The line-up for this season’s Dixcart Railway Cup semi-finals has been confirmed after the weekend’s Canada Life Premier League games.
During what was an absorbing Premier League contest on a cold and windy afternoon, both sides did their best to provide entertaining football right up to referee Stuart Morris’s final whistle.
With FC Isle of Man not playing, most of the pre-match speculation surrounded the number of Ravens players likely to feature for the champions during what was a significant clash.
In the end, Blane Slattery included Matty Quirk in place of the suspended Adam Killey in goal, Luke Murray in midfield together with Sean Doyle and Danny Simpson in attack.
Both sides made a lively start before the game settled into a hard-fought battle in what was a congested midfield.
With the aid of the stiff breeze, the home side shaded the opening half, with the lively Mikey Callister flashing an early effort across the visitors’ goalmouth.
Quirk in the Whites’ goal had to be quick to react to a number of impressive long balls from the Marown defence.
At the other end, the Douglas side were caught offside on a number of occasions as they searched for an opening.
Striker supreme Doyle, playing against his old club, enjoyed three half-chances during the first 45 minutes but was denied by a resolute home defence that included Cameron Avery plus Matty and Alex McQuarrie.
In fact, Slattery’s charges probably welcomed the half-time whistle at 0-0 slightly more than David Brew’s men.
Despite the fact that the visitors gained wind advantage for the second period, it was the hosts that made a brighter start.
But the first goalmouth action saw Alex McQuarrie forced to send a header inches wide of one of his own uprights, while at the other end the Crosby side created one of their best chances which forced full-back Darren Cain to clear off his own goalline.
The combination of Nathan Draper and Adam Mealin with some dazzling skills ensured that the Douglas defence were kept on their toes, but gradually it was the champions that racked up the chances, with Josh Ridings finding Doyle who sent a real opportunity wide.
There were further chances for Murray and Simpson but both failed to break the deadlock.
Then, with only 12 minutes remaining, the breakthrough finally arrived when referee Morris spotted a handball in the Marown box and pointed straight to the spot. Doyle’s well-struck effort found the back of the Marown net despite goalkeeper Nick Corlett’s highly-impressive effort to keep it out.
Doyle then appeared to have left his shooting boots at home as he squandered further chances to add a second.
But the tall striker made amends only minutes from the end as he converted another pass from Ridings to ensure all three points and a place in the Railway Cup went to the Douglas side.
Two late goals from current Golden Boot holder Sean Doyle ensured Corinthians nudged past an in-form and defiant Marown side 2-0 at Crosby on Saturday.