Neil Young delighted with Marine display as depleted defensive issues highlighted

Marine score against Ramsbottom United

Marine manager Neil Young was pleased to see his side make it three wins from their last three with the win over Newcastle Town.

There were three different goalscorers for the Mariners as the visitors netted two to make the scoreline look closer than it may suggest.

Neil Kengni netted his 12th of the season as Young’s side continue their run at the Northern Premier League West summit.

The triumph marked a third win in a week after they dispatched Ramsbottom United and Runcorn Linnets prior to the visit of Robin van der Laan’s side.

However, the Marine boss felt that the score could’ve been a lot healthier in the hosts favour but still saw positives from the display.

“I thought we should’ve been done and dusted by halftime with the chances we created, we looked good probably the best we’ve played in a while. Generally enjoyed it,” he said speaking to Off The Park.

“I think the late goal was the one, we’ve conceded a lot of late goals in the last couple of minutes making it nervier than it needed to be.

“I’ve also got to take it into consideration that’s a mindset thing we need to overcome but also need to remember we’ve got lads coming back from long layoffs, having to rotate the team continually so it’s hard to get any continuity.

“We know there’s an issue late on in games but overall the performance, I thought the football we played on a bad pitch I thought was very good.

“The second goal is another great ball by James Barrigan, similar to the game against Runcorn. We’ve been talking about quality from set pieces and up until then the quality wasn’t great. But he’s put a fantastic ball in and we’ve got a few big lads and we’ll get goals if the delivery is right.

“Some great play down the right, pulled back I think Ryan Wignall and Luke Higham could’ve had two or three in the first half themselves. Ryan’s hit the post, it’s what you want from your wingbacks to be high up the pitch coming in bsck stick that’s where we aim for. All in all, a good win. 3-2 probably flattered them a bit.”

Kengni added the second in the second as the fierce attacker continued to torment the defences in the division but the former Chester manager believes there is still a way to go before he’s at his very best.

He added: “He’s done well, we took Neil 18 months to two years ago from Stalybridge and he was on the bench there. He’s come in and seen his improvement week in, week out.

“He’s got a lot to work on, we know what he’s good at. We’ve got to improve on other areas of his game over the top, perfect goal from him on Saturday. His work rate is phenomenal, we just need to work on the other parts now of a forward player, he’s still very young.”

Top of the table at Christmas is something that is seen as more important higher up the pyramid but while it’s nice for Marine, Young still won’t be drawn on title talk, he continued: “Like anything, it’s not a season objective, it’s get to the top of the league and see if you can stay there, that’s everyone’s objective.

“Keep churning out results, look at the next one and see who’s available – that’s the key, try and come up with a formation that fits your players. A lot of people put players into a formation, we’re a bit different, we see who we’ve got available to us but we don’t know how we’re going to set up, that’s what we’ll be looking at that for the upcoming games. 

“It’s brilliant to have three home games in seven days, Ramsbottom, Runcorn and Newcastle are all tough opponents so we’ve had to rotate the team.

“Players leaving, injured, to be able to get that level of performance from the players, I don’t think people realise for a non-league perspective how difficult that is so you’ve got to give them great credit. Now it’s all onto another big game.”

The news of David Raven wanting to move up to the Northern Premier Division to be assistant at Warrington Town caused a slight stir among the Rossett Park faithful.

His departure saw the problems worsen at the back for Marine with Anthony Miley out for an extended period whilst Dean Winnard steps up his bid for full fitness.

On Friday, they welcomed Connor Teale on a one-month loan as the Fleetwood defender looks set for a debut against Bootle.

Young said: “Obviously greatly reduces an area we were already severely depleted [Raven’s exit]. We have done for the best part of two weeks try and add to that area.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been successful at that moment, it’s very difficult to get players out of league clubs on loan because of COVID going in and out of bubbles that causes its own problems. Not easy, but we need to strengthen in there and I’m made up Dean Winnard is available and fit so it’s great credit to play 88 minutes on Saturday being out for so long and having to come back and do a job.”

[Featured image: Susan Nugent]

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