Marine manager Neil Young has been pleased with their recent showing but has reiterated the demand for chance conversion.
Sol Solomon’s goal against Stalybridge Celtic proved to be the difference as they continued their push for the playoffs.
They moved to within three points of Radcliffe – who currently occupy the final place – after making it four games without defeat.
During that time, they’ve picked up two wins and managed two draws but lead during their encounters with Ashton United and Bobby Grant’s side before sharing the spoils.
“Recent performances have been good, I think we’re unbeaten in four, performances have got better,” Young told Off The Park assessing recent performances. “We’ve managed to get our back four, back five on the pitch, they’ve improved but we need to score more goals, more opportunities against Stalybridge, Ashton, maybe not so much against Radcliffe but performances generally have been good.
“The work rate has been great, the lads have been excellent, it’s just a case of taking more of our opportunities.
“First-half against Stalybridge is probably as good as we’ve played for a long time, we created a lot, I’ve said it’s not so much chance creation, it’s situations, in transitions we’ve picked the wrong pass, didn’t do the right thing,” He added. “Against Stalybridge, we did the right thing but we didn’t convert the opportunities, that was the only thing missing because first-half performance was really good, we just didn’t put them away and against a team like Stalybridge – or anyone in our league – there’s always that threat of getting a goal and Ashton did that.
“Young Liam [Isherwood] has had to make a great save last night when the game should’ve been out of sight.”
In recent months, the former Colwyn Bay and Chester manager has been open in their movement trying to bolster the squad. Joe Bunney arrived from Macclesfield on loan and he was close to being joined by Crewe Alexandra striker Connor Evans.
However, an EFL rule scuppered his return to the Marine Travel Arena and as a result, their search continues.
He continued: “We brought Joe Bunney in, he’s getting up to speed, a big difference in the two games so far in terms of a focal point up front but we’re without Touray who’s injured and Craig Curran who is hopefully back for the weekend so we don’t really have forward options off the bench which is a problem.
“We are still looking to strengthen in forward areas but workmate, committment, effort from the players has been fantastic.
“I just think in the recent games, if we had an option for 20 minutes off the bench towards the end, we thought we done Connor Evans from Crewe but that fell through on the technicality that because he’d already been out, gone back to Crewe, he couldn’t come back to us. It’s an EFL rule not an FA, a bit of a strange one so the search continues.”
Marine face Belper Town this weekend as their push for the playoffs continue. The hosts on the other hand have different ambitions with their status in the Northern Premier League at risk – sitting second from bottom.
“A long away trip, I’ve been there once before and it was a long time ago. A difficult place to go, a new manager, yes they’re near the bottom of the table but I think it’s been proven time and time again in this league, particularly away, that there’s no easy games and we have to make sure that the effort and commitment that we have shown is replicated on Saturday.
“We go there and hopefully look to get three points.
“As always I think if we’ve got our best defensive unit together we’ve always got a chance,” Young said. Someone told me we’ve got the best defensive record n the league alongside South Shields which is some accolade from our side considering the amount of change in the back four, back five in the last few months.
“If we can get more goals, I’ve said it all along, it’ll stand us in good stead going forward, it’s the defensive side of it, we can always improve but to be on the same number as South Shields it’s great from the team.”