Marine 3-1 Lancaster City
By Dave McMillan
Edge hits right chord for Mariners on New Year's Day...
Marine got 2019 off to the best possible start with a vital victory over Lancaster City at the Marine Travel Arena on New Year's Day.
Under a blood red sky, the home crowd gathered in black and white and were treated to a rousing second half display from the Mariners who might well have added more goals to their tally.
The first half in contrast was a disjointed affair with neither side causing too many problems for the opposing goalkeeper, although City were correctly denied an early lead by the assistant's offside flag after having the ball in the net.
The visitors did take the lead after 21 minutes, a corner from the left being headed back in to the danger area with Glenn Steel diverting the ball past Paddy Wharton from close range.
The Mariners struggled to find any real momentum, Steve Irwin having their only shot on target but they were level just before half time, Edge's teasing free kick causing uncertainty in the Lancaster defence and Steel scoring again with a glancing header, but in his own net in what proved to be the turning point in the afternoon's proceedings.
Marine brought Danny Mitchley in to the fray at the break and the club captain made an immediate impact, linking well with Niall Cummins to start to pose questions for the City back line.
Craig Carney brought a fine save from Jack Sims with a flicked effort that the 'keeper did well to push on to the post, with Edge also seeing a chipped cross come off the top of the crossbar.
The Mariners took a deserved 75th minute lead after a well worked move, Mitchley lurking at the back post with his header bringing another great save from Sims but the crimson clad custodian couldn't prevent Edge from firing home the rebound.
Two minutes from time the Whites sealed the points with a fine goal, this time Edge turning provider to deliver an inviting low cross for Cummins to rap the ball home at the far post to the delight of the majority of the near 500 crowd.
Marine: Paddy Wharton, Sam Tattum, Charley Edge, Danny Shaw, Kenny Strickland (Cap), Liam Hynes, James Murray, Steve Irwin, Michael Elstone (Danny Mitchley 45), Niall Cummins (John Marsden 90), Craig Carney.
Unused subs: James Short, Germano Mendes.
Lancaster City: Jack Sims, Robert Henry, Paul Dugdale, Simon Wills (Cap) (Charlie Russell), Benjamin Hudson, Glenn Steel, Charlie Bailey, David Norris, Thomas Kilifin (Luke Jordan), Robert Wilson, Paul Jarvis (Ryan Winder).
Unused subs: Lewis Fensome, Cole Lonsdale.
Referee: Mr. Ben Wyatt (Manchester).
Assistants: Mr. Gareth Williams (Salford), Mr. Michael Johnson (Manchester).