Marine 4-1 Brighouse Town
Mariners progress past Brighouse at MTA...
Marine secured a comfortable win over visitors Brighouse Town in their Integro League Cup 1st Round tie at the Marine Travel Arena. Manager Tommy Lawson made four changes to the side defeated by Matlock Town on Saturday as Billy Smart and Danny Mitchley returned, whilst Chris Lomax and new signing Martin Fearon made their first full appearances for the Crosby club.
In the first ever meeting between the two clubs it was the Mariners who were quickly into their stride, Michael Brewster freeing Chris Lomax on the left flank and his deflected cross almost reached Mitchley before a Town defender's intervention. The loose ball fell for George Lomax to fire a low shot from the edge of the box which visiting custodian Hallwood did well to turn past the post at full stretch.
The Whites were not to be denied for too long though and the 13th minute proved unlucky for the West Yorkshire outfit as Peter Wylie's pinpoint centre found an unmarked Mitchley 12 yards out, dead-eye Danny cushioning his sidefooted volley past Hallwood with aplomb to put the Mariners into an early lead.
Midway through the half Phil Baker pulled up injured following the award of a corner kick to Brighouse and was replaced by Liam Tongue. The subsequent quadrant-kick from the Town right was met by the head of centre-back Lees just inside the Marine area with the ball striking Smart's hand at point-blank range as the midfielder challenged. Referee Smith awarded the spot-kick, cautioned Smart for his troubles, and Brighouse skipper Grimshaw sent Fearon the wrong way from 12 yards to level the contest.
The Mariners regained the advantage just two minutes later as the ball was played into Mitchley whose attempt to squeeze between two green-shirted defenders was curtailed by a certain trip from one and a possible pull of the shirt from the other. Again the arbiter pointed to the spot and Mitchley picked himself up to send Hallwood the wrong way and christen his return to action with a brace.
Town striker Day then volleyed a bouncing ball high and wide of the College Road rigging before midfielder Ord shot comfortably wide from 25 yards.
At the other end Mitchley teed-up Brewster for well-struck effort which Hallwood parried and his team-mates cleared, and in the last action of the half Grimshaw's teasing cross eluded the diving Shaw as the striker narrowly failed to connect.
Marine were soon on the front foot after the break as they sought to extend their lead, Vinny Bailey finding George Lomax just inside the box but the young striker's shot was directed straight at Hallwood who managed to divert the ball over his own crossbar.
Wylie's teasing cross in the Mariners' next attack evaded the onrushing Mitchley but fell to George Lomax who sliced his attempted volley high and wide of target.
Mitchley and Bailey then combined effectively on the right side of the Brighouse area, the latter curling his left-footed shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
With the Brighouse defence coming under increasing pressure something looked likely to give, and sure enough two goals in as many minutes all but secured safe passage into Round Two for the Crosby club. Just before the hour-mark the Town defence only partially blocked an attempted through ball and Brewster seized possession before bursting into the box and drilling a fine low strike past Hallwood at the 'keeper's near post.
From the restart the Whites pinched possession once more and Smart's strong run enabled him to fire in a shot which was blocked behind by a last-ditch challenge. From the resulting corner Tongue's header at the back post was blocked, but the ex-Stalybridge midfielder reacted quickest to prod home the rebound from close range and notch his first goal for the homesters.
A shell-shocked Brighouse kept plugging away to their credit and Shaw might have done better having been played into the Marine area, Fearon advancing to pressure the Town striker who lifted the ball over the Crosender crossbar.
At the other end George Lomax turned sharply in the Brighouse box but his shot rolled harmlessly wide of target, before Wylie again made progress down the Marine right, his low centre finding Bailey whose left-footed shot was held securely by Hallwood away to his right.
Grimshaw then tried his luck from distance but Fearon was quickly across to save with ease as the game entered the closing stages.
In added time visiting substitute Johnson waltzed into the Marine box and perhaps should have scored but his low shot was met by a fine save from Fearon, before the Mariners countered quickly and Bailey found substitute Dominic Marie who shot straight at Hallwood from the 'd'.
Time elapsed with Marine running out worthy winners against their lower-tier opponents, as they safely progressed into the last 32 of the competition they last won two seasons ago.
The Mariners return to EvoStik Premier Division action on Saturday as they visit fellow strugglers Rushall Olympic, kick-off at Dales Lane is at 3pm.
Marine: Martin Fearon, Peter Wylie, James Short (James Edgar 67), Kenny Strickland, Phil Baker (Liam Tongue 24), Billy Smart, Vinny Bailey, Michael Brewster, Danny Mitchley (c), (Dominic Marie 68), George Lomax, Chris Lomax.
Unused subs: James Murray, Florian Da Silva. Cautions: Smart.
Brighouse Town: Chandler Hallwood, Ishmael Dawson, Daniel Grimshaw (c), Callum Robinson, Toby Lees, Harley Wigley, Matthew Ord, Thomas Haigh, Marcus Day (Robert Worrall 61), Adam Shaw (Aidan Kirby 73), Bradley Riley (Gabriel Johnson 53).
Unused subs: Jamie Underdown, Jack Normanton. Cautions: Robinson, Lees, Haigh.
Goals: Marine; Mitchley (13, pen 27), Brewster (59), Tongue (60)
Brighouse Town; Grimshaw (pen 23).
Referee: Mr Lewis Smith
Assistants: Mr Anthony Parkinson and Mr Andrew Daniels