Marine progress to the second round of the FA Trophy, after a 2-2 draw with Dunston UTS is decided by penalties.
Neil Young set his side up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Howarth dropping into the back four alongside David Raven. In the absence of Kyle Hayde, James Barrigan filled in at left back, with Ben Hughes coming in for the suspended Neil Kengni.
An uneventful first half saw both sides jostle for possession in an evenly matched encounter. Josh Solomon-Davies provided the most likely source of attacking threat, firing several low crosses into dangerous areas.
Sado Djalo came close to giving the visitors the lead, with his near post header excellently saved by the in-form Bayleigh Passant.
The two sides went into the break on level terms, with both showing glimpses of quality in their attacking play.
Hughes saw his effort rebound off the post early in the second half, after being played in by Niall Cummins.
Eight minutes into the second half play was suspended, due to all four floodlights going out. The match was halted for over 45 minutes, as club officials awaited the arrival of an electrician; even Dunston midfielder Phillip Turnbull attempted to fix the issue, but to no avail.
Referee Jake Topp eventually allowed play to resume and just 10 minutes after the restart, Marine made the breakthrough. Forward Hughes once again saw his shot bounce back off the woodwork, but Ryan Wignall was in position to fire home, giving the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
And it wasn’t long before Marine had a two-goal cushion, this time thanks to a brilliant long-range strike from Lewis Reilly, who, for the second game running, had come off the bench to find the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Dunston were handed a lifeline, after Craig Baxter’s cross was met by Djalo, who was on hand to reduce Marine’s lead. The striker appeared to slap the ball into the net, with appeals from players and supporters alike, but the goal was awarded.
With the final minutes of the match approaching, Dunston continued to pile on the pressure, forcing Marine back into their penalty area frequently.
The Fed completed their comeback through Lee Mason, after their move down the left wing eventually saw the ball land at Mason’s feet, who smashed past Passant from 10 yards.
With just a couple of minutes remaining, Barrigan was shown a second yellow card for two bookable offences.
Nothing could separate the two sides after 90 minutes, which meant the tie would be decided by penalties.
The first eight penalties were clinically converted, with Reilly, Howarth, Raven and Devine keeping Marine perfect, while Djalo, Heslop, Turnbull and Hall scoring for Dunston.
Mason, who had scored the equalising goal, stepped up for Dunston’s fifth penalty, but fired his effort over the crossbar, giving Cummins the opportunity to win the game for Marine.
As he has done so often, Cummins kept his cool and fired into the bottom left corner, sending Marine through to the second round of the FA Trophy.
Next up is a trip to Kendal, as the focus returns to league action.
Marine line up: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Barrigan, Lynch, Howarth, Raven, Watkinson (McNally), Doyle, Cummins, Wignall (Devine), Hughes (Reilly)