Young bursting with pride after Marine's FA Cup fairytale comes to an end

·3 min read
Young's players toppled Chester and Colchester to book their third round tie with Spurs - and the Marine chief couldn't ask any more of them
Young's players toppled Chester and Colchester to book their third round tie with Spurs - and the Marine chief couldn't ask any more of them

Neil Young says he couldn’t be prouder of his Marine players after their FA Cup dream was ended by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the third round, writes Will Jennings.

The star-studded visitors ran out 5-0 winners as a Carlos Vinicius hat-trick and goals from Lucas Moura and Alfie Devine dashed the hosts’ hopes of the Cup’s greatest ever giant killing.

Eighth-tier Marine, who play in the Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One North West, lie 161 league places below Mourinho’s team and Young believes the minnows delivered an admirable display at the Marine Travel Arena.

The 45-year-old said: “I’m very proud of them.

“It was always going to be tough and you only have to look at the Tottenham side – you have to give great credit to Jose Mourinho for the team that he brought here.

“They showed us great respect. To bring the team that he did – bringing Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon off the bench – we were laughing at who was coming off the bench!

“I can’t ask any more of our lads. We were a bit sloppy at times and could have got some more tackles in, but you’re playing against world-class footballers who make it look easy at times. I’m very proud of what we achieved.

“It would have been nice to get a goal. Once they got the goal they had a spell of ten minutes when they were really on top of us. They dominated possession, as you’d expect, and have got some fantastic footballers. It was great to be able to see Tottenham up close and how well they played.”

Young’s valiant Mariners held the top flight’s fourth-place side for over 20 minutes and the lively Neil Kengni almost had his name in lights when he struck the crossbar from range.

But the eighth-tier minnows were left with a second half mountain to climb after a Vinicius hat-trick, coupled with a fine Moura free-kick, left them 4-0 down at the break.

Marine continued to rally admirably but when Devine scored a fifth on the hour mark, the Premier League procession was complete.

Marine’s league campaign remains suspended and Young’s team do not know when they will next take to the pitch.

The Mariners recouped lost gate receipts by selling 30,697 virtual tickets and Young hailed Spurs fans for playing their part and helping keep non-league football afloat.

Young, whose team are supported by a multi-million pound, multi-year investment programme called Pitching In, added: “We’ve had an eventful week in term of press and media – everyone’s been here because of the tie.

“The football community and in particular the Tottenham supporters, have been incredible.

“We’re not playing at the moment and football is suspended. Non-league clubs are struggling financially. This for us, is nice.”

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes, has launched a multi-million pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. The programme includes a flagship partnership with The Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues - collectively known as The Trident League, as well as a partnership with the UK sports charity SportsAid. For more details see: