Marine hold off late fightback to sink Radcliffe in cup


Goals from Kielen Adams and Hayden Campbell helped Marine to a deserved victory over Northern Premier League rivals Radcliffe to advance to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The game kicked off at the slightly later than usual time of half past three to allow supporters to watch another big game taking place on Merseyside on the same afternoon.

It was a smart move from the club as the 1894 bar was packed to the rafters as fans got a double helping of football on a warm September afternoon.

Supporters soon began milling into the Marine Travel Arena and there was a large crowd in attendance as both sides looked to embark on a potentially lucrative cup run.

A close encounter between the sides was anticipated as just one point separated the pair in the league table and so it proved to be.

Djavan Pedro set his stall out early, looking to get in behind the Radcliffe defence and clattering Richard Smith to leave his mark.

It was Pedro who would have the first effort of the game as Marine started stronger. Luke Clark sent in a wonderful cross from the right only for the winger’s header to be easily saved by Thomas Stewart in the Radcliffe goal.

Stewart had started confidently, easily saving a shot from Joshua Wardle and claiming a cross from Jordan Lussey. The visitors defence will have had great confidence in their ‘keeper.

Former Liverpool youngster Jack Dunn is playing regularly at this level these days, and came the closest to opening the scoring when his brilliant free-kick sailed just over the crossbar.

Radcliffe were not quite in the realms of ‘hanging on’, but Marine were gently knocking on the door and they found the breakthrough in the 31st minute.

A free-kick was sent into the box and the ball was not dealt with by the Radcliffe defence, allowing Adams to pounce on the loose ball and knock in his first goal for Marine. It was a deserved lead for the home side.

Radcliffe improved at the beginning of the second half and finally tested Bayleigh Passant with Ben Rydel bringing out a flying save from the goalkeeper.

The game began to open up with both sides trading blows, Oliver Thornley heading over at one end while Dunn almost doubled the lead at the other.

Dunn was looking very lively and came close again in the 63rd minute, wriggling free in the box before shooting narrowly wide.

Marine began going to the corner with about ten minutes to go in order to run the clock down which was frustrating Radcliffe but substitute Hayden Campbell had other ideas.

Campbell showed wonderful vision to spread the play and find Clark in space on the right. Rather than standing and admiring his pass, the replacement charged into the box for a return ball and shifted onto his left foot to finish beyond Stewart.

There was a celebratory mood among the home fans now as they were eying up the next round.

Luca Navarro ensured a nervy ending however when he finished at the back post but Radcliffe failed to create anything else clear cut as the home defence stood strong.

Two seasons ago Marine made it to the third round proper of the cup where they hosted Premier League giants, Tottenham Hotspur. Those were, undoubtedly, unprecedented times and whilst they have a long way to go to match that, this was an important test passed after a difficult draw.

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt


About Author

Comments are closed.