Match report by Dave McMillan
Marine opened their pre season friendly programme with a narrow home defeat on Monday night, going down by the odd goal in three to League Two side Accrington Stanley.
Paul Cook’s men were good value for their half time lead but the Mariners had much the better chances in the second half, being rather unfortunate not to square an open and entertaining game under the new floodlights.
Stanley looked sharp early on and took the lead after only three minutes, Gray racing clear to round Ryan McMahon
before coolly rolling the ball home.
The Whites had a good opening when Andy Fowler
put Karl Noon
in on goal, the new signing’s attempted chip being read by the keeper as he came off his line.
It was the visitors though who got a second goal, a cross from the left eventually coming out to Carver to fire home from the right of the box on 23 minutes.
Accrington saw strong penalty appeals waved away when Hatfield crumpled in the area, with another shot from the right bouncing off the foot of a home post.
It was Marine who pulled a goal back four minutes before the break, Robbie Lawton
pulling one out of the hat with a lovely curled effort from 22 yards to reduce the arrears.
The sides exchanged openings during the second half, Fowler having a goal bound effort bounce off the bonce of a defender for Marine, with Oliver and Carver both having headers off target when well placed for the Reds.
– looking a much leaner unit than last season – fired a strong drive inches wide of the near post, before Noon sent a long range lob just over the top.
Barnett gave the home defence a hair raising moment when latching on to a short backpass, McMahon producing a good stop with his legs to thwart the former Tranmere man.
Marine had their best chances to level late on, Michael Ordish
seeing a free kick elude all comers to hit the far post, with another piledriver clanging against the top of the freshly painted crossbar.
In between came a miraculous escape for the Stanley goal, Ordish’s initial shot being blocked on the line but Noon looking certain to score with the rebound, only for more heroic defending leading to a last ditch header, again off the line.
Marine: McMahon (Williams), Dowling (MCKenna), Shaw (Dawson), M. Brown (Duff), Grannon, Lawton (Moore), Noon, Rice (Millington), McEvilly (Rogan), A. Fowler (Breeze), Ordish.