Marine 0-0 Southport
Mariners and Sandgrounders in pre-season stalemate at MTA...
The pre-season “Sefton derby” saw Marine and Southport play out an entertaining but ultimately goalless draw at a sun-kissed Marine Travel Arena.
The visiting National North outfit certainly enjoyed the better of an action-packed first half, and an early chance saw a cross from their right headed over by rangy striker Sampson.
On the quarter of an hour mark the Sangrounders had the ball in the net as Martin slotted past Ben Barnes following some neat approach play, however the Assistant's flag for offside denied the visitors the lead.
Sampson once again displayed his aerial prowess midway through the half but his firm header from eight yards out was somehow kept out by Barnes, the 'keeper flying to his right to make a magnificent save as he palmed the ball past his right-hand post.
Barnes then blocked bravely at the feet of former Nantwich left-back White as the pink-shirted visitors continued to press, before James Murray volleyed past the angle of post and crossbar in the Mariners' first attack of note.
On the half-hour mark the Mariners had a chance to take the lead from the spot as Kenny Strickland's swerving free-kick proved too hot to handle for Southport stopper Halstead, a trip on Michael Brewster as he raced to the loose ball being spotted by referee Corlett. However Matty Hamilton's penalty struck the Crosender Road crossbar flush and rebounded into play with the Sandgrounders able to clear.
Southport's next attack saw them denied by the frame of the goal as Fletcher provided the Mariners with a get-out-of-jail-free card, his curling effort beating Barnes but not the woodwork.
The Sandgrounders then came close to breaking the deadlock once more as Sampson's effort beat Barnes but Peter Wylie intervened brilliantly with a spectatcular goal line clearance.
Ten minutes before the interval the visitors missed a gilt-edge chance as Sampson found space at the far post, but his tame side-footed volley from a deep cross allowed Barnes to hold securely.
In contrast to the first period, the second-half was bereft of goalmouth incident as both managers made the usual raft of pre-season substitutions which saw the contest become disjointed.
The returning Alfons Fosu-Mensah and former Skelmersdale and Doncaster Rovers youngster Tony Donaldson impressed for the Mariners as they more than matched their opponents from the league above, although neither 'keeper was extended in the energy-sapping conditions.
Indeed the only noteworthy moment saw Sampson dismissed on 65 minutes for an off-the ball incident following the awarding of a free-kick to Marine.
The Mariners continue their preparation for the Evo-Stik Premier campaign with a visit to Prescot Cables on Tuesday evening (7:30pm ko).
Marine starting XI: Ben Barnes, Kisimba Kisimba, James Short, Adam Hughes (c), Peter Wylie, Jonathan Goulding, Kenny Strickland, Michael Brewster, Matty Hamilton, Billy Smart, James Murray.
Subs appearing: Michael Grogan, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Tony Donaldson, Harry Blackburn, Paul Foy, Steven James, Liam Hollett, A Trialist. Cautions: Short.
Southport starting XI: Mark Halstead, Jacques Kpohomouh, Curtis Jones, Andy White, Adam Dugdale, Liam Hynes, Brad Jackson, John Paul Kissock, Alex Fletcher, Jack Sampson, Liam Martin.
Named subs: Ethan Jones, Oscar Durnin, Steve Jennings. Sent Off: Sampson.
Referee: Mr Matthew Corlett
Assistants: Mr Kieran Johnson and Mr Joe Pettitt