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Marine AFC v Spurs, 10.01.21


Vinicius, 24, 30, 37
Lucas Moura, 34
Devine, 60

Attendance:- 0
(“Virtual" tickets sold:- 30,697)

Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Simon Bennett & Gary Beswick
Fourth Official:- Andre Marriner

Marine (5-4-1):- Passant; Solomon-Davies, Hughes (sub Howard, 46), Raven (sub Shaw, 81), Miley, Joyce; Kengni, Hmami (sub Doyle, 67), Devine (sub Strickland, 75), Barrigan; Cummins (Capt.) (sub Wignall, 75)
(Armband to Strickland)

Subs not used:- Luis-Mendes (GK); Ellison; Lynch

Booked:- Joyce (foul on Doherty)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Hart; Doherty, Alderweireld (sub Tanganga, 46), Rodon, Davies (Capt.) (sub Reguilon, 71); Sissoko (sub Devine, 46), White; Gedson, Dele (sub Bale, 65), Lucas Moura (sub Clarke, 65); Vinicius
(Armband to Bale)

Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Sanchez; Ndombele; Son

No bookings

Bing! Crosby’s Marine safely navigated

Well, it was a great day for Marine AFC (located in Crosby), Tottenham Hotspur FC, the FA Cup and a couple of our players too. Carlos Vinicius scored a first half hat-trick and at half-time 16 year old Alfie Devine came on to a) make his debut and b) to become the youngest ever Spurs goalscorer. Jose Mourinho treated Marine and the competition with respect by fielding a strong side, and Spurs didn't start scoring until after Marine's Neil Kengni surprised Joe Hart and hit the bar from fully 30 yards.

8th tier Marine have had a great build-up regarding media coverage and what was a great achievement to reach this phase of the competition, having played no less than seven ties to get here. Thanks to an excellent social media and publicity campaign they have sold in excess of 30,000 virtual tickets, thus raising precious revenue to keep their 127-year-old club alive. Spurs fans have played a massive part in the monies raised and have been praised highly by all Marine connections.

No crowd was allowed in the stadium, of course, due to the pandemic, but plenty of people gathered on the road approaching the Marine Stadium and those with back gardens adjoining the ground were able to secure a great view. Air horns were at the ready to support the minnows, who after all attracted world-wide support. Spurs were going to be the only fall guys in this contest, but I am pleased to report they negotiated the task in hand with aplomb and just the right degree of respect and assertiveness for their opponents.

Joe Rodon made only his second start, next to Toby Alderweireld and 19-year-old Harvey White made his first start, having had a brief Europa League introduction in November. White acquitted himself competently in midfield. Next to him Sissoko played the more attacking role and drove plenty of Spurs attacks. Dele Alli made a welcome sixth start of the season and displayed excellent skills for as long as he was allowed, until replaced by Gareth Bale. Key players such as Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Hojbjerg, Bergwijn and Kane were not involved and presumably did not travel. Hojbjerg may still be nursing his leg injured in that clash with DaSilva against Brentford last Tuesday.

Marine included captain Niall Cummins who had scored a 120th minute winner in the second round against Havant & Waterlooville, thus exemplifying the never-say-die attitude of his club. David Raven, who had made his senior football debut for Liverpool against Spurs in a 2004 League Cup game, was at the heart of a five-man defence.

The teams took the knee and Spurs kicked off. They had a free kick after 4 minutes when Gedson (making only his second start of the season for Spurs) was fouled on the edge of the area towards the left. White took the kick which was deflected and cleared. One minute later after a cross by Doherty, a touch by Vinicius and a right foot shot by Dele, goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant saved. Passant was famous for “getting the beers in” after Marine’s second round success in his full kit. His next action was to safely flap away White’s corner. That situation had been won by Gedson, obviously keen to take a chance to impress.

After a short run approaching the Marine area, Lucas Moura hit a 20-yard shot just over the target. A cross by Lucas safely ran to Passant and I was beginning to think it was time we had the ball in the net. That would come, but not before Harvey White was caught in the Marine half and couldn’t keep up with a run by Neil Kengni who advanced and hit a shot from fully 30 yards which dipped and rebounded off the bar. Joe Hart had thought the ball was going over, but he recovered to push out the rebound.

Five minutes after that scare (and it was the one scare that Marine gave us), the goals started to flow. Firstly after an exchange with Gedson, Dele moved to the right of the area and hit a right-foot shot which fell to Vinicius at the far post, who almost failed with his first touch, but then rounded the keeper and slammed the ball home from less than one yard.

Gedson hit a shot from 25 yards, having taken the pass from Dele, but the shot was well over the goal. Goal number two came in the 30th minute. Dele was involved again, passing outside to Doherty who hit a powerful shot from the right corner of the box. Passant saved well with his right hand, but Vinicius was on hand to sweep in, again from close range. Two minutes later it was 3-0. Lucas had been fouled just outside the box. He and Harvey White stood over the ball, but Lucas scored with a terrific right-footed shot with Passant desperately diving to his right.

Sissoko and Lucas were then involved in a move which led to Ben Davies hitting a cross/shot which flew across the goalmouth. Joe Rodon had work to do at the other end. Having lost the ball in mid-half on the left, he followed and chased the play, finally blocking a shot by left back James Joyce, no doubt seeking to score a heroic goal.

Carlos Vinicius assured himself of the match ball with the best of his three goals. Harvey White hit a pass from the left and Dele fed it back into the middle of the box where Vinicius controlled, turned, and scored with a delightful lifted shot into the keeper’s right corner.

With the four-goal advantage, Spurs were never going to over-stretch themselves and at the start of the half Jose relaced Alderweireld with Tanganga, and Sissoko with 16-year-old Alfie Devine born on August 4th 2004 (only 3 months before that Liverpool League Cup tie in which Raven had played). Alfie had been acquired from Wigan last summer and had a little pre-season friendly exposure. His senior debut would be enhanced by a wonderful goal.

Spurs were happy to control possession with pushing too much. Vinicius hit a shot not only over the goal, but out of the stadium after 53 minutes following Lucas Moura’s pass from the left. Lucas and Dele tried to work their way to a scoring position, but Marine managed to clear from Lucas’s feet. Doherty over-hit a cross from the right and the ball was returned into the box by Ben Davies. Lucas put his shot wide.

Lucas Moura made a cute assist for Devine’s goal which came on the hour. He back-heeled a pass to Alfie who ran outside him before cutting in and scoring with low, powerfully-driven shot literally just inside Passant’s right post, with the keeper diving that way too.

Harvey White hit a free kick well over the target after another foul on Lucas It was then time for two more substitutions with Gareth Bale replacing Dele and Jack Clarke coming on for Lucas. Passant was not confident about his effort to save a Bale free kick but the ball did run away from danger.

There was little more significant action but Clarke had a shot from the left of the area cleared in front of the goal, and in added time, after Bale had sent the ball forward down the right to Devine, who crossed, Vinicius turned, but fired wide.

Generous greetings and pleasantries were exchanged after the game. Marine had a day to remember and have made significant club history. Spurs are the ones who will be tuning in to tomorrow night’s draw for both fourth and fifth rounds.

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