Marine 3-1 Runcorn Linnets: Merciless Marine win thanks to goal flurry as Linnets prove troublesome

Pre match preparations prior to Marine's 3-1 win over Runcorn Linnets

Marine moved five points clear at the top of the Northern Premier League West with a 3-1 win over Runcorn Linnets.

The Mariners had to wait until after the hour mark to break the deadlock but soon enjoyed a seven-minute flurry that brought all of their goals from James Barrigan, George Newell and Niall Cummins.

Barrigan’s in-swinging free-kick evaded everyone and bounced into the back of the net before the Southport loanee tapped home from close range from Cummins’ pass.

The 34-year-old then went from provider to scorer heading home from the opening goalscorer’s set-piece.

Ryan Brooke’s late goal was just a mere consolation for Linnets are they left Rossett Park empty-handed.

However, it could’ve been a whole lot more different for Calum McIntyre’s side as they dominated the first 45.

James Steele, a constant threat throughout, proved a nuisance in the attacking area’s, having the first chance of the game as he cut inside but saw his curling effort go wide of the mark.

Bayleigh Passant was much the busier of the two shot-stoppers in the first-half and would’ve been thankful to grasp on to Alex Downes’ free header after a delightful corner to the back post saw the unmarked defender nod straight at the Marine goalkeeper.

McIntyre and his coaching staff were looking on in bemusement as they saw two efforts in quick succession somehow stay out, keeping the score level.

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Iwan Murray’s cross then slipped through Passant’s grasp falling at the back post only for Kyle Hayde blocking the header after getting his body in front of the danger.

The Linnets onslaught continued as midfielder Joe Lynch chipped a teasing free-kick from deep into a sea of bodies, the 21-year-old goalkeeper opted to come through the crowd, missing the ball only to see it loop over his head only for the post to keep the scores level.

The hosts failed to test Dermot Mee in the Runcorn goal but soon found themselves in the ascendancy when attacking the Crosender Road End in the second half.

Cummins came close after a brilliant piece of skill from Neil Kengni but the forward could only see his effort continue rising over the bar.

The threatening winger was involved once more when he was left in a heap after challenging for a loose ball, resulting in a free-kick.

Substitute Barrigan stepped up and swung in a tempting left-footed cross which evaded everyone before nestling in the back of the net to put the Mariners in the lead.

One soon became two as Cummins teed up Newell for his third in two matches, following his loan move from Southport, after the visiting defender misjudged a diagonal pass.

Kengni again was fouled in the build-up to the third, this time at a wider angle.

It didn’t prove to be a problem for Barrigan, who put it on a plate again as he whipped in a delightful cross which saw Cummins rise highest and thump his header past Mee to add a third in a ruthless seven-minute spell.

Marine’s hopes of a clean sheet came crashing down in the dying embers as they failed to avert the danger following a Linnets corner.

Neil Young’s side couldn’t clear their leads leading to a scramble in the box, a tame header fell to Brooke who volleyed in his 12th of the season.

There’s was time for one more attack at the tricky Murray weaved through the Marine rearguard but his shot could only deflect into Passant’s hands.

The win takes Marine five points clear of Warrington Rylands and seven ahead of Workington – who had a free week after their City of Liverpool clash was postponed.

Young and his side can breathe a sigh of relief that they wasn’t punished in the opening stages but will take satisfaction in their attitude to pile the misery on their opponents in brutal fashion.

Runcorn Linnets, on the other hand, missed the chance to move into the play-offs but can hold their heads high for being one of the toughest visitors to Rossett Park this season and still sit just a point off.

Match Info

Marine 3-1 Runcorn Linnets

Goalscorers: 63′ James Barrigan, 67′ George Newell, 70′ Niall Cummins; 90′ Ryan Brooke

Bookings: Alex Doyle (Marine); Rhain Hellawell (Runcorn Linnets).

HT/FT Score: 0-0/3-1.

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