Marine grab all three points against Stourbridge
Second successive away win ensures Marine return to top half of table
Stourbridge 0 - 2 Marine
Marine produced a stunning first half display in the West Midlands to claim all three league points.
Riding the wave from their midweek win, The Mariners picked up from where they left off and dominated Stourbridge, who are one of the favourites to win the league. It was indicative of how well they played against Stalybridge that Tommy Lawson decided to name a completely unchanged starting eleven at the War Memorial Ground.
From the start Marine went hunting for goals with Vinny Bailey bundling home after the keeper spilt Danny Mitchley’s shot after just 2 minutes.
Last season Stourbridge had beaten Marine in this contest, but there seemed no chance of a repeat this time around. Across the field the Mariners impressed with Mitchley, Bailey, Scott Bakkor and James Murray sailing forward at every opportunity as the defence soaked up some Stourbridge pressure.
Murray had a great chance to extend Marine’s lead after 20 minutes as the ball came in from the right but he blasted his effort over.
Stourbridge looked disjointed and at one stage their attack broke down as two of their players crashed into each other going for the ball.
Ben Barnes was called into action from a Stourbridge diving header but very little was getting past Michael Grogan and Adam Hughes at the back.
Mitchley was dictating things from the front and he had put two strong efforts over in the first half.
Then came a moment of magic from Murray after 38 minutes. Mitchley’s shot rebounded off a Stourbridge player and Murray rifled in a thunderous volley to deservedly put Marine 2-0 up.
The second half began with a scrappy period of play with a couple of chances for both teams to score. Murray looked to add to his goal but was adjudged to be offside after being put through one on one with the keeper. Just after the hour mark Bailey put Mitchley through but his effort was saved.
For the last 20 minutes Stourbridge piled men forward but Marine defended bravely and held firm to claim a much deserved second away victory of the week. Grogan in particular excelled at centre half and alongside Hughes disrupted everything Stourbridge could throw at them. Barnes was rarely tested, testament to Marine’s well-disciplined defence.
As the final whistle blew on a sunny and successful afternoon for the Mariners, thoughts turned to Monday’s clash with local rivals Warrington.
By Dave Mackin
Watch Tommy's post-match interview
Marine: Barnes, Wylie, Short, Hughes, Grogan, Smart, Bakkor, Brewster, Mitchley (C), Bailey, Murray
Subs not used: Strickland, Shaw, Kisimba, Hamilton, Mendes
Referee: Darren Wilding