Mariners escape warm-up from hell!

By David Watters

Marine's players escaped the warm-up from hell without injury before kicking off in the EVO-STIK League's top flight at Hednesford Town on Saturday!

Manager Tommy Lawson, his side and club officials were forced to hastily abandon the team coach when it burst into flames soon after 1pm with the Satnav showing they were just three minutes from Keys Park.

Nobody was hurt in the blaze which started at the back of the luxury coach and was put out by two fire crews who arrived on the scene within minutes after being alerted by an alarmed motorist following behind.

A local woman and medical professional, she also stopped to offer assistance and has been thanked by the Mariners who've also invited her to a home game at the Marine Travel Arena as guest of honour.

Smoke screen: Smoke billows from the vehicle

Smoke screen: Smoke billows from the vehicle

Pictures and videos of the spectacular fire went viral on the net within minutes of being posted, prompting both ITV Sport and the Match of the Day team at BBC Sport to contact the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club's relieved officials for permission to use them on their websites and programming.

The Mariners were looking forward to a more uneventful journey returning home to Merseyside on the replacement coach from Ogdens Travel after going on to lose 3-2 to the Pitmen.

Marine chairman Paul Leary said: "It was horrendous. The whole back of the bus just burst into flames. The players were at the back with the officials up front and the most important thing is that everybody got off okay and nobody was hurt."

To see first team coach Dom Finnigan's video of the blaze click here:

Abandon coach: Mariners players and officials quickly escaped

Abandon coach: Mariners players and officials quickly escaped

Images courtesy of @MarineAFC/Twitter

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Left luggage: Marine's kit bags litter the road

Where next?

Saturday's Premier Division action review This weekend's mini 'Beast from the East' fortunately had little effect on the EVO-STIK League Premier on Saturday which only lost games at Barwell and Whitby Town, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.
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