Match report by Dave McMillan
Marine continued their winning start to the League season on Bank Holiday Monday, recording an excellent 2-0 win over visitors Chorley at the Arriva Stadium.
It might be argued that this was the Mariners’ first test against a side fancied to be in the promotion mix, and they came through it with flying colours with another impressive display against a good Lancastrian outfit.
One goal conceded in four games tells its own story and Marine were again solid and resolute in defence, particularly under heavy pressure early in the second half.
Goalkeeper Callum Williams made two top class saves at vital points in the match, but the Whites posed plenty of problems at the other end with pace and movement up front leading to several good opportunities to add to the brace of goals that they did get, once again having the edge in finishing in an even game.
Thomas Moore warmed the hands of Magpies’ keeper Andy Robertson with a rasping drive in the opening exchanges, with Marcus Carver also showing good skill to turn and beat Robertson to the ball, a covering defender clearing at the expense of a corner.
The Mariners went ahead after 10 minutes, Nick Rogan being sharp enough to take a quick free kick through to Carver with the young striker shrugging off a challenge to fire home at the near post.
Most of Chorley’s attacking play came through the lively Tom Ince, the winger forcing a corner from the impressive Shaun Dowling as he tracked back.
Danny Grannon had to be alert to put in a challenge on Steve Foster as he waited for the ball to drop, before Adam Roscoe’s deep cross sailed over Williams and the far post.
Chorley came close to an equaliser through Andy Russell, the big defender heading towards the top corner from close range before Williams produced the save of the match to stretch and claw the ball on to a post.
Michael Ordish burst in to the box at the other end, shooting from a tight angle to bring a decent stop from Robertson, with Andy Fowler having another effort blocked for the Mariners.
Ince drove a shot from the left hand side of the box that Williams parried for a corner, but it was Marine who got the crucial second goal on 45 minutes, Fowler running strongly at goal to play it to Rogan with the popular striker taking a touch before rifling the ball in to the roof of Robertson’s net from 12 yards.
Rogan might have scored again with the first action of the second half, miscontrolling Ordish’s cross in front of goal with the challenge coming in to clear for a corner.
Steve Foster escaped the attentions of the Marine defence to go one on one with Williams, but last season’s league top scorer couldn’t get any real power on his shot to allow the home custodian to smother the ball.
Chorley enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure, substitute Matt Jansen having their best chance but being crowded out by sheer numbers before he could shoot.
Marine substitute Matty Devine made an immediate impact with his fast and direct runs, the Magpies having to resort to fouls on a couple of occasions to halt his progress at the edge of the area.
Carver had a great chance to add a third from Moore’s free kick, his header at the far post going wide of the goal, with Fowler also bringing two great saves from Robertson as the Mariners looked to wrap up proceedings.
More great defending from the home side foiled Ciaran Kilheeney, before Ince forced Williams in to his second vital stop of the game in the dying minutes, pushing the shot away at full stretch.
Further chances ensued for Fowler and Carver with Robertson keeping the score down as the game opened up, but it was Marine’s day as they recorded another fine win.
Marine: Callum Williams, Shaun Dowling, John Shaw, Matty Brown (Cap), Danny Grannon, Thomas Moore, Andy Fowler, Jonathan Goulding, Marcus Carver (Liam Dawson 90), Nick Rogan (Karl Noon 66), Michael Ordish (Matty Devine 66).
Unused subs: Paul Lundon, Joe Holt. Cautions: Dowling.
Chorley: Andy Robertson, Kieran Walmsley, Tom Walker, Andy Teague (Cap), Andy Russell, Simon Garner, Adam Roscoe (Tom Williams 80), Steve Flitcroft (Dale Whitham 61), Ciaran Kilheeney, Steve Foster (Matt Jansen 56), Tom Ince.
Unused subs: Mark Ross, Ahmadi Proya. Cautions: Teague, Garner.
Referee: Mr. Alan Clayton (Hyde); Assistants Mr. Andrew Philbin (Stockport), Mr. Timur Direkler (Manchester).