Mariners lose despite fired-up display
Marine dig deep but lose 3-2 to The Pitmen on a dramatic day
On a dramatic day for the Mariners a fiery first half display was not enough as Hednesford shifted up a gear and secured a 3-2.
It could have been a different story completely for the team after the team bus caught fire on the way to Keys Park. Just a few minutes from the ground huge black plumes of smoke erupted from the bus – all players, staff, committee members and supporters thankfully made it safely off the vehicle as the back section went up in flames.
Everyone made the short walk to the ground as the snow started falling and it was safe to say all involved were fired up for the three points.
Marine were coming into the game off the back of two strong home performances with five goals scored and none conceded. One of those games was against the Pitmen who have lost their last two games but were still on the hunt for a play off place.
The opening 25 minutes were largely uneventful with only a couple of half long-range chances for Michael Brewster and James Short to warm the crowd in bitterly cold weather.
The Marine midfield really grew into the game with Brewster in particular having a great performance chasing down loose balls and looking for openings.
But it was the front two who really sparked the game into life. Danny Mitchley did some great work on the right wing before drilling an inviting ball into the area. Two Hednesford defenders dithered in the box while Josh Amis stepped forward to tap home his first goal for the club.
Going ahead inspired the Mariners to push for a second and they almost got one on the stroke of half time. Brewster cut the ball back for Amis but his effort was saved.
Hednesford came out in the second half like a different team and it didn’t take long for them to bag an equaliser courtesy of a deflected shot from James Lawrie.
Aside from a great solo run by Peter Wylie which ended with a weak shot on target, Hednesford enjoyed the better of the second half.
With just over an hour gone Hednesford took the lead in controversial circumstances. Danny Glover popped up to head home on the rebound after Fearon had saved a long-range shot. The linesman raised his flag for offside but the referee overruled him and allowed the goal despite protests from Marine.
There was still time for Marine to push for an equaliser as James Murray and John McGrath came on to add some extra firepower. Mitchley fired an effort across goal and Amis had a golden opportunity when through on goal but shot straight at the keeper.
With 15 minutes to go Hednesford put the game to bed with Glover getting his second on the day. Credit to the striker as he controlled the ball with his chest then rifled in a shot from the edge of the area to make it 3-1.
Mitchley reduced the deficit with a cool finish from inside the box following a great cut back from Brewster but it wasn’t enough and Hednesford secured all three points.
Watch – Tommy Lawson interview
Marine: Martin Fearon; Peter Wylie, James Short, Adam Hughes, Kenny Strickland; Billy Smart, Michael Brewster, Thomas Field (John McGrath, 75), Liam Tongue (James Murray, 70); Danny Mitchley (c), Josh Amis
Subs not used: Dominic Reid, Phil Baker, Niall Watson
Hednesford: James Wren, Callam Mendez-Jones, Matt Curley, Ben Bailey, Sam Oji, Charlie Gatter, Jack Rea, Tom Thorley (c), Danny Glover, Jordan Graham, James Lawrie
Subs: Joey Butlin, Louis Harris, Reece King, James Fitzgibbon, Jose Veiga
Referee: R Haynes
Assistants: D Constable and C Clinton