KEVIN LYNCH hopes Karl Noon can start to produce his best form after a slow start to his Marine career.
The former Liverpool FC trainee, signed from Colwyn Bay last summer, struck a superb hat-trick as the Mariners recorded a 3-0 win at home to Trafford in the Doodson Sports Cup on Tuesday night, having struggled for consistency for much of the season.
And with the likes of Nick Rogan, Liam Rice and recent signing Will Jones all competing for attacking berths, competition for Lynch is fierce. The manager, though, has tipped Noon to rediscover his best form in the coming weeks.
“We all know what Karl can do,” he said. “His ability and his qualities have never been in question.
“We worked hard to bring him to the club in the summer, and for whatever reason it just hasn't got going for him yet. The chats I've had with him, I've stressed the need to keep going and keep his work rate up.
“Against Trafford, his performance was outstanding. The three goals he got showed off his different qualities. One was a toe-poke, the other a calm, cool finish and then he got a free kick from 25 yards too.
“He's given me a dilemma because we have options in attacking positions, but I'm pleased to see him back and firing. Hopefully it will continue.”
Lynch was delighted with his side's character after they twice came from behind to beat Kendal Town 3-2 on Saturday. The result leaves them third in the Evo-Stik Premier Division table, and featured a debut goal from former Burscough striker Jones.
“I was delighted with Will,” said Lynch. “If there's a way to win over your new team-mates, it's by working hard and putting in a performance, and he did that brilliantly. He struck up a good understanding with Nick Rogan, as was shown in the third goal.
“I was pleased with the win. It was a test of character after some bad results of late, and to go behind twice in any game is hard. We responded well though, I think that's 10 times now we have come from behind to win games. That speaks volumes.”
This weekend sees Marine welcome Ashton Athletic to the Arriva Stadium – weather permitting – with no injury concerns to report.
“We have a clean bill of health,” said Lynch. “We know it will be a tough game against Ashton. They have (former Mariners) Thomas Moore and Stephen Johnson, but we are looking to pick up some momentum after two good wins.
“Hopefully the game will be on and we can get a good result to carry on a good week.”