‘The performance was excellent’ – Neil Young pleased as Marine cruise through FA Cup

Marine forward Neil Kengni adds a third against Warrington Town

Marine manager Neil Young expressed his happiness at his side’s performance as they overcame Warrington Town in the FA Cup.

Town are a division higher than the Mariners and have enjoyed a good start to the Northern Premier League season.

However, despite the difference in leagues, Marine showed their strengths to comfortably beat Warrington 3-0.

Goals from Neil Kengni and Owen Watkinson secured their place in the next round as their love affair with the cup competition continued.

Watkinson brilliantly opened the scoring as his curling effort kissed the post on the way in, a reward for his relentless workrate.

Almost immediately after a long ball was hoisted beyond the Town defence and Kengni latched on to fire beyond the visiting goalkeeper, the tricky attacker added another in the second half as he burst through to curl into the bottom corner.

“I thought the performance was excellent, that’s what we’re about,” Young told Off The Park.

“A great performance against a very good side. If you look at the quality of their squad, they had one or two missing like ourselves, but to win 3-0 quite convincingly.

“I go back to when I first came into the squad and we played Warrington and we couldn’t get near them, they beat us convincingly. It was two and it could’ve been four.

“I look at Saturday that’s where we progressed but they haven’t regressed they’ve progressed under Paul, so that’s how much we’ve progressed in the time I’ve been at the club and that’s my biggest barometer really. Saturday we were more than a match for them and won the game.”

Following last season’s heroics in the same competition, there is interest in the Mariners but domestically they look to move up into the Northern Premier League, currently sitting a matter of points off league leaders Workington.

At this stage of the season, there is a game every few days and preparations for big games such as Saturday have been difficult, adding fatigue and injuries to the mix.

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“Obviously playing Wednesday night at Clitheroe, Thursday night we got the lads in and ran through some bits, very minimal what you can do after a fake on Wednesday so we walked through the shape and went through analysis of Warrington and the lads took it on board.

“We changed our shape, lads in midfield had to play in defence but overall the performance from the home team was exceptional.

“Great finish from Owen [Watkinson], the only thing that’s been missing from his game this season has been his goals because his work rate is phenomenal.

“He gives everything for the team, great to see him get on the scoresheet he deserves it. 

“Neil Kengni had a good start to the season, he scored the first two games.

“We forget with Neil he’s not done anything in pre-season he got injured very early and was out with a medial ligament injury, been out for the whole of preseason.

“I think the credit to him is his general fitness does himself allowed him to take part from minute one. There were always going to be times where he wasn’t going to be himself because he’s got to get up to speed fitness-wise, match fitness-wise and he’s also played a couple of positions.

“On Saturday, that was the real Neil Kengni his running, his work rate, his out to in runs to get him in good positions and that’s what we’ve worked on since I’ve had him in the last 12 months in particular and we got the goals from it on Saturday.”

Going into the clash, they were dealt further injury blows as Dean Winnard limped off during the midweek defeat to add to their injury list.

As a result, regular centre-back Danny Shaw was paired with Mark Howarth in a back three as they added youth to their bench with two Under 23s.

“The lads at the back were phenomenal. Danny Shaw has been great since he came back into the team. He had a stop-start season last year, the season was stop-start but Danny couldn’t get ready and going, he got injured in pre-season and then wasn’t very well.

“This season has been the same stop-start with injury and work commitments but he’s come in and done really well,” Young lauded.

“Mark Howarth is an unbelievable talent, just hope he starts to realise it a bit quicker, he’s got all the tools to be a top player and I think he proved that on Saturday.

“Jay Devine never lets you down, he’s a player with great capabilities just needs to believe in himself a bit more. But the three of them as a back three were awesome. Then you’ve got Josh Solomon-Davies again out for a while, not done training and had to come in and Joycey gives you everything on the other side. 

“If you look at the midweek results in our league, across the board have been quite different. That’s what we’re all about Saturday, that’s what we’ve got to get to, we’re in a tough moment at the minute with injuries and suspensions which hit us this week. You’ve got to try ride the storm and be there when that storm’s ridden.

“We’re not far away touching wood and everything else in the next 10 days to two weeks, obviously not with Anthony or Germano, to having almost everyone fit then that’ll give us a nice test.”

[Featured image: Barry Betts Photography]