Match report by Dave McMillan
Marine progressed in to the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with a deserved 2-0 win at Ashton United’s Hurst Cross stadium on Saturday after a polished performance.
This was a tough draw for Marine against a side who have begun the season well, but the Crosby side’s record is also highly impressive, seven wins and three draws in ten matches speaking volumes.
Marine’s victory was built on the back of another rock solid defensive showing, a sixth clean sheet never really being threatened by a Robins side that had mustered 22 goals, their first effort on target coming from an 87th minute free kick.
Whilst being frugal at the back the Yellows have not been shy at the other end, with no team so far preventing them from scoring whilst also netting 23 times.
Nick Rogan had a good chance to put the visitors ahead early on, Robbie Lawton linking well with Shaun Dowling to cross from the right, the striker controlling well but blasting his shot over the top.
Thomas Moore’s free kick was headed over by Matty Brown, with Tom Baker trying his luck from 30 yards for United, the ball clearing the crossbar.
Marine took the lead after 37 minutes, the highly impressive Dowling capping a man of the match display with a great goal, driving in to the Ashton half and collecting a rebound to crash home a 25 yarder inside Terry Smith’s left hand post.
The Robins enjoyed a good spell early in the second half but without putting any real pressure on Ryan McMahon’s goal, Andy Fowler having a snap shot go wide at the other end.
It was Fowler who put the Mariners firmly in control after 55 minutes with his sixth goal of the season, intercepting Chris Lynch’s woeful pass across the penalty area to pounce and steer the ball past Smith, to the delight of the 100 plus travelling support in the ground.
Rogan produced some good skill to get away from his marker and draw a bead on goal, Smith pulling off a good stop at the expense of a corner as Marine looked to extend their advantage.
Ashton came much more in to the game after the introduction of substitute Matty Kosylo, but their best chance came from Baker’s free kick, the ball flying towards the top corner before McMahon made a fabulous save to tip the ball on to the top of a post.
Jamie Rainford broke in to the box late on to flash a shot across goal but there were no further chances as the Mariners took their place in Monday’s draw.
Ashton United: Terry Smith, Kyle Harrop, Danny Caldecott, Warren Beattie (Aaron Burns 61), Alex Frost, Chris Lynch (Cap), Astley Mulholland (Matty Barlow 73), Matty Burke, Ben Deegan, Tom Baker, Mark Peers (Matthew Kosylo 57).
Unused substitutes: Jose Rose, Chris Baguley, Ben Smith, Paul Philips (G/K). Cautions: Deegan, Peers.
Marine: Ryan McMahon, Shaun Dowling, John Shaw, Matty Brown (Cap), Danny Grannon, Robbie Lawton, Andy Fowler (Liam Dawson 88), Jonathan Goulding, Thomas Moore (Jamie Rainford 67), Nick Rogan, Alan Burton (Matty Devine 78).
Unused subs: Paul Lundon, Michael Ordish, Joe Holt, Callum Williams (G/K). Cautions: Lawton, Goulding.
Referee: Mr. Matthew Jones; Assistants Mr. Matthew Randles, Mr. Jon Paul Kenny.