Marine manager Neil Young highlights biggest ‘frustration’ ahead of Radcliffe FA Trophy encounter

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Marine manager Neil Young has reiterated his frustrations at his side’s struggles in front of goal.

Kielen Adams made it two league goals in as many games as the striker cancelled out Regan Linney’s opener in the draw with FC United of Manchester.

However, the Mariners‘ profligacy in front of goal has been a problem for them this season and has contributed to them picking up five draws in their first 11 Northern Premier League matches.

Despite having their chances to go ahead at Broadhurst Park, they were forced to settle for a point. Speaking to Off The Park, Young hopes the recent additions in the forward areas can help them turn the corner.

He said: “Yeah, I say game of two halves – I think they had a lot of possession in the first-half without creating a lot of chances.

“We didn’t impose ourselves enough on the game although we had chances, scored a good goal. Second half, I thought we were much better, generally got to grips better with their shape and I thought the chances, lots of chances which we could’ve taken, the goalkeeper’s made some good saves to be fair.

“Generally, it’s been a story of us. Hopefully with bringing in some more forward players, I’m hoping that will relent a little bit and we’ll get our just desserts. 

“I think a point away from home in this league is good but on the flip side, it’s just a bit more frustrating the fact that’s been us a lot this season in terms of doing well in games, creating chances but not getting over the line in terms of three points,” he added.

For Young, despite cup football on the horizon this weekend, he feels it is urgent to turn their draws into wins.

“In such a tight league, if we can some of these one’s [points] into three’s, I think we’ll be right up there. I think we’re only seven points off the top and we’re 14th and five points off the play-offs, we’ve got to turn these one’s into three’s now.”

Marine’s search for attacking options has been no secret this season as they’ve been left light following injury to Mo Touray and the premature recall of Jake Burton.

The former Macclesfield striker has recently capped his impressive performances by getting himself on the scoresheet and in the market, the Mariners have welcomed Sol Solomon from Jersey Bulls.

Ahead of the visit from Radcliffe, Marine announced the signing of Connor Evans from League One outfit Crewe Alexandra on loan.

The 19-year-old arrives at the Marine Travel Arena as he steps up his bid for full fitness, he has three full-matches under his belt, including a brace in Crewe’s win over Stoke City for the U21s.

“I’m hoping it will be done before Saturday, well I’m told it will be done in time for Saturday, it’s [as of Thursday] with the FA just signing the paperwork off,” Young added on their Football League loan target.

“It’s about putting the ball in the net, young lad, got [Football] League experience, he came on my radar through another manager whose opinion I trust implicitly.

“We’ve looked at him, he has all the ingredients, he’s young, I’m sure given opportunities he will do well for us. As long as there’s no hiccups, which I don’t envisage, I’ve had a positive phonecall with him, he’s got a couple of goals for his club in the U21s on Monday – which is good – he’s coming back, he’s played three 90s in a row after being out injured.

“He wants to come in, do well and score goals, there was a number of clubs in for him, but we’re glad in the end he decided to choose us. We’ll see where we go over this next initial four or five weeks.

“We don’t go on about it, we all know, we’re not soft but likewise, you need the players to do it [finish],” he added on whether there will be discussions over their luck in front of goal ahead of Saturday.

“I was listening to a show on Monday, Graeme Souness said you can have the best defence and the best midfield in the world, if you haven’t got anyone to put the ball in the back of the net, eventually it’ll catch up with you and we haven’t had the consistency to do that.

“Hopefully the couple of players that we’re bringing in, Jack came in and done really well for us, created opportunities, alongside Kielen, who’s getting on the goal trail, Hayden’s getting goals. So hopefully a bit more consistency in selection, lads up to speed fitness wise, lads coming back from injury, I’m fairly comfortable in where we are as a squad and as a club.

“We’ve been in every game that we’ve played, we’ve had one real bad performance in the FA Cup and one iffy performance at Warrington Rylands, apart from that we’ve been generally okay. 

He continued: “I think the main issue is we haven’t had many forward players available to us, our remit at the start of the season was to have Mo [Touray], Jake [Burton] and obviously Kielen [Adams]. Kielen missed a lot of the pre-season, Mo got injured a week before the season started and Jake was recalled after a few games, strikers at this level – or any level – are few and far between.

“Finding two and three’s is very difficult but Kielen’s obviously now getting up to speed, DJ [Pedro] has come in and done well on that right – works hard – and Hayden [Campbell] has come in and worked hard and done well.

“I think it’s more about getting goalscorers, DJ and Hayden they work hard, create chances and nip in with a goal but we need someone who can get us 20 to 25 goals.

“Sol [Solomon] looked bright when he came on, Jack Dunn’s not far away, Mo’s two or three weeks away hopefully, hopefully we’re getting them all back and we don’t lose anyone else.”

Radcliffe return to the Marine Travel Arena for their third meeting of the season as they face off in the FA Trophy.

The Mariners overcame the Boro in the FA Cup, last month, but were dumped out in the next round by Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Despite their disappointing exit, Young dismissed talk of whether there’s an added incentive as a result of their defeat to tackle the Trophy.

He said: “It’s just another game of football, it’s the FA Trophy and you want to do well in every game you want to play, I’m not one of those managers who picks and chooses which competitions we want to be good in or not.

“The FA Cup was a big disappointment to me personally, I thought we were rubbish in the game and we should’ve stayed in the game, and didn’t but that’s done now.

“The FA Trophy’s another game of football, it’s the next game, it’s against an opponent we’ve played twice before and had two very tight games and expect this one to be the same.

With the visit of Radcliffe this weekend, he added: “They played two different ways, the first game they played more football, the second game were more direct, scored a great goal the defended well second half.

“We created opportunities, didn’t take them which is going back to the start of the conversation but they’ve got a good side, a lot of ex-pros doing well in the league, they’re second now.

“It’s a tough game, I don’t know how they will perceive the cup, I got the feeling last time we played them that they were primarily looking at the league but what their main opportunities are is up to them. We’ve got to look at the next game and the next game is Radcliffe then onto Nantwich.”

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