Tom Clarke reports as Mariners seal Boxing Day derby win away at the Purps…
Neil Kengni’s second-half winner handed Marine a Merseyside derby win on Saturday afternoon in a feisty festive game filled with full-blooded derby challenges.
Marine sold out their allocation of 60 tickets in two minutes, and the away fans made themselves heard loud and clear at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.
Former Mariner Ethan Devine started for the hosts, and his was the first shot of the game when an effort went wide after a couple of minutes. Marine responded sharply, Ryan Wignall working the left wing before crossing into Niall Cummins whose header was also wide.
Marine bagged the opener on 14 minutes, when a corner from the right found Anthony Miley at the far post and the centre-back slotted home to hand the Mariners the early derby advantage.
Ethan Devine was booked for a rough challenge on Josh Hmami soon after, before Miley was booked for his reaction in defending his teammate.
Bayleigh Passant was kept relatively untested in the first half, but sprang into action on the half-hour mark when he was forced to tip a header onto the post.
The Purps were the faster out of the blocks in the second half, and bagged an equaliser on 49 minutes when Jack Hinnigan headed in at the far post from a free-kick.
Passant almost had a significant hand in a Marine goal a couple of minutes later though, when his free-kick from deep inside the Mariners’ half was headed back by a home defender and nearly caught out Theo Roberts in the Purps’ net.
Ryan Wignall found luck on the left-hand side several times during the second period, and worked Roberts a couple of times when wriggling past a few home defenders.
The Mariners went ahead once again on 76 minutes, Neil Kengni spinning in the box after a Hmami pass to swipe the ball into the bottom corner past Roberts.
Neil Young made a couple of late changes as James Joyce and Danny Shaw came on for Hmami and Wignall respectively, and Marine ultimately managed to see out the game and secure another three points to retain sixth place in the league still chasing the play-off places with a couple of games in hand.
Next up is another festive local derby as Marine welcome Prescot Cables to the MTA at 3pm on New Year’s Day.
City of Liverpool: Theo Roberts, Louis Corrigan (Tony Gray, 65), Jack Hinnigan, James McCarten, Tom Stephens, Ethan Devine, Stephen Rigby (Zach Aley, 57), Nathan Burke, Mitchell Bryant, Jack Hazlehurst, Dominic Reid (Morgan Homson-Smith, 83).
Unused subs: Kai Shorrock, Jordan Barrow.
Marine: Bayleigh Passant, Josh Solomon-Davies, Adam Hughes, Jay Devine, Anthony Miley, David Raven, Ryan Wignall (Danny Shaw, 90), Josh Hmami (James Joyce, 82), Niall Cummins, Neil Kengni, James Barrigan.
Unused subs: Germano Mendes, Hayden Campbell, Kenny Strickland.
Referee: Kieran Johnson. Assistant referees: Jacob Viera, Mark Groves.
Goals: City of Liverpool – Jack Hinnigan (49). Marine – Anthony Miley (14), Neil Kengni (77).
Images by Paul Moran.