Match report by Adam Yates…

Adam Yates reports from a frosty Marine Travel Arena after an EIGHT goal thriller ended up all square in a pulsating 4-4 draw against Workington.

Fans don’t need reminding that the last time we came up against Workington was in our 2022 semi final victory that propelled us out of the NPL West division.

The match started perfectly for Neil Young’s side. Six minutes in, a Sol Solomon corner found the feet of Woodthorpe who smashed the ball past Eccles into the back of the net.

However, Workington were soon back in the game…

A powerful close range shot by Symington was saved by Felix Goddard but it rebounded to the feet of Dannen Francis who fired the ball high, off the bar and into the Marine goal.

Workington then went ahead in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Reds captain David Symington found himself with space just outside the box and launched a hard but direct shot at Goddard. Whether or not there was some last second spin to the ball is unknown but Felix fumbled the save and it found its way behind him amidst Workington celebrations as it proved to be the only time they would lead in the game.

If any Mariners fans chose that moment to take a trip to the bar, they would have dropped their pint on the way back as the MTA witnessed a worldy from Michael Carberry…

Carbs reignited the teams confidence with a long range top corner effort that stunned everyone in attendance.

it was also the third goal in a row by a Marine defender after Joe Ferguson’s goal v Worksop on Saturday.

The NPL encounter looked to be heading for a half time 2-2 score but Sol Solomon had other ideas…

Solomon made a chance and shot from the right hand side of the penalty area and the ball scrambled past Eccles and into the bottom corner. Marine were able to head to the dressing room with a slender and fragile lead.

it didn’t take long for Workington to level things once more. Four mins after the restart, a Francis cross from the edge of the box found the head of Steven Rigg and the MTA was immediately silenced and had to find their voices once more to spur Marine on.

Loanee Connor Evans, who had made constant runs in the final third throughout the evening was rewarded for his energy with a deserved free kick after being manhandled to the floor. Louis White stepped up and put Marine ahead for the third and final time with a gorgeous free kick that kissed the bar on its way in. In front of the bulk of the Marine crowd, this was the potential winner if this young team could hold off the stubborn and relentless Cumbrian side for 40 odd minutes.

Nearly half an hour had passed without a goal before the final twist in the tale was written.

A lobbed pass over the top of the defence put pressure on Michael Carberry and he fouled Symington in the box for a penalty which was duly and efficiently slotted away by ex-Mariner Joe Bunney. This was Bunney’s second late equaliser of the week after Workington’s draw away at Whitby Town.

Bunney’s strike was the epitome of Non League life given that the last penalty we saw him take was FOR marine only months prior when he helped us win the Liverpool Senior Cup in Widnes.

Connor Evans had the last real chance of the game near the end to find a winner but despite his shot being thunderous, it was straight at Eccles and his legs prevented Crosby hysteria.

Next up…

Ilkeston come to Town this Saturday in the second of Marine’s trio of home games on the bounce.

Marine: 1 Felix Goddard, 2 Joseph Ferguson, 3 Nathan Woodthorpe (Liam Nolan 66′), 4 Jalil Saadi (Kyle Hayde 80′), 5 Jonathan Spittle, 6 Josh Wardle 7 Owen Robinson (Manasse Mampala 87 ‘), 8 Louis White, 9 Connor Evans, 10 Sol Solomon,

11 Michael Carberry

Subs: 12 Kyle Hayde, 13 Richard Cowderoy, 14 Liam Nolan, 15 Manasse Mampala, 16 Chris Doyle

Workington AFC: 1 Danny Eccles, 2 Finlay Wallbank, 3 Joe Bunney, 4 Camron Gbadebo, 5 Niall Brookwell (Bobby Carroll 70′), 6 Brad Hubbold, 7 David Symington, 8 Jamie Devitt 9 Steven Rigg (Greg McCaragher 87′), 10 Dannen Francis (Scott Allison 67′), 11 Kitt Nelson

Subs: 12 Sam Smith, 21 Aaron Lister, 14 Bobby Carroll, 15 Greg McCaragher, 16 Scott Allison

Attendance: 906

Man of the Match – Jalil Saadi

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