Marine manager Neil Young has demanded an improved performance against Warrington Town after they were knocked out of the FA Trophy by Marske United.
Sol Solomon’s goal late on wasn’t enough as the North East side progressed into the Fourth Round proper thanks to two goals after the interval.
Whilst their performance was better than their FA Cup exit, the Mariners were forced to rue mistakes and decisions in their defeat.
All that remains for Marine is the Northern Premier League, as they sit in the playoffs and the Liverpool Senior Cup where they host Everton in the next round.
“Disappointing we went out in a game where we absolutely bossed from start to finish, I don’t know what the stats were but I think they’ve only had two shots in the game,” he told Off The Park.
“We’ve defended poorly on both occasions and games like where you’re on top and the pitch is as bad as it was, they’re waiting for a mistake and they got it.
“You’ve got to give them credit, their goalkeeper got man of the match, we’ve had a goal disallowed which is clearly onside so we’ve done as much as we can to win the game. You’ve got to take your opportunities, goals change games and you’ve got to keep the back door shut but we couldn’t do that.”
He added: “I think it was one of those evenings where we were much the better side, I wouldn’t say our luck was out – you create your own luck – you’ve just got to defend properly and we didn’t from two long balls.
“That’s the most disappointing thing because we hammered it home at half-time, we were on top, don’t think they had a shot in the first-half, couldn’t get out, had opportunity after opportunity, balls flashing past the post, goal disallowed, a couple of good stops and we said at half-time about keeping the backdoor shut.
“If we do that it stays 0-0 and we always thought we would nick a goal but once they got the goal they had something to hang onto and then another long ball, which we missed, the lads gone through and chipped the ‘keeper so I don’t think our luck was out, we didn’t defend properly.”
Their initial fixture against Marske was postponed due to a frozen pitch forcing last season’s playoff winners to venture up on a Tuesday night. As a result, work commitments, injuries and illnesses impacted squad selection.
As a result of the disappointment, Young wants to quickly move on. He said: “For all the good football we’ve played in the league, we’ve gone out of two FA competitions, if you look at it, Tuesday was a much better performance than what we put in against Stocksbridge.
“But we haven’t defended properly in both games and it’s caused us to lose the game. Don’t get me wrong we had a rejigged back four, Mark Howarth come in after being out for two to three months with injury, James Barrigan had to play left-back so we had a number of changes, disappointing but got to move on quickly.”
Two points separate Marine and Mark Beesley’s side going into Monday’s Boxing Day encounter. The two sides met in the FA Cup last season, which the Mariners came out on top of, but both sides are different to the one that met over a year ago.
The Yellows trip marks a busy and difficult festive period for Marine as they face Town before hosting Warrington’s neighbours, Warrington Rylands on January 2.
Young has highlighted the need for his side to be firing on all cylinders if they are to continue their impressive league run.
He continued: “It’s a chance [to get back to winning ways] but it’s a tough game, it’s away from home against a very good side who have been in the playoffs as long as I can remember in the last few years.
“They’re a good side, got a good squad of players, good club, an ex-player in David Raven is there as well and after an indifferent start they’ve done really well, got some really good players, it’s going to be a real tough game and we have to make sure we’re up for it.
“Hopefully we’ll get a few players back by then unless this virus takes anyone else out and we go there looking to at least get three points.
“It’s the next game, two Warrington’s coming up, two difficult games then it’s South Shield all games are difficult. We have to make sure we’re right and if we defend like we did [against Marske] it doesn’t matter who we play, we’ll concede goals so we’ve got to put that right.
“Warrington Town will give us a much sterner test than Tuesday and we didn’t win on Tuesday so we have to make sure we defend properly, I think we’ve got enough going the other way although in terms of creating we have to take our opportunities when they come along.
“One thing Tuesday give us is it let us give lads minutes who haven’t played much or at all in the last few weeks and months. Although it wasn’t planned that way, there was one positive.
“We’ve got to get Tuesday out of our minds and pretty quick, you don’t become a bad side overnight, we have to defend properly and if we do, we’re a match for anybody but Warrington are a very good side and a lot experience.
“You only have to look at Tom Hannigan – a good lad, I took him to Altrincham, good player through the middle of pitch – they’ve got some really good players, Jay Harris – a good, experienced player – they’ve got good players, good experience and we have to make sure we defend a lot better but the key thing is getting some players back. Players make teams, make formations and that’s what we need.”