Marine have to ‘earn their corn’ as Neil Young discusses Northern Premier League West title race

Marine in action against Prescot Cables in the Northern Premier League West

Marine manager Neil Young was pleased to see his side return to winning ways thanks to Neil Kengni’s late goal against Prescot Cables.

They kickstarted their 2022 after the disappointment of the Boxing Day defeat to Bootle that saw the Bucks capitalise on three mistakes at a sold-out Rossett Park.

The beginning of the New Year allowed for no rest-up as Kevin Lynch’s side posed a different threat as they begin to find their form as they look for a midseason resurgence and move out of trouble.

With the clash level, Marine top goalscorer, Kengni, fired beyond Mitch Allen to secure the three points keeping their lead at the top to four points.

Allen as on hand to frustrate the Mariners on a number of occasions with James Barrigan seeing his first half spot kick saved by the Cables shot-stopper.

“Tough game, we knew they were going to make it tough for us. I think after Monday against Bootle we’ll take any win, we had opportunities, they had opportunities generally just to get in there and win the game,” Young told Off The Park.

“I went there as Chester manager must’ve been 2012 same New Years Day and got away with a 1-0 last minute goal, I think this stage of the season you just take them and move on, derbies in particular. 

“We huffed and puffed but we wasn’t great, we got the three points and I think at this stage of the season getting three points is the main thing.

“We know we need to improve, we know we add some bodies to the team in certain areas. Don’t think people realise because we have been winning as frequently as we have but the players we’ve lost either through injury, COVID, or retirement in Dave’s [Raven] case and a loan been recalled so had a lot of change in a short space of time we’ve sat down and looking to add to the squad, to help the lads who’ve done remarkably well so far. 

“We’re not one of them teams, you see some of the scores four, five, six, sevens, I don’t think we’re one of them teams so we’ve got to make sure we stay in games it was good to keep a clean sheet after Monday.

“The performance wasn’t great, at this stage you take your wins and move on.”

Marine, despite their recent performances, remain at the top of the Northern Premier League West and with the turn of the year brings difficult clashes in tricky circumstances and environments.

Young is no stranger to these types of situations and believes this is where ‘you earn your corn’.

“Massive test now, this is where you earn your corn, I’ve talked about it a lot with people talking that we’re at the top, I’ve said loads of times it’s not putting us at the top in November, December it’s about being top in April. Workington don’t look like they’re going to look any games, they’re signing good players, not having that many restrictions from what I can see so it’s going to be tough.”

The 46-year-old added that they’re looking to make wholesale additions, he continued: “We’re short on numbers so we’re going to look to add three or players, don’t get me wrong we’re trying for weeks to add one or two bodies but we’ve been unsuccessful hopefully we’ll get a few in before the weekend and then I would like to think over the next two to three weeks we’ll get a few bodies.

“We’re looking to add to the squad four or five if we can.”

Next up, they face a trip to Trafford. They needed a Bayleigh Passant penalty save and two second half goals to see off Tom Baker’s side.

But the Marine boss feels they have to be at their best or face getting nothing out the game.

“[They’re a] good team, well coached, have a certain way of coaching they will give us all sorts of problems. Although I wasn’t there, I watched the game back, when we played them at home, I think Bayleigh’s [Passant] save kept us in the game and in the second half we were much better and won for what I could see.

“Whenever you play Trafford, particularly away, it’s a fantastic football pitch they’ll get it down, we’re going to have to be at our best and win.”

[Featured image: Alan Rowlands]

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