A late goal from Josh Solomon-Davies saw Marine rescue a penalty shootout against 1874 Northwich, with goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant’s heroics sending Marine into the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The home side started the more brightly of the two teams, with Jake Parker and Paul Turner in particular causing the Marine back line problems on a number of occasions. Fortunately, Bayleigh Passant was on form to keep the Mariners in the game, making several good saves.
Marine were forced into making two changes before the break too, with both centre backs, Danny Shaw and David Raven leaving the pitch through injury. The pair now face a race against time to return ahead of Tuesday’s home tie against Kidsgrove, with the FA Cup match against Wrexham looming.
Despite a make-shift pairing of Mark Howarth and James Devine at the back, Marine defended resiliently, limiting Northwich to just a couple of clear cut chances. Turner especially will be wondering how he didn’t open the games scoring, miskicking his effort from close range.
Ryan Wignall could have given Marine the lead after half an hour, after Lewis Reilly’s through ball saw Neil Kengni run at goal, before laying off to Wignall, who could only win his side a corner.
At the half time break there was work to do for Neil Youngs’ side, as they can count themselves lucky to have still been level.
Just five minutes into the second half, the deadlock was broken. After the ball pinballed around Marine’s penalty area it eventually fell to Parker, who made no mistake with the finish, finally beating Passant in goal.
With Marine now a goal down, Manager Neil Young switched to a 4-4-2 formation, with Niall Cummins joining Reilly up front. The switch breathed a new lease of life into Marine’s attack, as they now began to create more opportunities and test Tony Aghayere in goal.
As the match entered the final 10 minutes, it was beginning to look as though Marine were going to fall to their third defeat of the season, with Aghayere and his defensive unit so far withstanding the increasing pressure.
However, in the 82nd minute, Marine’s two full backs combined to level the match, as James Barrigan’s deep cross was met at the back post by Josh Solomon-Davies, who fired his header past the ‘74 goalkeeper.
The match was not without controversy, with Cummins being denied a goal late on. A defensive mix up between Aghayere and Markell Foulds left the stopper on the ground, but as Cummins followed in to finish, the referee blew his whistle.
Disagreements between the two sets of players followed, resulting in Sam Hare receiving a second yellow card – despite having been substituted 15 minutes earlier.
The two sides could not be separated after 90 minutes, meaning the game would be decided on penalties. Howarth and Barrigan coolly dispatched of their spot kicks, seeing Marine take a 2-0 lead. Passant in goal stole the show however, producing two fantastic saves to deny Callum Gardner and Ashley Woods.
Despite James Omrod managing to score his penalty, Reilly and Kengni ensured the victory for Marine, who now progress to the next round of the FA Trophy.
Next up for Marine is a league match against Kidsgrove Athletic at the MTA on Tuesday, before welcoming National League Wrexham on the 16th, looking to reach the FA Cup First Round once again.
Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Barrigan, Lynch, Shaw (Howarth), Raven (Doyle), Hughes (Cummins), Devine, Reilly, Wignall, Kengni