Marine AFC make history

Eighth-tier Marine from Crosby in Liverpool produced a faultless penalty shootout to stun League Two Colchester United on Saturday to reach the Emirates FA Cup Second Round.

The Northern Premier League Division One North West side nicknamed the Mariners held the U’s to a 1-1 draw after extra time after going ahead in the first half through Anthony Miley.

In the shootout it was the visiting semi-professionals who held their nerve from the spot, firing home five from five and reaching the second round with a 5-3 win on penalties.

The 21-year-old midfielder James Devine slotted the winning spot-kick and subsequently sent rapturous joy through the Marine ranks. Before which former Liverpool, Tranmere Rovers and Carlisle United defender David Raven was also successful from the spot.

Marine were in the first round for the first time in 25 years winning their first away match in the competition proper in their history, and are now in the second round for the first time ever.

Marine will host Havant and Waterlooville in the next round with second round ties due to take place on the weekend of 28 November.

Despite their now historic cup run already, the side who play their games at the Marine Travel Arena now won’t play another match due to COVID-19 restrictions until their second round clash.

Manager Neil Young and most certainly Raven, who played one Premier League game as well as one FA Cup outing during his time at Anfield, will likely be dreaming of a Third Round tie against one of the local big boys.

Liverpool and Everton both enter the completion at the next stage, whilst a clash with number 13 would see the Mariners face a side from just over the Mersey River, Tranmere Rovers.

Regardless of the outcome it’s been a fairy tale thus far for Marine, one they only hope continues.

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