Henry Baines reports as Marine’s Emirates FA Cup adventure comes to an end…
Marine will rue several missed chances as the Mariners were knocked out by a Paul Mullin inspired Wrexham, who took both of his chances on the night as the Dragons progressed.
On the back of the heartbreak on Saturday which saw Wrexham equalise in the 95th minute to force a replay, Marine travelled to the Optimum Pay Stadium, home of Nantwich Town, for a mouth-watering game of cup football.
Wrexham started brightly and enjoyed large spells of possession, but Marine remained solid defensively in keeping a good shape, and created the first chance of the game.
Just five minutes in some great work from Neil Kengni, who was dangerous throughout, saw the striker move inside the Wrexham box but his shot was tame and straight at Wrexham ‘keeper Dibble.
Wrexham continued to move the ball around the back quickly, resulting in a few crosses into the Marine box, which were comfortably dealt with. Bayleigh Passant was called into action in the Marine goal but a Wrexham shot from distance flew wide.
However, the deadlock was broken by Wrexham in the 21st minute as Paul Mullin was set free down the left-hand side, he cut back onto his right foot, attacked into the box and produced a quality finish which nestled into the top right-hand corner.
Marine reacted positively, not allowing heads to drop and continued to create some wonderful chances. On 28 minutes Kengni worked his way down the right and managed to get his shot off, but it was flashed over the bar.
In Marine’s next attack Owen Watkinson was played through but his right footed shot was saved. The first half ended with another chance for Marine, as from a floated free kick skipper David Raven headed over.
Half time, 1-0 to Wrexham but it was all to play for. Wrexham simply took their chance and Marine didn’t. The next goal would be crucial.
With the second half underway, disaster for Marine as another Mullin special broke the hearts of the Mariners and the superb travelling support. Mullin was played through, he rounded Passant in the Marine goal and tucked the ball away, 2-0.
Again, heads did not drop as the Mariners continued to give it their all. James Devine and Niall Cummins came on for Ryan Wignall and Danny Shaw for Marine and it proved dangerous. Marine continued to ask questions of the Wrexham defence who were impressive throughout.
Marine kept managing to get into some great positions however, but the final ball just wasn’t quite there. In the 60th minute, Mullin produced a wicked ball in to the box allowing Wrexham a free header at the far post, but it went wide.
Wrexham continued to dominate the ball, but the Mariners kept knocking on the door and another chance came after with 12 minutes from time. Fantastic work down the right from James Devine, the ball was sent in high which the Wrexham ‘keeper decided to leave, to see the ball drop down on top of the crossbar and out of play.
With five minutes left, a dangerous ball was flashed in from Watkinson who fizzed it across the face of goal, the arriving Cummins just failing to get on the end of the chance.
Overall, a performance to be proud of for Marine who simply didn’t take their chances on the evening and sadly Wrexham, and in particular Paul Mullin, did.
Marine: B Passant, Solomon-Davies, Hayde, Howarth, Shaw (Devine 56), Raven (c), Watkinson, Doyle, Wignall (Cummins 56), Barrigan (Lynch 73), Kengni.