Source: Crosby Herald
MARINE Youth took a vital step towards clinching the North West Youth Association title with a double header against closest rivals FC United of Manchester, writes Colin Begbie.
Marine Youth 2 – 0 FCUM Youth
A bright but cold evening at the Arriva Stadium saw a pulsating encounter which played a big part in deciding the title.
Early action was largely in midfield as the two table topping sides battled for control. Although FCUM caused the Marine defence some problems, they were unable to capitalise and it was largely due to some wayward Marine shooting the first half ended goalless with Jack Flynn and Billy Smart proving difficult to handle. The former brought a smart save from the FCUM keeper.
Marine had a claim for a penalty turned down as the ball made contact with a defender’s arm. The linesman signalled the offence was just outside the area, but the free kick flew just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.
The second half started evenly but it was Marine who found their shooting boots. After having a goal disallowed Jack Flynn fired home to break the deadlock on the hour. The second came in the 81st minute when Jack McCluskie intercepted a ball around half way. His pass to substitute striker Paul Pruden left the defence stranded and Pruden went on to fire in top corner.
Despite some frayed tempers near the end, Marine held out for a great victory.
FCUM Youth 3 – 3 Marine Youth
The second part of this top of the table double header served up a game with everything.
FCUM raced to a 2-0 half time lead having played some good football in the process. Not to be outdone, Marine showed why they are worthy favourites for the title with a three goal burst to put them ahead.
Kevin Farrell was unchallenged as he headed a free kick home and five minutes later Matty Devine punished some hesitant defending to equalise. Paul Pruden then found space at the far post to tap home Marine’s third.
FCUM then regained the momentum with an 80th minute equaliser to set up a tense finish but Marine held out well with the only blemish the late dismissal of Billy Smart.
Marine now need four points from the remaining three games to secure the title.
Apr 19 2012
by Joe Thomas, Crosby Herald