Marine 1-3 Mickleover Sports
Mickleover sink Mariners at MTA...
Mickleover Sports claimed all three points in sunny Crosby as two late goals in as many minutes sealed victory for the Derbyshire side. Marine Manager Tommy Lawson made just one change to the line-up which won at Halesowen Town in his team's last game eleven days prior, as Florian Da Silva replaced Jamie Menagh who was named among the substitutes.
A rather forgettable first half saw goalscoring chances at a premium, an early cross being whipped in from the Mickleover right to the near post where a visiting attacker just missed applying a vital touch and Paul Phillips collected well under pressure.
Midway through the half indecisive defending at either end almost resulted in an opening goal. Firstly a long ball from Sports caused confusion between Peter Wylie and Phillips, although the Marine rearguard were able to recover and snuff out the danger.
The Whites then countered and a shanked clearance by pink-primped custodian Draper followed by a poor touch from the otherwise impressive Mills allowed Alfons Fosu-Mensah to pinch possession and centre low to the near post. Skipper Danny Mitchley arrived to sidefoot goalwards from six yards out but Draper atoned for his previous error with a smart parry.
As half-time approached Sports midfielder Scott received treatment for a head injury leading to a stoppage of almost five minutes. Play resumed with the resulting free-kick from 22 yards being played straight into the Marine wall by McGrath, and despite the lengthy break in play in addition to an earlier spell of treatment for an injured player, referee Doughty rather bizarrely saw fit to allow only two minutes of added time at the end of the half.
The game came to life after the interval as the Mariners began on the front foot with Fosu-Mensah fizzing a volley inches wide from just outside the box after seizing on a headed half-clearance.
The Whites made the breakthrough on 57 minutes as Florian Da Silva's corner was inadvertently flicked on at the near post by a Mickleover defender as Fosu-Mensah challenged, Tony Davies being perfectly placed to send a well-directed header into the top corner from 12 yards.
However the Crosby club's lead lasted just eight minutes as Mickleover equalised in somewhat similar fashion, a free-kick being clipped into the box where Belgrave soared to head precisely inside Phillips' left-hand post.
Adam Hughes then delivered a dangerous cross which reached Mitchley ten yards out, but Marine's leading scorer sent his header well over the bar on this occasion.
As players on both sides began to toil in the Spring heat the game appeared to be meandering towards a draw, with debutants Liam Hollett and Dean Shacklock being introduced for the Mariners. However Mickleover had other ideas and shocked Tommy Lawson's men with two goals in sixty seconds to snatch victory.
With five minutes remaining Sports right-back Grocott advanced and was tripped just inside the Marine area by Hughes, and Blake despatched the resultant spot-kick into the bottom corner of the Crosender Road rigging.
As the Whites sought to respond former Crystal Palace striker Morrison exploited the homesters' high defensive line with a through ball to release Baskerville, the Mickleover forward applying a lobbed finish over the advancing Phillips to cap his side's comeback and secure all three points for the visitors.
Marine still require a couple of points from their final four fixtures to be mathematically certain of avoiding relegation and travel to Rushall Olympic on Tuesday evening (7:45pm), before returning to the Marine Travel Arena to entertain Hednesford Town next Saturday (3pm).
Marine: Paul Phillips, Peter Wylie, James Short (Liam Hollett 55), Adam Hughes, Tony Davies, Michael Brewster, Florian Da Silva (Jamie Menagh 76), Kenny Strickland, Danny Mitchley (c), Alfons Fosu-Mensah (Dean Shacklock 78), Luke Wall.
Unused subs: James Foley, Kisimba Kisimba. Cautions: none.
Mickleover Sports: Nick Draper, Kevin Grocott, Aaron Cole, John McGrath, Pablo Mills, Tom Burgin (c), Andy Dales, Jake Scott (Clinton Morrison 46), Tyler Blake, Adam Baskerville, Lewis Belgrave.
Unused subs: Ben Turner, Drew Ricketts, Lewis King. Cautions: none.
Goals: Marine; Davies (57)
Mickleover Sports; Belgrave (65), Blake (pen 85), Baskerville (86)
Referee: Mr Leigh Doughty
Assistants: Mr Keith Martin and Mr Steven Holden