Marine manager Neil Young has high hopes for his attackers following the standout performances of Sol Solomon and Louis Britton.
The Mariners attacking duo proved to be too difficult to nullify as they ran the Port defenders ragged. Solomon won the penalty for Jordan Lussey’s opener before teeing up the 22-year-old Bristol native to regain their lead.
Britton went on to score a hat-trick for Young’s side as they emphatically returned to the Liverpool Senior Cup final. It was his first involvement in the squad since he was forced off in the defeat to Guiseley but his impact from the bench could provide a perfect boost ahead of their playoff run-in.
After replacing Joe Hardy shortly before the hour mark, the forward steered the Crosby outfit away from Port in 35 minutes.
“He’s been out for two weeks, he’s not particularly fit, he’s got a hamstring problem, he’s worried about it,” the Marine said speaking to Off The Park on Britton.
“We were a little bit apprehensive to put him on but if you look at our bench, we didn’t have much else, Clarky and Smigga – who are mainly defenders or Luke can play in midfield – Mendes and Josh Solomon-Davies who wasn’t fit enough to go on the pitch.
“Louis was half fit but that was us. For him to go on and score a hat-trick, he’s only come here recently and not played a lot of football but he’s scored six goals for us. It’s great. When you’re playing up front with Sol and Sol’s playing like that, you’ve got problems.
“We’ll have a look at him on Thursday, what that will do tonight is help his confidence which is where I think he’s at the moment,” Young added on whether the treble will mark a return to the starting line-up.
But the Marine boss did express his intent to keeping their attacking options fit. He said: “Hopefully that’ll give him a bit more confidence, we’ll have to check up on where Joe is.
“Ben is back available on Saturday and Akiel [Raffie] is available too so we’re getting more options and I hope we can keep Joe, Solomon and Louis fit. If we can keep them three fit with Lucas, Akiel and Ben as well added in plus the other lads, we’ll have a right go.
“He was incredible tonight, overall performance-wise, apart from a goal he’s done everything,” he said on the performance from their top goalscorer, Solomon.
“What I loved about him tonight, it was like a 10 with a nine, he was more of a nine dropping in, he works selflessly for the team, he’s setting people up, he’s dropping in, he can go long, drop short, it was an all-round top class centre forward performance.”
With his impressive performances and match-winning contributions, it’d be no surprise to see clubs eyeing a move for the forward. And the Marine boss has emphasised his admiration for the former Jersey Bulls striker.
He said: “I’ll be enjoying him for another year hopefully, he’s on contract here, he loves it, we love him. He knows, we’re not always going to play on these [artificial] pitches but what I love about him is he’s game, he doesn’t shirk responsibility and he doesn’t mind playing all different ways.
“We seen him take a whack, a kick, gets up, hopefully he can stay fit for his sake and ours, the next thing is a big game on Saturday.”