‘Back to reality’ – Neil Young eyeing Marine Northern Premier League response despite Everton Liverpool Senior Cup win

Marine manager Neil Young on the sideline

Marine manager Neil Young was pleased with their Liverpool Senior Cup win over a youthful Everton side but insists it is “back to reality” on Saturday.

The Mariners netted four past Leighton Baines’ U18s side with added options from the youth ranks as Mark Howarth, Louis Britton, James Barrigan and Sol Solomon were all on target.

It saw them return to winning ways after they were stunned on Saturday but relegation-threatened Liversedge away from home. The defeat dented their playoff hopes as they sit six points off the top five with two games in hand.

The Liverpool Senior Cup quarter-final provided a well-contested, intense encounter for Young’s side and the signs on Tuesday were “pleasing”.

“They started well. Once we got to grips with their shape, we won the game well,” he said speaking to Off The Park. “The pleasing thing for me was after Saturday’s terrible performance, we got back to what we are, we’re not flash but we work hard, communicate and that’s what we did tonight. Off the back of that, we scored four good goals.

“It’s a good game for the area, I like Senior Cup’s,” Young added as a bumper crowd of 1,466 turned out at the Marine Travel Arena to see the Northern Premier League side take on the young Blues headed by former left-back Leighton Baines.

“I won the Cheshire Senior Cup when I was at Chester, I’ve only been in the Liverpool Senior Cup once, this is my second occasion, you’re playing good teams all the time; Everton, Tranmere, Southport, so you know you’re going to get a good game.

“Almost 1,500 people here on a Tuesday night, it was good to watch. You’ve got pressure because it’s a football match but you haven’t got the added pressure that it’s a must-win league match, what you can do is enjoy watching Everton as well and what they’re trying to do. Physicality, closing down and different things gives us the edge but the stuff they was trying was good to watch.

MATCH REPORT: Marine 4-1 Everton: Liverpool Senior Cup semi-finals beckon as Mariners give Blues sinking feeling

“It was a good competitive game, we’ve had to score four good goals. Mark Howarth, back in the side, in the midfield where he wants to play – and where we want to play him – but we haven’t had any centre-halves to play him in there and he’s had a six-match ban,” he continued. “I think he showed his quality tonight, scored a great goal then created the second – an unbelievable flick outside of his left-foot to Louis Britton.

“I think he was involved in Sol’s goal too. I keep saying it, that’s why I give him another year, he’s got all the tools but at times I think I believe in it more than him and he’s got to start believing in it. You saw tonight, the quality he’s got is off the scale.

“The good thing was we had to work on our shape out of possession because it doesn’t matter whether you play Everton or any of the top Academy teams, they have a set way of playing and they work hard at playing that way, they don’t change.

“That’s what was good because first 10 minutes, we hardly touched the ball, they kept the ball, going side-to-side, we had to stop that and we managed to pin them on one side.”

The visit of Everton provided a different spectacle tactically for Young and his backroom staff but he has emphasised that they must return against Atherton Collieries on Saturday.

“Once we did that, we started pinching the ball and looked good in transition, once we got in front, it changed a little bit. But a lot of young kids in there, experience for them, great experience for us and it’s a great session for us in terms of a different way of playing. Maybe South Shields and Bamber Bridge play similar to that but often it’s back-to-front second ball, a different way of playing. But we have to get back to reality Saturday.”

[Featured Image: Susan Nugent]

For enquiries: info@off-the-park.co.uk@OffThePark_