Non-League Marine produce a spirited performance against Tottenham but lost their historic FA Cup tie against opponents 160 places above them.

Non-League Marine produced a spirited performance against Tottenham but lost their historic FA Cup tie against opponents 160 places above them in the football pyramid.
A first-half hat-trick by forward Carlos Vinicius, an exquisite free-kick by fellow Brazilian Lucas Moura and a first senior goal by 16-year-old substitute Alfie Devine settled the third-round tie at the Marine Travel Arena in Crosby.
Marine, who play in the eighth tier of English football, had given Spurs a scare when Neil Kengni’s 25-yard attempt beat keeper Joe Hart before hitting the bar when the match was goalless.
They held out for 24 minutes before Tottenham, fourth in the Premier League and fresh from reaching the Carabao Cup final, showed their quality in a tie with the biggest gulf at this stage of the famous competition’s history.
Moment in the sun
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for part-time Marine, a moment in the sun on a cold January evening on Merseyside.
No fans were allowed inside the ground because of the stay at home order to millions because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there was a crowd waiting for Spurs boss Jose Mourinho and his players to arrive at the compact 3,185-capacity ground.
Merseyside Police later issued a statement which said a “small gathering” had taken place and that the “vast majority of people present were adhering to social distancing measures and those who were not were advised by officers”.
With the car park at the front of the ground too small for Tottenham’s executive team coach, Mourinho and his players got off on the pavement and walked into the Marine Travel Arena before checking out the function room converted into the away dressing room for the occasion.
To recoup some of the potential losses – up to £100,000, according to the club – from having no fans present and lost sponsorship, Marine put on sale £10 virtual tickets which included a raffle with a prize of becoming the team’s manager for one game.
Mourinho was among the 20,000-plus who purchased a ticket, Spurs’ Portuguese boss showing the utmost respect to the part-timers by fielding a side boasting an aggregate 402 international caps.
Throughout the tie there was noise from fans in the back gardens of homes backing on to one side of the ground. A cardboard cutout of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could be seen peering over one wall.
While some sipped drinks while watching over fences, others climbed trees and scaffolding to get a better view of the action.
A loud cheer echoed around the ground when keeper Bayleigh Passant saved Tottenham’s first serious attempt from Dele Alli in the sixth minute.
And the sound of air horns could be heard when Kengni beat Hart from 35 yards, only for the bar to save Tottenham’s embarrassment in the 20th minute before the visitors took firm control against their Northern Premier League Division One North West hosts.
Debutant Devine grabs his chance
Mourinho included nine full internationals in his starting line-up and, despite the absence of England captain Harry Kane, they had the tie won before half-time.
Kane was rested before Wednesday’s Premier League game at Aston Villa but Vinicius impressed in his absence against a Marine side including NHS workers, teachers and a refuse collector.
His first goal was a tap-in after a lovely assist from Deli Alli, who was also involved in Vinicius’ second goal after Passant had denied Matt Doherty.
Moura’s lovely free-kick put the tie out of Marine’s reach and Vinicius claimed the match ball with a delicate lob from 15 yards.
Mourinho sent on Gareth Bale in the second half but it was rookie substitute and former Liverpool academy player Devine who extended Tottenham’s lead from a tight angle on his first appearance for the club.
Devine was part of Wigan’s FA Youth Cup side that beat Spurs on their way to the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 competition.
The England under-16 midfielder was sold to Spurs in July 2020 after Wigan entered administration.
What’s next?
While Marine do not know when they will play again as their league is classed as non-elite and has been suspended, Spurs are back in action on Wednesday at Aston Villa in the Premier League (20:15 GMT).
More to follow.
Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Passant
  • 2Solomon-Davies
  • 6Raven
    Substituted forShawat 81’minutes
  • 5Miley
  • 17Hughes
    Substituted forHowardat 45’minutes
  • 3JoyceBooked at 78mins
  • 8Hmami
    Substituted forDoyleat 67’minutes
  • 20Devine
    Substituted forStricklandat 75’minutes
  • 11Barrigan
  • 9Cummins
    Substituted forWignallat 75’minutes
  • 7Kengni


  • 4Doyle
  • 12Luis-Mendes
  • 14Strickland
  • 15Shaw
  • 16Wignall
  • 18Howard
  • 19Ellison
  • 21Lynch

Formation 4-2-3-1
30Carvalho Fernandes20Alli27Lucas Moura

  • 12Hart
  • 2Doherty
  • 4Alderweireld
    Substituted forTangangaat 45’minutes
  • 14Rodon
  • 33Davies
    Substituted forReguilónat 71’minutes
  • 17Sissoko
    Substituted forDevineat 45’minutes
  • 48White
  • 30Carvalho Fernandes
  • 20Alli
    Substituted forBaleat 65’minutes
  • 27Lucas Moura
    Substituted forClarkeat 65’minutes
  • 45Alves Morais


  • 3Reguilón
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 9Bale
  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 25Tanganga
  • 28Ndombele
  • 47Clarke
  • 54Devine

Match Stats
Live Text

  1. Match ends, Marine 0, Tottenham Hotspur 5.
  2. Second Half ends, Marine 0, Tottenham Hotspur 5.
  3. Attempt missed. Carlos Vinicius (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alfie Devine.
  4. Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Harvey White.
  5. Attempt blocked. Neil Kengni (Marine) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  6. Substitution, Marine. Danny Shaw replaces David Raven.
  7. Gedson Fernandes (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  8. Foul by Alex Doyle (Marine).
  9. James Joyce (Marine) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
  10. Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  11. Foul by James Joyce (Marine).
  12. Harvey White (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  13. Foul by James Barrigan (Marine).
  14. Substitution, Marine. Ryan Wignall replaces Niall Cummins.
  15. Substitution, Marine. Kenny Strickland replaces Jay Devine.
  16. Attempt missed. Harvey White (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jack Clarke.
  17. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Sergio Reguilón replaces Ben Davies.
  18. Attempt missed. Gedson Fernandes (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Harvey White following a corner.
  19. Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Bayleigh Passant.
  20. Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.