Marine return to winning ways, as goals from Danny Shaw, Lewis Reilly, Mark Howarth and Ben Hughes confirm a 4-1 win over Kendal Town.
Neil Young’s side set up in a 3-5-2 formation, with Neil Kengni and Ben Hughes starting on the flanks. James Barrigan and James Devine started in central midfield, with Ryan Wignall just behind Lewis Reilly and Owen Watkinson.
Wignall had a great chance to open the scoring inside three minutes, after Watkinson’s cut back found the midfielder, but his effort took a deflection off Billy Batch on its way to the crossbar.
The most likely source of goal threat for the home side was set pieces, with Reilly seeing one of his free kicks blocked by the wall. Barrigan’s deliveries also reaped havoc in the Kendal penalty area.
And it was from one of those deliveries where the opening goal of the match came.
Marine’s vice-captain whipped an in-swinging corner into the six-yard box, which Danny Shaw met with a bullet header to make it 1-0, Marine’s first home goal since the 18th of December.
Reilly doubled the Mariners’ lead five minutes later, as yet another dangerous corner was swung into the box, this time Howarth rose highest to head goalwards, with Reilly nodding in from close range.
However, with the score at 2-0, Akiel Raffie placed the ball 20 yards from goal and curled an excellent free kick into the top right corner of Aidan Dowling’s goal. The number 10 was lively throughout the afternoon and seemed the most promising attacker for the Mintcakes.
After the break, the away side started to impose themselves more on the game, enjoying longer spells of possession. Despite this, they struggled to break down a structured Marine defence.
Marine withstood the increase in pressure however, and in the 68th minute, another Barrigan corner resulted in a goal, as Howarth was once again first to the ball to reinstate Marine’s two-goal cushion.
A string of firm and late challenges from both sets of players saw tensions in the match begin to rise, and on the 72 minute mark, Kendal skipper Darren Nightingale was given his marching orders by referee Tom Swift, after receiving two yellow cards in the space of a minute. Any comeback hopes that Kendal had were surely diminished.
Ben Hughes capped off a much-improved Marine performance in the 81st minute, latching on to the end of a low Kengni cross and firing in a well worked fourth.
The win sees Marine leapfrog Warrington Rylands into second in the NPL West, five points behind leaders Workington with a game in hand.
Next up for the Mariners is a trip to City of Liverpool, as they look to go on a winning run.
Marine: Dowling, Devine, Barrigan, Howarth, Shaw (Teale), Winnard, Watkinson (White), Hughes, Reilly (Cummins), Wignall, Kengni