experienced beyond his youthful years and Mampala chased down every potential opportunity.
The back line has now accounted for six of the last 10 Marine goals scored as well as an increase of goal production from dead balls. Neil Young’s men also still have one (if not, two) games in hand over their playoff rivals and a much more healthy goal difference to show for it.
Attention now turns to the much anticipated clash between Marine and FC United at their impressive Broadhurst Park stadium this Saturday.
Marine: 1 Felix Goddard, 2 Joseph Ferguson, 3 Nathan Woodthorpe, 4 Jalil Saadi (Michael Carberry 78′), 5 Chris Doyle, 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Harvey Gregson, 8 Louis White (Liam Nolan 81′), 9 Connor Evans, 10 Sol Solomon, 11 Manasse Mampala (Owen Robinson 65′)
Subs: 12 Finlay Sinclair-Smith, 14 Kyle Hayde, 15 Owen Robinson, 16 Liam Nolan, 17 Michael Carberry
Bamber Bridge: 1 James Pradic, 2 Sky Sinclair (Christopher Churchman 45′), 3 Lewis Thompson (Billy Bould 61′), 4 Adam Dodd, 5 Macauley Wilson 6 Michael Potts, 7 Danny Edwards, 8 Danny Forbes, 9 Mark Cullen, 18 Harry Scarborough (Ewan Bange 58′), 11 Jack Baxter
Subs: 12 Ewan Bange, 14 Christopher Churchman, 15 Mackenzie O’Neill, 16 Billy Bould, 17 Jeff Adubofour
Northern Premier League – Premier Division
Referee: Jacob Graham
Man of the Match – Josh Wardle