Match report by Dave McMillan
A 90th minute John Shaw header preserved Marine’s unbeaten start to the League season on Tuesday night, as they drew 2-2 with Kendal Town at the Arriva Stadium to move back to the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
’s men needed a stirring comeback late on to rescue a point, a triple substitution midway through the second half providing the spark they need after trailing 2-0 to a robust Cumbrian team.
In truth the Mariners had struggled up to that point with a goal looking unlikely, the visitors being well worth their lead and indeed perhaps unfortunate not to have been three up before half time.
Once substitute Nick Rogan
had pulled a goal back with a fabulous solo goal the Whites showed tremendous strength of character, to then level and look like snatching all three points at the death with Kendal hanging on – just.
had Marine’s only real effort of note in a disappointing first half, glancing a header from a Michael Ordish
free kick in to the arms of Josh
Welsby in the Town goal.
Twin hotshots Marcus Carver
and Jamie Rainford
struggled to make much headway against experienced central defenders, with a number of long balls mopped up comfortably by the Kendal defence.
Town started to threaten towards the back end of the first half, Danny Wisdom putting them ahead on 36 minutes after taking a free kick on his chest, before volleying sweetly in to the top corner of Ryan McMahon
’s net from 22 yards.
Kendal had further good chances to extend their lead before the break, former Mariner Kevin Leadbetter firing an angled drive just wide with Alex Taylor then miskicking a great chance at the far post.
The early stages of the second half saw much the same pattern, until the Marine substitutions changed the landscape completely.
Kendal took a firm grip on the game though after 70 minutes, Scott Harries providing a cross from the right for the unmarked Taylor to beat McMahon from close range, the ball eventually going in off a post.
Rogan crucially pulled one back on 74 minutes following a great run (think John Barnes in the Maracana), picking the ball up 40 yards out and ghosting past several defenders in to the area, the ex Kendal man haunting his old club by slipping the ball in to the far corner of the net.
came close to squaring the match after cutting in from the right, his low shot almost catching out Welsby who just managed to scoop the ball against an upright.
An unseemly fracas ensued near the corner flag, Naim El-Harrati exceedingly fortunate to escape a red card after launching himself at Matty Brown
, the Marine centre back and Town’s Wisdom eventually booked after the ensuing argy bargy had subsided.
The dramatic finale came as injury time beckoned and the Mariners piled on the pressure, a corner swinging over to the far post for Shaw to rise highest and plant the equaliser in to the corner of the net, to round off an impressive recovery from the Whites.
Marine: Ryan McMahon
(Cap), Shaun Dowling
, John Shaw, Matty Brown
, Danny Grannon
, Alan Burton
, Andy Fowler
64), Jonathan Goulding
, Marcus Carver
, Jamie Rainford
(Paul Lundon 64), Michael Ordish
Unused subs: Paul Brown
Williams (G/K). Cautions: Brown, Carver.
Kendal Town: Josh
Welsby, Naim El-Harrati, Danny Wisdom, Paul Alexander, Marc Joseph (Cap), Simon Wills (Andrew Graham 67), Alex Randell, Alex Taylor (Sefton Gonzales 83), Scott Harries, Ian Kilford, Kevin Leadbetter.
Unused subs: Ben Fishwick, Liam Wynn, Tom Newton. Cautions: Wisdom, Joseph, Harries, Leadbetter.
Referee: Mr. Joe Hull (Stockport); Assistants Mr. Yousef Gargani (Altrincham), Mr. Andrew Worthington (Timperley).