Marine manager Neil Young has called for perspective after his side were handed their first home defeat to rivals Bootle.
The Boxing Day clash proved to be a mammoth one as it was a sold-out crowd for the Bucks’ 3-0 win over the league leaders.
Ben Hodkinson, Tom Peterson and Matty McDonald fired Brian Richardson’s side to a tremendous three points which left the Mariners boss having nothing but praise for the north Liverpool side.
In terms of the league table, Marine remain at the summit as the defeat brought a formidable run to an end.
For Young, the manner of defeat hurt as Bootle ‘wanted it more’.
“It’s a rivalry in terms of locality, the size of the crowd, any defeat hurts but it was the nature of the defeat more than anything,” he told Off The Park.
“I thought we were poor in the game from start to finish, I had a feeling before the game that we weren’t at it. We had the interruptions with the lights but that’s the same for both teams, Bootle wanted it more which is a horrible thing to say from our perspective. Brian had them well-organised, the way we wanted to do it, it worked.
“We looked to push them back that would make them defend, defend long balls which is what we wanted to do because the pitch was conducive to getting it down. When we forced them back into a lower block, they defended well but we didn’t create nothing, we had no creativity, they were great on the counter-attack.
“I thought Peterson was excellent for them, never stopped working all day and caused us problems with his physicality. Generally, mistakes change games and we made three of them. They took advantage of them but they were the better team on that team.”
As with any rivalry, the victor takes the bragging rights and has theoretically one-up on their opponents. Marine’s collapse brought disappointment amongst their fans.
But the former Chester boss has called for perspective after their first defeat in nine.
“They have for one game [bragging rights shifted] but we are still top of the league let’s not get away from that, it was disappointing and the manner we lost the game but we’ve won nine on the bounce at home, got to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, should’ve beat Wrexham at home, had a good run in the FA Trophy.
“I can understand people’s disappointment in a one-off game against your local rivals but for me, we’ve all got to look at the bigger picture.”
With the recent departures of David Raven and Kyle Hayde due to retirement and a recall, respectively, Young felt a defeat was on the horizon due to the nature of their problems in their defensive area.
He added: “I’ve seen it coming, I’m not saying it was coming against Bootle but it was coming because although people are patting us on the back for getting through these injuries, people leaving, when we kicked the season off three of the back four who were here have either left or injured in terms of Anthony.
“Even a couple of weeks ago, we had David Raven, Kyle Hayde, Luke Higham, Danny Shaw that was four of our back five none of them were available. It’s a lot of change, continuity in football everyone knows that – you only have to look at Liverpool last year – and that’s at the highest level.
“If you haven’t got that continuity especially in defensive areas at some stage it’s going to break and Monday was that break. I’ve seen it for a number of weeks coming but there’s only so much you can do when things are taken out your hands in a very short space of time.
“Kyle was called back, Raven left within a week, Shaw has been ill, Luke Higham the day before the game things like that you’ve got to try and any manager will tell you. If you think the players especially in defensive areas we’ve lost, the result was coming in some way shape or form.
“We have to plug those deficiencies within the squad. With Raven leaving, Hayde gets recalled, Luke that’s only for a week hopefully but they’re big players. It’s not as easy at this level to go and find a player of a similar ilk.
“I thought young Connor Teale was very good but we got deficiencies within the squad – don’t get me wrong the players have been fantastic so far – but if we’re going to challenge for this league we need to address, we are and we have been trying for a number of weeks to bring in.
“But when players disappear quite quickly from it you, it isn’t that easy because we have got a very good group and to improve them is quite difficult.”
The derbies continue for Marine as they travel to strugglers Prescot Cables who have enjoyed an upturn in form including a 7-0 win over Market Drayton before feeling hard done by to lose to Runcorn Linnets last time out.
Young expects Kevin Lynch’s side to be “gunning” for the title-chasers.
“[It’s a] tough game, Kev Lynch ex-Marine manager good lad trying his best, he’s taken over the team it’s always difficult,” he said. “I believe they were in the game for long periods of time against a good Runcorn team, they had a great win [against Market Drayton].
“I’m sure they’re looking forward to playing us, I think every team is you seen with Bootle at the end of the game they celebrated the win and rightly so, I’m sure Prescot will be gunning for us as well.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure that we perform much better than we did. I’ve done this when we’ve played teams, everyone talks about how poor they were, we were poor but don’t let that take anything away from Bootle they were very good, organised and with Peterson and Hodkinson in particular were always dangerous.”
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