A debut hat trick for Owen Watkinson helped Marine on their way to a 4-1 victory over Vauxhall Motors, as a busy pre-season schedule kicks off.
The Mariners made the best possible start after just three minutes, as James Barrigan’s cross was flicked on by David Ravan and slotted home by Mark Howarth. The midfielder will hardly have an easier chance all season, as he was able to find the empty net from just inside the six-yard box.
Not long after, Owen Watkinson was able to mark his debut with a goal, sending a loopy header into the top right corner. The forward was a constant threat to the Vauxhall defence, holding the ball up and running the lines well.
A second goal for Watkinson would come just a few minutes later, with another new arrival, Lewis Reilly, able to pick out his teammate inside the area. The former Blackpool man was then able to coolly dink the ball over the outrushing goalkeeper, extending the away sides’ lead to three.
Several half time substitutions would disrupt the flow of the game in the second half and Vauxhall were able to grab a goal back, through a well taken goal from Kieran Hamm which flew into the top left corner.
Despite not reproducing the same level of dominance in the second half, Marine remained relatively comfortable, sealing the victory with a third Watkinson goal with 80 minutes played.
Manager Neil Young was pleased with his sides performance and believes the team can kick on from this win.
He said: “Overall we had some very good performances. Owen Watkinson showed what he can do, going in behind and getting a hat trick on his debut.
“Technically they [Lewis Reilly and Mark Howarth] were excellent. What we have to remember is the likes of Lewis and Mark haven’t played much football in the past 18 months, so we’re all working hard to get them up to speed.
“It’s all about fitness at the moment, because we’ll get the performances once they’re fit.”