Adam Yates reports from a blustery Marine Travel Arena as Marine breezed in to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 replay win over National League North’s Spennymoor Town.
Sol Solomon was pivotal with his 4th (and 5th) goals of the season but overall it was a tremendous team effort working as one unit that got the job done at the Marine Travel Arena.
It was clear from minute one that the conditions would affect the tactics of both teams. Moors Goalkeeper, James Montgomery began a strange short / long ball routine with his defence that frustrated both the opposition and the crowd.
The opening salvos from Marine came from an unlikely source as defender Jonathan Spittle was first to crossed balls, winning corners and even gave the keeper a shot to deal with. Will Russ and Mampala held the ball well as did Louis White who provided the defence with a safety net, playmaking balls from midfield throughout the night.
It was 26 minutes when the Mariners broke the deadlock and it was Mampala who unlocked the defence, a driving run and a through pass that gave Solomon the opportunity to nip behind his marked man and easily slot the ball past Montgomery.
Spennymoor then abandoned their goal kick tactics and opted for route one long balls. The problem was that the wind was literally blowing the efforts back at them and as much as Marine fans enjoyed the visual spectacle, they were only too aware that for the second half, the Mariners would have to contend with it too. Attempts to solidify the scoreline before half time were unsuccessful and the teams went in for the interval.
As for the second half, it didn’t take long for King Sol to double his tally for the evening. Solomon broke through the Moors back line, circled the keeper and his subtle touch hit the post but luckily, Sol was there to finish the job and the next round of the FA cup was within touching distance.
Pockets of space began to open up for both teams. For Spennymoor, Shanks and Gallacher were the danger men and Felix Goddard was called into action on a handful of occasions but the shots he was dealing with were either wide, high or straight at him. As for Marine, Louis White had a deflected shot narrowly saved and Woodthorpe was clearing chances from Spennymoor’s attacks.
As the injury time board was lofted at the dugout showing 5 additional minutes, Spennymoor finally found a lifeline. A corner looped over everyone to Moors striker Glen Taylor who was unmarked at the back post and he calmly converted his opportunity past Goddard who was helpless to prevent it. Focus was momentarily lost and Marine saw their lead halved and 5 minutes to protect victory.
Protect it they did however. Tensions rose and Josh Wardle was blatantly pushed into the barriers by a frustrated Ramshaw who was lucky not to see red. The Moors goalie came up for a free kick for added drama but Marine maintained composure during the final moments and saw the job through.
Another FA Cup replay at the MTA with another assured Marine performance. The draw has not been kind so far as yet another away fixture has been given, this time at Hyde United. Hyde deservedly bested Marine at Ewan Fields when the season had barely begun in August but much has changed since that night and squad depth plus confidence are sky high and the Mighty Mariners will not fear a rematch occurring so soon.
However before Hyde comes two tricky league games.
First up, a northerly Saturday trip to MARSKE UNITED followed by a massive home tie under the floodlights against the league leaders RADCLIFFE who, at time of writing, have not dropped a point so far this campaign.
Sol Solomon (26′)
Sol Solomon (51′)
Spennymoor Town Goals
Glen Taylor (91′)
Marine: 1 Felix Goddard, 2 Joseph Ferguson, 3 Nathan Woodthorpe, 4 Michael Carberry (Chris Doyle 74′), 5 Jonathan Spittle, 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Jordan Lussey (Willem Tomlinson 72′), 8 Louis White, 9 Will Russ, 10. Sol Solomon, 11 Manasse Mampala
Unused Subs: 12 Finlay Sinclair-Smith, 13 Richard Cowderoy, 15 Darius Osei, 16 Jake Burton
Spennymoor Town: 1 James Montgomery, 2 Joshua Popoola (Corey Mckeown 54′), 3 Reece Staunton, 6 James Curtis, 7 Will Harris 8 Sam Fielding, 9 Glen Taylor, 10 Rob Ramshaw, 19 Keenan Ferguson, 21 Connor Shanks (Josh Doherty 69′), 23 Owen Gallacher (Riley Mouat 77′)
Unused Subs: 11 Mark Anderson, 18 Dan Atkinson 30 Ryan Johnson
Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round Replay