Adam Tiffen reports as Isherwood’s penalty save rescues a point for the Mariners…

Marine debutant Liam Isherwood saved a second half penalty from Ewan Bange to help secure a point away from home, in a 1-1 draw against Radcliffe FC. Josh Wardle opened the scoring with a front-post header after 26 minutes. Ten minutes later the scores were levelled by a Joe Piggott penalty. The result means that the Crosby side drop to 10th in the NPL Premier table.

Through the first 25 minutes of the match, eventual scorer Piggott had the best chance. He and Jude Oyibo showed patience in the box to keep the chance alive. The number nine took aim, but Josh Solomon-Davies got back in time to block twice and then clear the danger.

Wardle opened the scoring with a nicely directed header from a Sol Solomon corner. Just prior to the goal, Solomon had been putting in dangerous balls, targeting Radcliffe goalkeeper Tom Stewart. The cross was a fast one to the front post, all it needed was a guided attempt, and that was the treatment that it got. The Marine skipper’s header flew too quickly for Stewart to stop, all he could do was palm it into the roof of his net.

Marine’s corner onslaught continued after this, but with a very different result. The ball dropped to the Mariners’ other new loan signing Joe Bunney. He looked to turn and shoot but he went down from a push in the back. Referee Ashley Royston took no interest in it and the home team broke though Oyibo.

Within seconds Oyibo was up the other end of the pitch having taken on Andy Scarisbrick and Solomon-Davies. Isherwood came out to beat the number 10 to the ball. Oyibo just got to the ball in front of the loanee, who took out the forward, giving away the penalty. Piggott stepped up and confidently slotted the ball past the ‘keeper to level the scores.

Before the half Solomon had a few half-chances, but none forced a save from Stewart. This continued into the second half where he and Bunney linked up well. The Jerseyman’s chances to shoot weren’t capitalised on as he wasn’t able to properly get the ball out of his feet to strike.

The game then began to open up with more half-chances being created. Luke Joyce and Matthew Grivosti both had wayward efforts.

With ten minutes to go in the 90, Oyibo turned down the by-line past Solomon-Davies, who clipped the forward’s heel. He went down and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Bange stepped up and rolled the shot to the keeper’s left, but Isherwood saved.

From then neither side truly threatened to break the stalemate, and the game ended in a point apiece.

Marine’s next game is a 7:45pm kick-off, back at the MTA, against Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday night.

Marine: Isherwood, Solomon-Davies (Weir 81), Smith, Lussey, Wardle (c), Spittle, Touray (Earl 45), C. Doyle, Bunney, Solomon, Scarisbrick (Barrigan 81)

Unused subs: Clark, A.Doyle

Radcliffe FC: Stewart, Brewster, O’Brien, Joyce, Smith, Thornley, Grivosti (Navarro 84), Adams, Piggott (Bange 45), Oyibo, Thompson

Unused subs: Mercer, Evans, Carter

Attendance: 803

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