By Sam Millne

The new year was welcomed in with another win for Marine who continue to sit pretty atop the Northern Premier League West tree thanks to their 0-1 win at Prescot Cables, which attracted almost 1,000 spectators – the division’s biggest crowd of the day.

Prescot Cables 0-1 Marine

For 83 minutes, Marine were frustrated by their hosts.

In the first half, James Barrigan had his penalty saved as Cables’ goalkeeper, Mitchell Allen, dived to his left and did well to prevent the ball from passing under his body.

Soon after, Barrigan was again denied when Allen produced a flying save to prevent the midfielder’s curling effort that was headed into the corner.

After the break, Prescot provided a threat of their own and came closest when Matthew Liptrott hit the post after a mazy run that saw him dribble from the right touchline into the six-yard box, beating three Marine players in the process.

In the end, Marine’s continued pressure paid off as Neil Kengni latched onto Lewis Reilly’s dink over the backline then finished past Allen with his left foot, to the delight of the Marine fans behind the goal.

Widnes 0-1 Warrington Rylands

In the day’s other local matchup, Warrington Rylands left it even later than Marine as Dave McNabb’s side clinched victory over Widnes with a 97th minute winning header from Declan Walker in an otherwise goalless encounter that saw Widnes’ stand-in captain, James McCulloch, sent off for a second booking towards the end.

Despite the defeat, Widnes were arguably the better team and manager Dave Dempsey told in-house media: “I’ve got so much belief in this group of players.

“They’ll achieve something if they stick together, whether it’s this season or next.

“I know that they can do some serious damage to teams.

“We’ve used the enforced break we’ve had as sort of a reset button.

“If that’s the first game of the season, you’re not coming away from it disappointed or annoyed.”

1874 Northwich 1-2 Runcorn Linnets

Elsewhere in the West division, Runcorn Linnets picked up their fourth consecutive win, beating 1874 Northwich 1-2.

The home team had initially taken the lead in the first minute, but Linnets battled back to level before the break thanks to a Ryan Brooke strike.

The second half then saw Markell Foulds sent off for Northwich before Iwan Murray scored a brilliant solo goal, dribbling into the opposition penalty area then smashing the ball into the roof of the net.

Warrington Town 4-1 Bamber Bridge

One league further up the pyramid, Warrington Town beat Bamber Bridge 4-1 in an impressive performance against play-off rivals.

Goals from Mitchell Duggan, Evan Gumbs, Joshua Amis and Sean Williams meant that Isaac Sinclair’s late strike for the visitors was nothing more than a consolation as The Yellows moved to within one point of Bamber Bridge, who sit fourth in the Northern Premier League Premier.

Next up for Mark Beesley’s Warrington side is a trip to Broadhurst Park to face FC United of Manchester.

(Featured Image courtesy of Paul Moran)