South Shields 2-1 Marine
By Dave McMillan
Mariners slip to narrow defeat in the North East...
Marine went down to a 2-1 defeat at South Shields on Tuesday night, on a cold and windswept evening at Mariners Park.
The game was Mariners v Mariners which was apt considering the conditions, but both teams played their part in a decent game on a slick surface.
The title chasing hosts were as slick as their pitch in the first half and were full value for their 2-0 lead, although the Crosby Mariners came close to opening the scoring inside the first five minutes, Charley Edge's free kick nearly catching home custodian Liam Connell off his line but he recovered to touch the ball on to the crossbar.
The claret clad homesters took advantage and the lead a couple of minutes later, Lee Mason weaving his way in to the area before finding the net from the left hand side.
Further chances followed for Shields but they had to wait until the 33rd minute to double their advantage, Robert Briggs' shot taking a big deflection to beat Marine goalkeeper Joe Hilton.
Marine came much more in to the game in the second half and were right back in the contest midway through the half, debutant Nathan Brown latching on to the ball 25 yards out, his strong right foot effort nestling in the bottom corner of Connell's net to cap an impressive start to his Marine career.
Tempers frayed late on with an altercation near the corner flag, Shields' Ben Harmison and Marine's Will Dunne receiving red cards.
South Shields: Liam Connell, Craig Baxter, Blair Adams, Jon Shaw (Cap), Dillon Morse, Phil Turnbull, David Foley (Connor Bell 68), Robert Briggs, Ben Harmison, Luke Daly, Lee Mason (Darren Lough 83).
Unused subs: Ursene Mouanda, Nathan Lowe, Joshua Gillies.
Marine: Joe Hilton, Sam Tattum, James Short, Sam Barnes, Chris Doyle, Kenny Strickland (John Marsden 78), James Murray (Nathan Brown 59), Steve Irwin (Dylan Sumner 21), Danny Mitchley (Cap), Will Dunne, Charley Edge.
Unused subs: Germano Mendes.
Referee: Mr. G. Hopper.
Assistants: Mr. C. Chatten, Mr. M. Webster.