Goals from Cummins and Howarth helped Marine return to winning ways, picking up a 2-1 win at Stalybridge Celtic.  

Despite the home side playing in a higher league, it was Marine who started the game more brightly, with midfielder Mark Howarth seeing his excellent half volley effort crash back off the woodwork within the first 10 minutes.  

Left back James Joyce offered a constant threat down his wing, putting in a number of dangerous crosses, with Owen Watkinson’s header coming closest to putting the away side ahead.  

The biggest chance for Celtic came in the 35th minute, with Matty Hughes being denied one-on-one by Baileigh Passant in the Mariners goal. 

Just before half time, the deadlock was broken, as Howarth’s in-swinging corner was met at the back post by Anthony Miley, who headed back across goal for Niall Cummins to finish. This goal gave Marine a deserved lead going into the interval.  

Stalybridge started the second half with more energy and quickly asserted themselves on the game after struggling to do so for the majority of the first 45 minutes. Chances were few and far between however, with neither ‘keeper being called into action too frequently.  

An equaliser did come for the Celtic in the 70th minute, with Jack Ryan finding space in the box to nod in Callum Harris’ cross.  

However, the game was not level for long, as Alex Doyle, who had a very impressive game, was bundled over in the penalty area, gifting Marine an opportunity to regain the lead. The ever-influential Howarth claimed the ball and coolly tucked away the penalty, bagging his second goal of pre-season.  

Overall, Neil Young can be pleased with the fight shown by his side after losing the lead midway through the second half. His side were very organised throughout, limiting Stalybridge to just a few half chances.  

Next up for Marine is a trip to Witton, as the start of the 2021-22 season draws closer.  

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