Marine 0-1 Coalville Town
Mariners sunk by Ravens at MTA...
Marine slipped to a disappointing fourth successive home defeat in all competitions as a 35th minute goal from Coalville striker Nathan Watson separated the sides at the Marine Travel Arena. With Danny Mitchley suspended and James Murray unavailable Manager Tommy Lawson brought debutant Tom Field, Kenny Strickland and George Hassall into his starting eleven, with Michael Brewster and Billy Smart named among the substitutes.
Vinny Bailey had an early effort blocked by the Coalville defence before his left-footed half-volley from 25 yards swerved well-wide of goal as the Mariners began the game on the front foot.
The visiting Ravens showed early attacking intent of their own as Mellors-Blair progressed towards the by-line before squaring across the box, Ben Barnes producing a fine double-save from Watson's initial shot and Anderson's follow-up effort.
On the quarter of an hour mark the Mariners were handed the chance to take the lead from the spot, as James Edgar was man-handled in the Coalville area, referee Rogers awarding the penalty. Tom Field took the responsibility from 12 yards but saw his well-struck shot parried by clementine-clad custodian Coton, diving away to his right to deny the former Vauxhall Motors midfielder.
Anderson's shot from distance then bounced awkwardly in front of Barnes but the big 'keeper held securely, before the Mariners twice attacked with promise but without reward. Firstly, Field's pass released Bailey as the Whites broke quickly, Bailey attempting to thread the ball into Hassall's path but Coton was quickly off his line to claim ahead of the young striker.
A teasing cross from the right by Scott Bakkor to the far post then looked to have provided Edgar with a goalscoring opportunity, but the ex-Prescot winger appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball and the chance went begging.
The Mariners were left to rue missed opportunities ten minutes before the break as Coalville were awarded a spot-kick of their own, as home skipper Adam Hughes was adjudged to have fouled Mellors-Blair after Barnes had made another sharp stop from Anderson's shot. The Marine stopper again performed heroics to parry McDonald's penalty low to his left, but with the vast majority of Barnes' teammates loitering on the 18-yard line Town striker Watson had the elementary task of following-up to prod home the rebound from eight yards out.
Coalville left-back Taylor stung Barnes palms with a venomous drive from 25 yards as the Ravens led at the interval, the Mariners lacking something of a cutting edge in Mitchley's absence.
Emerging into the Crosby sunshine after the break, the Whites sought an early equaliser and Kenny Strickland strode forward but dragged his shot wide of target from 22 yards.
Just after the hour mark a corner won on the Marine right was played towards the near post, Hughes challenging with a Town defender but the ball flew comfortably off-target.
The Mariners came even closer on 72 minutes as substitute Billy Smart almost made an immediate impact on proceedings. A corner delivered from the left to the back-post was diverted back across the box by Michael Grogan's header, Smart soaring to loop a header of his own which left Coton stranded but the ball bounced off the top of the College Road crossbar and behind to the frustration of the home faithful.
Coalville replaced both strikers with fresh legs as they looked for a second goal to kill the game, and Creaney was played through to the edge of the Marine area but screwed his shot wide with only Barnes to beat.
Anderson's rasping drive from 25 yards flew narrowly past the angle of post and crossbar before substitute McGlinchey's half-volley cleared Barnes' bar by a couple of yards. The well-positioned Barnes then fielded Bassett's daisy-cutter, the Marine 'keeper dealing with all sorts of efforts during the afternoon.
With no recognised striker on the bench and the game entering the final ten minutes, John Shaw was introduced as an auxiliary striker and having been found by Grogan's pass an off-balance Shaw stretched to poke a shot wide of Coton's left-hand post.
In the dying embers, Hassall's crisp half-volley through bodies was well-held by Coton, before Shaw fired high into the Main Stand from just outside the box to bring a frustrating afternoon for the Mariners to an end.
Marine travel to the Weaver Stadium on Tuesday evening (7:45pm ko) to face Nantwich Town in their next EvoStik Premier Division fixture.
Marine: Ben Barnes, Peter Wylie, James Short, Adam Hughes (c), Michael Grogan, Tom Field (John Shaw 82), Scott Bakkor (Michael Brewster 57) , Kenny Strickland, George Hassall, Vincent Bailey (Billy Smart 71), James Edgar.
Unused subs: Kisimba Kisimba, Germano Mendes. Cautions: Smart.
Coalville Town: Matthew Coton, Kyle Bryant, Cleveland Taylor, Danny Jenno, Dean Freeman, Steve Towers (c), William Mellors-Blair (Tom McGlinchey 75), Jermaine Hollis, Massiah McDonald (Ollie Bassett 60), Nathan Watson (Daniel Creaney 60), Blair Anderson.
Unused subs: Jamie Hannis, Joe Pegg. Cautions: Bryant, Creaney.
Goals: Coalville Town; Watson (35)
Referee: Mr Darren Rogers
Assistants: Mr Simon Robinson and Mr John Slater