Photo: John Hirst
A SLOW start cost Ossett United dearly as promotion-chasing Marine took full advantage to get on their way to victory (3-0) last weekend and leave their opponents in the relegation zone.
On a very windy day on the Merseyside coast, the hosts scored twice in the first eight minutes before adding a late third.
Manager Wayne Benn said: “All of the talk was about making a good start, staying in the game, being compact, and the game plan went out of the window after five minutes.
“I said some harsh things at half-time because, for me, it was the first time the boys have really let themselves down. I thought we were meek, I thought we were bullied, I thought we were second to most balls and poor all over the pitch.
“They were left in no doubt that was unacceptable, and in the second half we improved a little bit.”
It took only three minutes for Marine to break the deadlock. George Newell was left free to make a run towards the near post from a corner and he connected sweetly with Craig Lindfield’s delivery to find the bottom corner.
With Ossett under huge pressure, Newell had two other chances before scoring his second when again he beat the defender to get to a cross and finish.
Goalkeeper Brett Souter was by far the busiest United player, and he made saves to deny first Lindfield after Josh Soloman-Davies had weaved into the box, and then Newell looking for his hat-trick.
Ossett’s first chance of the game came through Marko Basic, who made something out of nothing when he strode through midfield, tried his luck from distance and smacked the post with the goalkeeper motionless.
Souter was at the centre of things to keep the score at 2-0, denying James Barrigan following a counter, a curling effort from George Hassall, Lindfield and Jordan Lussey strikes, and Hassall again in the final moments of the half.
He was in action again at the start of the second to deny Solomon-Davies, before Ossett started to impose themselves on the match and craft chances of their own.
Skipper James Knowles saw his header from a corner cleared off the line by Kenny Strickland, before Mariners goalkeeper Shamal George made a great save to tip a strike onto the crossbar.
George then clawed away a Basic free-kick, and a scramble ensued from the resulting corner which saw the keeper deny Ossett on the line again.
Aaron Haswell also headed wide for the visitors before Marine secured the win, against the run of play, with nine minutes to go. A good through ball played Solomon-Davies in behind and he beat Souter.
There was still time for things to get worse for United as Jack Stockdill received two late bookings to see his side finish with 10 men.
Ossett are second-from-bottom in the BetVictor Northern Premier N/West Division, but only one point from safety ahead of a trip to Mossley tomorrow (Saturday, kick-off 3pm). They then return home for a visit from local rivals Pontefract Collieries on Boxing Day, with an earlier kick-off time of 1pm.
WAYNE BENN has made his first signing as Ossett United manager, bringing in Brodie Litchfield from Gainsborough Trinity.
The forward began his career at Stocksbridge Park Steels before signing for Sheffield United’s youth team at the age of 17.
Litchfield played for Mickleover, returned to Stocksbridge and had a spell at FC United of Manchester before moving to Gainsborough ahead of this season.
However, the 22-year-old departed the club last week in search of more game time and has now joined Ossett.