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Adam Yates reports from Burscough’s Community Stadium

Marine continue to take shape and take aim as they recorded a third consecutive Pre-Season win at Burscough FC.
As the game got underway, all eyes were on the latest new recruit, former Everton and recently Hyde United forward Manasse Mampala. Impressive as the mysterious unnamed Trialist last week against Bootle FC, here he was allowed to perform in the public domain. He nearly gave the visitors an early goal as a tantalisingly direct long ball reached his foot for a presumed volley but he decided to hold it up for support and the chance dissipated. Manpala quickly became the focal point for attacking chances. Jordan Lussey and Josh Wardle in particular were looking to build a passing rapport with Mampala and it was this tactic that left Burscough struggling to contain the near constant pressure for the first half.
If the words possession and pressure seem overused, it’s only because it was the key takeaway from the game. Just as they did in the Bootle fixture, Marine played out from the back and the midfield competently moved the ball down the pitch to the waiting front line. Despite the domination, clean shots were lacking until near the end of the first half when Will Russ broke the deadlock. As opposed to prior games, only one Trialist was on the Marine team sheet and the midfielder came into his own as the game progressed. After some initial early loose play, he was pivotal to the build up that led to a Darius Osei close up shot parried by Burscough’s GK Monks into the eventual direction of Russ.
Possession continued post goal as the ref blew for half time and when the teams returned, Burscough had arguably their brightest moments. Pelligrini had two half chances to level the game but his shots never troubled Cowderoy’s goal and regular service resumed with the Lilywhites pushing the ball around the park.
In the 55th minute, Owen Robinson had a long range effort prevented from reaching the top corner by Burscough’s Monks. A goal from Robinson would have been deserved as he put a shift in which may have gone unnoticed but he was a constant point of movement in the final third either on the wing or centrally looking for an angle to disturb the scoreline. Ten minutes later, Robinson, along with Hayde and Jordan Lussey were summoned to the bench to be replaced by Joe Ferguson, Louis White and Liam Nolan. As the sun set around the Community Stadium, White took aim at goal from long range but the destination was unfortunately the crossbar. A second goal would have been justified (as well as a third) but the Burscough defence was not allowing much space from within their own penalty area.
As it tends to do so, the introduction of the many subs in preseason began to interrupt the flow of the game. Burscough and Marine both had further chances and breaks into the box that were promptly closed down or lacked the killer instinct to affect a further change to the score. It was 5 minutes from time before that scoreline was justifiably doubled. A cross into the danger area came to the head of defender Nathan Woodthorpe who took bragging rights to goal number two. It was to be the last notable moment from the match as the referee blew his whistle dead on ninety minutes and gave Marine a well deserved win.
Next up is a challenging test via NL North opposition as we host Chester FC at the Marine Travel Arena this Saturday at 3pm.
MARINE 1. Cowderoy 2. Hayde 3. Woodthorpe 4. Lussey 5. Chris Doyle 6. Wardle 7. Russ. 8. Trialist 9. Osei 10. Robinson 11. Mampala
Subs: Ferguson, Carberry, White, Nolan
BURSCOUGH 1. Monks 2. McMahon 3. Birmingham 4. Coughlin 5. Middlehurst 6. Ellis 7. Riding 8. Boydell 9. Boden 10. Pelligrini 11. Korneillson
Subs Fallow, Barrow, Jones, Brewster, Clark, Edmund, Hawkes