Adam Yates reports from Northolme as the season opener ends in a draw on the road…
Despite overall possession, a late Charley Doyle red card dampened a well earned Marine point away from home against fellow play off hopefuls Gainsborough.
The opening 10 minutes was fairly balanced between both sides. Manasse Mampala’s early shot cleared the bar and was the first of many shots Marine would enjoy in a promising first half. Trinity’s number 7 Javelle Clark was the focal point for the host’s opening bouts of play.
Mampala once more had a clear chance for his debut league goal for the Mariners but the shot was safely held by Trinity’s keeper. Meanwhile, Marine’s own 7 (Sinclair-Smith) immediately began to showcase his skills on the wing and the majority of dangerous attacks throughout the match came from Finlay.
Half chances for the visitors continued with shots from Chris Doyle, Mampala and Sinclair-Smith. Doyle in particular was also doing his defensive duties at the back along with Ferguson who was put under pressure by Gainsborough but succeeded regularly in quelling the danger.
That danger however nearly resulted in a Trinity goal in the final additional minute of the first half. Bobby Johnson’s 40 yard low struck screamer was all but assured if not for the magnificent parry by Blackburn Rovers loanee, Felix Goddard.
After the interval, Marine restarted their attacks with aplomb but again, chances in the box from Sinclair-Smith and Darius Osei ultimately did not trouble the keeper. The build up play dissapated somewhat as the tactical substitutions began. Owen Robinson came on for Will Russ and Trinity grabbed hold of the middle of the park and gave their 643 attending crowd something to fight for. Trinity’s Harry Lovick won many one on ones in the centre and fed them out to his team but again, the finishing touch was nowhere to be found.
As the game entered its endgame, a double change for Marine (Charley Doyle and Jordan Lussey) gave a controversial jolt to proceedings. Late challenges and frustration appeared from both NPL sides and one of those contentious challenges caused refreree Luke Watson to reach in his back pocket and give Charley Doyle his marching orders minutes after he arrived on the field. Both teams clashed to argue their case but in the end, Doyle begrudgingly departed.
Aside from a half hearted penalty claim by Gainsborough in the dying seconds, the referree signalled the end of the game after 8 minutes of additonal play and Marine left Northolme Arena with an opening point and a better result than the corresponding fixture last season.
Goddard, Ferguson, Woodthorpe, Nolan (Lussey 85’), Chris Doyle, Wardle, Sinclair Smith, White, Osei, Russ (Robinson 68’), Mampala (Charley Doyle 85’)
Unused Subs – Carberry, Cowderoy (GK)
Marine Man of the Match – Finlay Sinclair Smith
Wharton, Hornshaw, Butroid, Lovick, Cogill, Porritt, Clarke, Johnson, Goodman (Moore Billam 86’), Snelgrove (Slew 57’), Holvey (Poulter 49’).
Unused Subs: Flint, Parkison