Scarborough Athletic 1-2 Marine
Doodson delight as deadeye Dan Dares at the death ...
Marine lifted the Integro Doodson League Cup for a record fourth time as two late goals completed their comeback against Scarborough Athletic at Throstle Nest, the home of Farsley Celtic. Manager Sean Hessey utilised the same 14 players on duty in the semi-final win against Colwyn Bay, with the addition of the returning Liam Willis who started in place of Hessey and was given the captain's armband for the game.
On a cold and breezy night in Pudsey the game started in somewhat low-key fashion as the two teams looked to settle into the occasion. The Seadogs launched their first meaningful attack in the 10th minute as pacy winger Flint tried to set the game alight, showing trickery to beat Willis but shooting straight at Matt Cooper from an acute angle.
A minute later and a ball over the top of the Scarborough defence from Liam Goulding saw Danny Mitchley look to capitalise on defender Lisles' hesitation, however the Mariners' leading scorer's sidefooted volley was held with relative ease by Athletic custodian Glennon low to his right.
A dangerous cross from the Seadogs' left flank then saw Willis stretch to flick a vital header away from danger, with Warren Bellew completing the clearance. At the other end Mitchley's pass found Andy Owens in the penalty area, the big striker touching the ball wide of Glennon before tumbling under a well-timed challenge from a red-and-white shirted defender, referee Mainwaring rightly waving play on as the Athletic defence cleared to safety.
Midway through the opening period Mitchley chested down a Cooper clearance before volleying left-footed from 25 yards but the ball sailed a couple of yards over the bar and into the sizeable travelling contingent from the east coast.
A Scarborough throw-in on their left was then worked inside to Forrester whose sharp turn and shot from a couple of yards outside the Marine box forced Cooper into a decent stop, the salmon-shirted saviour parrying away to his left as the Yorkshire side continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession.
Just after the half-hour mark Athletic had strong appeals for a penalty waved away as Stephen Wainwright's sliced clearance allowed striker Robinson to graduate into the box. Cooper raced off his line and although Robinson went to ground as Cooper stretched the well-positioned arbiter immediately awarded a corner, Cooper being deemed to have played ball rather than man.
The Seadogs continued to press and a ball into the box from their left was neatly chested down by Flint, however the winger's finish proved tame under pressure from Willis and Cooper was able to gather comfortably.
Three minutes before the break and the Mariners survived their biggest scare of the half as a Cooper free-kick taken midway inside his own half was returned on the volley by a Scarborough defender. Athletic striker Blott beat Cooper to the ball but was unable to change the landscape of the match as Cooper recovered superbly to block the long-serving striker's attempted cross.
Half-time arrived with the “phoenix” club certainly in the ascendency in terms of possession, but having been limited to very few scoring opportunities by a well-marshalled Marine defence, with Goulding in particular showing his class once more.
The Crosby side came out early in the second half looking to impose themselves on a Scarborough side which had endured a league season to forget, and an Alex Davies ball in from the right reached Owens whose looping header from 15 yards was tipped over by the back-pedalling Glennon.
Mitchley then fired comfortably wide of goal from distance, before a half-cleared free-kick reached Bellew on the corner of the area, the former Runcorn Town wide-man's speculative volley flying several yards off-target.
Despite this improved display at the start of the second-half the Mariners fell behind on 59 minutes. Forrester latched onto a ball down the Seadogs' left and although his low-centre was missed entirely by Blott the ball ran through for the onrushing Robinson to power a fine first-time finish from 12 yards inside Cooper's right-hand post to send the massed ranks of the vocal Scarborough support into rapture.
Davies and Owens were withdrawn to be replaced by Lewis Codling and Chad Whyte as Hessey's men sought a way back into the final. Bellew's centre from the left touchline was headed away as far as Mitchley whose goalbound strike from the edge of the box was bravely blocked by Scarborough skipper Bloor.
Scrappy play inside the Marine half then saw the Seadogs win possession which allowed Flint a shooting opportunity 25 yards out, but Flint's effort was blocked at source by a tremendous challenge from Goulding and the ball bounced through tamely to Cooper.
With ten minutes remaining player-manager Hessey brought himself on in place of Willis and the ex-Chester defender played his part in reversing his side's fortunes. Hessey's free-kick into the box reached Whyte whose flicked header dropped into the welcoming gloves of Glennon as the Mariners looked to finish strongly against the clearly fatigued Seadogs.
With eight minutes remaining the Yellows spurned a gilt-edged chance to level matters as Codling's flick allowed Mitchley to race through on goal, the hotshot on this occasion screwing the ball across the face of goal from eight yards out and agonisingly wide of the far post.
Nevertheless the Mariners continued to surge forward in this season of resilience and dramatic late turnarounds, and Codling's clever wing-play and low cross reached Whyte but the ex-St Helens Town striker poked wide of goal under strong pressure from the desperate Scarborough rearguard.
The pivotal moment arrived on 87 minutes as Codling's clever pass saw Whyte race onto the ball, the young striker being felled by Lisles who, having had a fine game at the heart of his side's defence until that moment, was dismissed by referee Mainwaring for a “professional” foul. Despite the offence appearing to have taken place just inside the penalty area the Mariners were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Hessey stepped up to drill a shot past the Athletic wall which proved too hot for Glennon to handle, and Bellew stooped to conquer from six yards as he nodded home the rebound to the delight of the hordes from Crosby behind the goal.
The Mariners attacked once more in search of a dramatic winning goal and Codling found Wainwright overlapping on the right touchline, the right-back's low cross falling to Mitchley on the edge of the area but the former Blackpool striker fired a couple of yards over the crossbar as the final minute of the 90 elapsed.
However, even better was yet to come for the Mariners as the game entered an additional five minutes, with the Scarborough players desperately attempting to force a penalty shoot-out to decide the destination of the silverware.
In the fourth minute of added time Goulding's long ball up to the edge of the Scarborough area saw Mitchley produce a moment of sheer quality and a fitting way to win any cup final. Deadly Danny controlled the dropping ball sublimely before swivelling to pick his spot and curl an exquisite finish inside Glennon's left-hand upright to send the hordes from Crosby and beyond into scenes of wild jubilation.
There was simply no way back for the Yorkshire club and moments later referee Mainwaring whistled for full-time to signal Marine's record fourth victory in the Northern Premier League's flagship cup competition, bringing the 2015/16 season to a successful conclusion.
Marine: Matt Cooper, Stephen Wainwright, James Short, Liam Goulding, James Foley, Liam Willis (c) (Sean Hessey 80), Warren Bellew, Alan Burton, Danny Mitchley, Andy Owens (Chad Whyte 70), Alex Davies (Lewis Codling 67).
Unused subs: Ollie Sharman. Cautions: none.
Scarborough Athletic: Matthew Glennon, Thomas McNamee, Paul Robson, Eddy Birch, Dean Lisles, Stephen Mallory, Niall Flint, Matthew Bloor (c), Ryan Blott, Callum Robinson (Joe Lamplough 71), Jamie Forrester.
Unused subs: Chris Bolder, Max Dearnley. Cautions: none. Sent Off: Lisles
Goals: Marine; Bellew (87), Mitchley (90).
Scarborough Athletic; Robinson (58)
Referee: Mr James Mainwaring
Assistants: Mr Nigel Freelove and Mr Matthew Scholes