Marine manager Neil Young is looking to stun Marske United but has been pleased with their start to the season, despite disappointment in their last two.
In their previous outings, they were denied a penalty against Lancaster, were on the wrong of a dubious penalty decision as well as having one turned down by the referee against South Shields before going down to 10 men against Stafford Rangers.
The midweek defeat in Staffordshire was their first of the new campaign following their promotion. During the match, they were handed further injury concerns after Josh Solomon-Davies and Callum Harris were forced off.
At the weekend, the Mariners were forced to settle for a point against promotion favourites South Shields.
Young’s side came from behind to lead 2-1 after goals from Djavan Pedro and Tranmere loanee Jake Burton but they had to settle for a point, as Kevin Phillips’ side took advantage of an opportunity from 12 yards to draw level in the dying embers.
Despite being pleased with the performances from his side, Young admitted he was disappointed to come away with two points from a possible nine.
He told Off The Park: “It could’ve been and on the back of Lancaster, I think it could’ve been nine but I’m sure everyone has the same story referee decisions or what else. Overall, pleased with the performances, our performances haven’t got the points that they needed which is what we’ve got to do next, all in all, happy with where we are it’ll be a real tough, tight league.
“You only have to look at results there’s a goal here and there, I haven’t seen anyone get a good hiding yet, normally what does happen in leagues is games are close and I expect that through the season.”
Two goals in six minutes for the hosts on Tuesday handed Marine their first defeat of the season. The Marine boss feels the displays are there, just the final product is lacking.
He continued: “I thought we’ve been good. We need to take our chances when they come around, Generally, I’ve been made up for us, we’ve had a lot injuries to key players but again, so have other clubs – it’s not an excuse, it’s fact.
“The lads who have come in or had to play a part have come in and done well. We should’ve won (against Stafford Rangers), we were fairly comfortable at 1-0 until the sending off. Saturday, we should’ve had a blatant penalty, they’ve been given a penalty and like I said at the time, referees a lot closer to me and if he thinks it’s a penalty then fair do’s – not many people did.
“And Lancaster, I thought we should’ve had a definite penalty so that’s not me being biased that’s just the facts if anyone wants to look at them but overall, the performance and effort has been tremendous.
“We’ve played four teams now who are fairly established, Guiseley who were relegated last season who’ve gone on to win every game since we played them,” Young added. Prior to the start of the season, the former Chester manager insisted that he wanted to cement his side’s place in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
Against a number of seasoned competitors at this level, they’ve done that. But the early signs have pleased Young, he continued: “Lancaster, South Shields – fancied, Stafford. Lancaster and Stafford are very direct and Guiseley and South Shields are more technical so we’ve had to deal with different ways of playing, we’ve adapted well. Probably should’ve took more points than we have.
“It was very disappointing, apart from long throw-ins and set pieces, they didn’t really create a great deal in terms of shots,” he said on Tuesday’s defeat. “Once we scored, we had a couple of chances first-half I thought we would see the game out but we got injuries, a sending off, the game changes. Disappointing we didn’t take anything from it.”
Jake Burton has been one of the standout performers in their opening four games since arriving on a short-term loan from Tranmere Rovers.
Last season, Kyle Hayde had a similar impact in defence for Marine but the full-back was then recalled before returning in the following months.
He said: “We won’t look at it yet, we’ll see where we are, we’re not out the first month yet. I’m sure Tranmere will be looking at what they’re looking at doing this end then we will go further.
“But at the moment, it’s just about Jake enjoying his football, developing, improving. The main thing for the young lads, because the 23s system has changed, these young lads have to go out and play, Jake’s scored a couple of good goals, very good goals, he’s caused numerous problems but he will improve as he plays.
“He hasn’t played a lot of football in the last 18 months, had a short spell out on loan at Stalybridge, played a couple of times off the bench at Tranmere but these lads need regular football to give them an opportunity to really kick on.”
On Friday, Tranmere recalled Burton.
Ahead of this weekend’s double header against Marske United and Warrington Rylands, Young is hoping they can ‘turn the corner’.
He said: “Currently top of the league, they’re a tough side. They’re top of the league, they’ve done really well. It’ll be another tight game they’ve got good players especially in attacking areas that we’ve got to be careful.
“But Saturday-Monday, two tough games, double header, every game in this league is tough, we’ve just got to prepare as best as we can for it. We need a little bit of luck, couple of decisions to go your way but hopefully we’ll turn the corner on that and get victories on the board.”
[Featured Image: Karl Dunkerley]