Marine 5-0 Sutton Coldfield Town
Mariners reign supreme over Royals at MTA...
Marine gave a five-star performance as a hat trick from Danny Mitchley and a Josh Amis brace saw off struggling Sutton Coldfield Town in Crosby. Manager Tommy Lawson once again named an unchanged team as his side sought to maintain the fine recent form shown at the MTA.
After a quiet opening period the 13th minute proved unlucky for the relegation-threatened Royals as a James Short corner on the right was headed clear as far as Mitchley on the edge of the box. The Whites' skipper controlled his volley superbly to find the top corner of the Crosender Road net and set the Mariners well on their way.
A brief spell of pressure from the visitors led to experienced striker Hawley dragging a shot wide from 15 yards having neatly shifted the ball onto his right foot.
Mitchley earned the opportunity to double his side's lead just before the half-hour mark as a ball over the top saw the talisman attempt to round 'keeper Brown, but was felled doing so and referee Brown pointed to the spot without issuing further punishment to his namesake. Unfortunately for the home side Mitchley placed his spot-kick a yard wide of target as the Royals escaped.
However it mattered little as Amis grabbed a well-taken brace in the 31st and 40th minutes to put the Mariners firmly in control of proceedings.
Firstly, Michael Brewster latched onto a ball forward and was met on the edge of the box by the calamitous Brown's tepid challenge, Amis picking up the pieces to provide a fine low finish from the right-hand edge of the box.
Sutton Coldfield skipper Richards showed strength to set up Hawley for a low volley which Martin Fearon held securely, before Amis grabbed his second and Marine's third following a slip from Town defender Coulson, the burly striker capitalising to steer a clinical first-time finish past Brown and into the bottom corner.
The game was up for the visitors in first-half added time as another Short corner to the near-post was helped on by Mitchley, veteran Town midfielder Murray's attempt to clear only finding the roof of the net from a couple of yards out.
The rampant Mariners began the second period as they had ended the first and almost went nap as good approach play saw the impressive Amis tee-up Tom Field for a sweetly-struck half-volley which flew a yard past the angle of post and crossbar.
Liam Tongue was next to threaten a fifth goal of the afternoon as a ball played in from the Marine right was only half-cleared by the beleaguered Blues' back-line, Tongue controlling his volley well as the ball dropped but Brown was well-positioned to make the save.
The hard-working Richards and Hawley remained the visitors' only real spark and in truth Richards should have pulled a goal back, sidefooting wide from 8 yards after good work from Hawley in the Marine area.
However the Mariners were not to be denied an emphatic win and in the 65th minute substitute Dominic Reid showed a turn of foot to reach the by-line, Town right-back Lyttle fouling Reid in his attempt to recover with the arbiter pointing to the spot once more. Mitchley stepped up for a second time and found the rigging from 12 yards despite Brown guessing correctly, Mitchley notching his 25th goal of the season in the process.
Brewster's weaving run almost brought a sixth for the Whites but Brown intervened as the Marine midfielder stretched to prod goalward, whilst at the other end McGrory's free-kick from a decent position 22 yards out sailed high over Fearon's bar.
Reid then combined effectively with fellow substitute James Murray on the left flank, Reid being denied a shot at goal by a strong challenge from a Sutton Coldfield defender.
To their credit the visitors continued to seek a consolation for their efforts and substitute Steele volleyed over when well-placed following a free-kick, and in the last meaningful action of the game Hawley's ball across the box allowed McGrory a shot at goal which struck Steele and ricocheted wide of target to sum up the West Midlands club's fortunes.
The Mariners are in action again on Tuesday evening as they entertain Nantwich Town at the Marine Travel Arena, kick-off is at 7:45pm.
Marine: Martin Fearon, Peter Wylie, James Short, Adam Hughes, Kenny Strickland, Billy Smart, Michael Brewster, Tom Field, Danny Mitchley (c) (Niall Watson 68), Josh Amis (James Murray 86), Liam Tongue (Dominic Reid 60).
Unused subs: Phil Baker, John McGrath. Cautions: Hughes, Wylie.
Sutton Coldfield Town; Jonathan Brown, Tyler Little (Jacob Wedderburn 72), Niall Flint, Lee Smith (Max McNulty 81), Samuel Coulson, Lewis Probert, Joshua Green, Adam Murray (Checkaine Steele 64), Justin Richards (c), Karl Hawley, Louis McGrory.
Unused subs: Phil Male, Matthew Coton. Cautions: Murray, Lyttle, Smith.
Goals: Marine; Mitchley (13, 45, 65 pen), Amis (31, 40).
Referee: Mr Conor Brown
Assistants: Mr Darren Brown and Mr Thomas Carroll