Marine face ‘tough’ Spennymoor Town FA Cup test as Neil Young highlights attacking problem

Marine manager Neil Young celebrates winning Liverpool Senior Cup

Neil Young has conceded that Marine could not face tougher opposition than Spennymoor Town in the FA Cup as he looks to eradicate ‘standout’ disappointment.

Their away win at Stafford Rangers moved them into the playoffs at this early stage, thanks to goals from Darius Osei – his first since signing from South Shields – and Sol Solomon’s penalty.

Marine have impressed since their defeat to Hyde United towards the end of August. After their 2-1 disappointment in Greater Manchester, they have went on to be unbeaten in five, winning four and keeping a clean sheet in all of their fixtures. 

With another break in the schedule forthcoming, due to their involvement in the FA Cup, reflecting on their league start, Young wasn’t interested in discussing whether their start has met targets, moreso bemoaning their profligacy in front of goal.

“We didn’t set any targets, just to be the best that we can be,” he told Off The Park. 

“Hyde has been our worst performance and although we lost 3-1 to Whitby, I thought we should’ve won the game and even the second-half performance. 

“We haven’t set any targets but to have improvements and I’m seeing that in games and in training. The standout thing for me is we’ve got to put away our chances, we’re creating so many of the games but we’re not taking opportunities.

“We’re creating opportunities, we’ve got to make that final pass or shot because at the moment, teams are staying in games because we’re not putting them away. 

“Once you get ahead two and three goals, teams tend to throw the hand in but at the moment we’re keeping teams in games and having to score late on to put the game to bed.”

Spennymoor Town await in the second round qualifying of the FA Cup. The North East club sit just two points off the top of the National League North – one step above Marine.

A round trip just shy of five hours awaits the Mariners on Saturday as they look to begin their giant-killing run. The Crosby club rose to prominence due to their fairytale run in the competition that came to a head against Premier League opposition in Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite their history in the competition, Young admits it counts for nothing as he looks to be in the hat for Monday’s draw.

“At this stage of the competition, there won’t be many tougher ties than Spennymoor away,” he continued.

“A very good side, they’ve had a great start to the season, they’ve probably got the standout striker in the division in Glen Taylor, it’s a tough game but I’m sure they’ll be thinking the same. 

“We’ve started well, five clean sheets in the last five games, we’ve got a couple of injury worries but our cup record has been good in recent years – that counts for nothing. 

“We’ve got to go out with a game plan and try to beat them, it’s a long trip but the key thing is we have to be in that draw on Monday whether it be via winning the game or bringing them back to our place on Tuesday night.

“I think we’ve got the team to compete with them, we’ve worked hard tactically. It’s a great opportunity to see where we are, there aren’t many tougher ties that we could’ve got at this stage, not just in terms of quality of opposition but travelling as well. 

“We’re looking forward to it, it’s good we’ve had a free week to prepare for it, that’s key when you’ve got games like this and we’ll see where we’re at come five o’clock on Saturday.”

[Featured Image: Susan Nugent]

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