Bank Holiday Monday 30th August
Evo-Stik Premier Division (Northern Premier League)
Marine 1 Buxton 2
Tea hut purchases: Steak & Kidney Pie £1.30, Tea £1
Weather: Sunny and pleasantly warm
Parking: On the main road just down from the ground, easy exit
Down Mariners Road around a mile from the ground you'll find the Crosby Leisure Centre and the Irish Sea. A wide vista of open sand and a glistening tide greets the eye all wonderfully complimented by backdrop views of Birkenhead, North Wales and the majestic Snowdonia mountains. On such a glorious sunny day as today, hundreds of Merseysiders were enjoying the fresh sea air and the melting cornets from the ice cream van. There 'were' more folk on this beach than Blackpool! Frugal Glenn had amazed me with his artistic knowledge by pre-mentioning that this stretch of coastline plays host to a magical collection of Antony Gormley statues, all identical and all placed at irregular intervals in the sand and the sea, some part submerged, some full-standing. A truly captivating site. If you get the chance to pay a visit to Marine FC make sure you do the beach as well as the pubs and the fish and chip shops (by the way, why do Liverpool chippies always do kebabs and burgers as well as the normal stuff)?I'd seen a great picture on Onion Bags groundhopper site showing this marvellous looking tea hut at the ground called 'The Scouse House', I've never had a big bowl of steaming scouse before and was quite looking forward to it. How saddened I was to find out that they didn't actually do scouse, just the traditional pies, burgers and hot dogs. I got my pie and a cup of tea with a bit of a sour face I'm afraid, interestingly the steak and kidney pie was a Hollands variety all the way from Baxenden near Accrington, didn't think they'd go as far as Liverpool on their pie-van rounds?Its a smart set up at Marine even though the ground is 3 sided, superb looking playing surface, big stand with plenty of seats behind the College Road end, small covered terrace down the touchline and an open end giving good views of the action. The side of the ground without access (or space) runs smack tight against the back yards of characterful local housing. You also get a good club shop offering Marine FC souvenirs and a plentiful selection of non league programmes. Nice to see a decent turn out of Buxton supporters in the crowd, its not the easiest of journeys from the Peak District on a bank holiday. They were obviously hoping for a return for the petrol, a point would be good, 3 would be spectacular, many people had pointed Marine out for a challenge this season and they arrived back at The Arriva Stadium with 2 away wins under their belts (courtesy of Chasetown and Worksop).The first half was a scrappy affair in general, neither side found a rhythm and it wasn't easy on the eye. Marine had the ball a bit more than Buxton but apart from a few scrapes and deranged missed connections a goal was out of sight. John Reed, the Buxton manager must have expressed a few wise words at half time as the visitors tore into Marine and quickly started to dominate, all kinds of trouble was falling on poor Ryan McMahon the pebble dashed Marine keeper. A goal had to come but surprise, surprise it appeared at the other end when Marine's Jamie Rainford capitalised on a stray pass and put the home side ahead in the 56th minute. Buxton didn't sulk about it, they simply carried on battering poor Ryan up the other end.It didn't take long for the killer segment of the match. Buxton scored twice in 3 minutes (through Ridley and Towey)! Marine looked gutted and try as they might they couldn't find daylight in the Buxton defence. A tremendous scalp for the side from Derbyshire, 3 valuable points and a second half performance that offers great potential for the coming months, no wonder the Buxton boys were loving it. A sharp exit at the final whistle witnessed me and Frugal Glenn speedily strapped in the Match Shed for a surprisingly traffic free return down the M57 & M62, shame I missed out on that scouse though!