Honours even in entertaining draw
Mariners claim point at Witton Albion
The Mariners fought out a lively 1-1 draw with Witton Albion on a chilly summer’s evening in Cheshire last night. This was Marine’s first draw of the season and both sides had chances to settle the contest in the second half.
With James Edgar and captain Danny Mitchley in the starting line-up, Tommy Lawson was looking for a quick reply to Saturday’s disappointing exit.
There were a number of ex-Marine players in the Witton squad plus former Marine manager Carl Macauley in the Witton dugout and the rivalry was seen on the field with a series of full blooded challenges throughout the game at Wincham Park.
Marine had a lively start and the game kicked into life with a great cross from Edgar but Scott Bakkor pulled the effort wide. Shortly after Ben Barnes was called into action to deny Witton’s Will Jones who had been put through one-on-one.
The Mariners didn’t have to wait long to make the breakthrough. Edgar finished off a delightful move from Marine after 12 minutes – starting on the right with Bakkor as the ball was then spread across the pitch. It ended at Edgar’s feet and he planted the ball into the corner of the net sparking huge cheers from the away support.
This led to some sustained pressure from Witton and Barnes came to the rescue a number of times to deny the newly promoted Albs.
It was clear that both sides were gunning for goal and just before half time Edgar sliced a volley wide following a good ball from Vinny Bailey. Seconds later Mitchley sent Bailey through and he was brought down in the area but nothing was given.
The half ended with Billy Smart looping a Short free kick just over the bar.
Shortly after the restart Bailey found himself through and his cutback was scuffed wide by Mitchley who had got himself into a great position.
The game turned after 49 minutes when Jones levelled for the home team on the break. Witton almost made it two but Jones smashed his shot over the bar.
Just after the hour mark it Mitchley came agonisingly close to firing Marine in front. His drilled effort looked to be heading into the net but a Witton defender made a last ditch effort to clear it from the line. Mitchley was full of running and was unlucky not to bag his first goal of the season.
James Murry was introduced after 65 minutes replaced Smart to add some fresh impetus to the Marine attack. By this stage both sides were continuing to press forward hoping to claim all three points.
There was lots of action in the final five minutes as Murray had a brilliant effort ruled offside and then Barnes made an athletic save to keep the scores level.
As the final whistle blew Marine were left to reflect on a solid point gained away from home, but must feel slightly frustrated not to have taken all three.
Find out what manager Tommy Lawson made of the match
Marine: Ben Barnes, Peter Wylie, James Short, Adam Hughes, Michael Grogan, Billy Smart (sub: James Murry 65mins), Scott Bakkor, Michael Brewster, Danny Mitchley (c), Vinny Bailey, James Edgar
Subs not used: Kenny Strickland, Kisimba Kisimba, John Shaw, Germano Mendes
Referee: Alan Bennett