MARINE completed their home League campaign on Saturday, visitors North Ferriby United winning 3-1 at the Arriva Stadium on a glorious Spring afternoon.
The Villagers needed to win to maintain their goal difference lead in a two horse title race with Hednesford, but were made to work hard by a competitive Marine side who led in the ninth minute.
Ferriby went close to opening the scoring inside the first minute, Anthony Wilson heading over Ryan McMahon but seeing the ball come back off the crossbar before the gloveman was eventually able to claim.
The Mariners made the most of the let off and scored a well worked goal, Lee Trundle having the time to pick out Will Jones in space inside the penalty area, the former Burscough man controlling with his back to goal before deftly hooking the ball over his shoulder as Adam Nicklin came out to attempt a save.
The visitors responded with a series of testing corners dealt with by McMahon and his defensive screen, Matty Devine having a couple of strong runs at the other end with Trundle blasting a presentable opportunity over the top.
Kevin Lynch’s men were looking good value for their lead but small margins are so often the difference in football, Danny Grannon bringing down Ryan Kendall as he turned past him to concede a penalty, the latter stepping up to fire in to the top corner from the spot on 33 minutes.
Just three minutes later the game was transformed as Ferriby took the lead, a corner from the left finding Wilson to direct a firm header past McMahon.
The early stages of the second half saw United apply some pressure on the home goal, Russell Fry heading over and Ryan Williams forcing McMahon to punch away a far post volley.
Their best move down the left saw the ball played across to the unmarked Paul Robson, the full back having plenty of time to pick his spot which he promptly did, half way down Crosender Road for arguably the miss of the season at the Arriva.
Marine had a great chance to square the match late on, Jones nutmegging a defender just inside the Ferriby half to bear down on goal, Nicklin advancing off his line to block at a vital moment.
Ferriby sealed the points in the 90th minute, a cross from the right finding substitute Gary Bradshaw in space to dispatch a low shot in to the bottom corner from 12 yards.
l Marine: Ryan McMahon (Cap), Shaun Dowling, John Shaw, Matty Brown, Danny Grannon, Robbie Lawton (Liam Rice 76), Matty Devine (Stephen Johnson 65), Jonathan Goulding, Will Jones, Lee Trundle (Nick Rogan 65), Sean Doherty. Unused subs: Michael Ordish, Callum Williams (G/K). Cautions: Grannon, Goulding, Jones
l North Ferriby United: Adam Nicklin, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Liam King (Chris Bolder 74), Gregg Anderson, Mark Gray, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry (Cap), Anthony Wilson, Ryan Kendall (Gary Bradshaw 87), Ryan Williams (Steve Ridley 76). Unused subs: Rob Youhill, Antoni Pecora (G/K). Cautions: Peat
l Referee: Mr. Richard Bartlett (Sale); Assistants Mr. Michael Johnson (Denton), Mr. Peter Maxson (Manchester).
l Attendance: 472.