Brackley Town 2-3 Marine
Mariners do it again in the FA Cup...
Marine produced a Giant performance on Liverpool Giants weekend as they beat Brackley Town 3-2 on Saturday to progress to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.
Brackley are the current FA Trophy holders and look well placed for another play off berth in the National League North so this was always a daunting tie for the Crosby club, but Neil Young's men passed their latest test with flying colours with a fabulous display of counter attacking football to race in to a 3-0 half time lead.
The Blues looked sharp and started strongly, 18 year old Fin Sinclair-Smith - with another showing of rich promise - putting them ahead with only six minutes on the watch with a fine left footed finish across home custodian Lewis and in to the bottom corner.
Brackley had a couple of chances with Matt Lowe hitting the post and then bringing a fine save from Martin Fearon but the Mariners doubled their lead on the half hour, another incisive counter putting James Murray in space and the winger finishing well after shifting the ball past a defender.
A third - and ultimately decisive - goal arrived eight minutes later, Sinclair-Smith latching on to Kenny Strickland's slide rule pass to scamper in to the area and dispatch another great finish off the far post.
Brackley were always going to come out fired up after the break and got back in to the game with two goals inside the opening seven minutes of the half, Adam Walker finding the target with a strong shot from the edge of the area and then Lowe finding space on the right to beat Fearon.
The Mariners regrouped well and dealt with some heavy Brackley pressure, with the closest the homesters coming to forcing a replay being when Strickland was on hand to clear off the line but the visitors held out to book their place in the next round.
Marine now await Monday's draw when they will learn who they will face to bid for a First Round appearance for the first time in 23 years.
Brackley Town: Danny Lewis, Ellis Myles (Shepherd Murombedzi 64), Connor Franklin, Shane Byrne, Connor Hall, Gareth Dean (Cap), Luke Fairlamb (Daniel Nti 70), James Armson, Lee Ndlovu (Shaun Jeffers 59), Matt Lowe, Adam Walker.
Unused subs: Mark Noon, David Staff.
Marine: Martin Fearon, Kenny Strickland, James Short, Danny Shaw, Chris Doyle, Liam Hynes, Fin Sinclair-Smith (Chris Sang 75), James Joyce, Danny Mitchley (Cap) (Liam Davies 90), James Murray (Josh Hine 64), Craig Carney.
Unused subs: Tony Donaldson, Germano Mendes (G/K).
Referee: Mr. Mark Howes.
Assistants: Mr. Alan Cox, Mr. Richard Walker.