Tom Wardle Reports as clinical Marine hit three past Whitby…

Marine responded to Tuesday night’s late defeat in fine fashion with goals from Joe Hardy, Ben Hodkinson and Jordan Lussey helping them to a 3-0 victory at Whitby Town this afternoon. The win keeps the Mariners involved in the playoff mix though remain seventh in the Northern Premier League.

Neil Young made four changes from the team that started against Gainsborough Trinity four days ago. Jonny Spittle, Sean Smith, Hardy and Hodkinson returned to the team in place of Joe Bunney (concussion), Mark Howarth, Kyle Hayde and Lucas Weir.

The hosts began the game on the front foot and looked to pressure Marine directly through physical striker Connor Simpson.

However it was the Crosby side who struck first; Hardy scoring his second in as many starts. Hodkinson’s corner was fumbled by Shane Bland and Will Johnson helped it on into the path of Hardy who finished coolly from close range.

Whitby came close to equalising soon after from a corner of their own. A low delivery wasn’t dealt with by a white shirt and it came to Harry Green at the back post, but Johnson threw himself at the ball to make a vital block from his shot.

Hodkinson doubled the Mariners’ advantage on the cusp of half time. Sol Solomon’s cross was kept alive by Josh Solomon-Davies at the back stick. The fullback returned the ball into the danger area where Hodkinson expertly headed into the top corner.

After the break Marine defended as well as they did in the first half to limit The Seasiders’ attempts on goal.

Though they had to rely on Bayleigh Passant following a lapse in concentration from Aaron Braithwaite’s freekick. The delivery picked out Simpson who was unmarked in the six-yard box, yet he could only fire onto the flying boot of Passant.

Adam Gell found himself in shooting range minutes later. He took the effort on and directed the ball narrowly wide of the target.

Howarth replaced Hardy with twenty minutes to go and almost converted seconds after entering the pitch. He guided Hodkinson’s corner towards goal which was desperately scrambled out only as far as Spittle who wasn’t able to connect cleanly with the follow up.

Marine made sure of the three points with a quarter of an hour to go following a foul on Lussey inside the area. The midfielder took the penalty himself and netted the Lilywhites’ third with his strike proving too powerful for Bland.

Marine kick off their Liverpool Senior Cup Semi Final in just two days time, when they welcome Southport to the MTA on Monday evening for a 7:45pm start.

Whitby Town: Bland, Fergus (Ritson 78), Shepherd, Gell (Haswell 66), Rowe ©, Bramwell, Hawkins, Braithwaite, Simpson, Tuton (Storr 73), Green.

Unused Substitutes: Griffiths, Bullock.

Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Smith, Johnson, Wardle ©, Spittle, Hodkinson, Doyle, Hardy (Howarth 69), Solomon (Weir 80), Lussey.

Unused Substitutes: Clark, Britton, Raffie.

Attendance: 553.

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