Report by Adam Yates…
Marine Goal – Louis White 52′
Ashton Goal – Daniel Cowan 45′
Marine and Ashton United battled out a 1-1 draw in sunny Crosby but the hosts may look back at heavy possession as well as missed chances and see the result as 2 points lost rather than one gained.
The result was statistically unsurprising as the teams played out successive shared spoils in the last NPL campaign but for Marine, this was only their sophomore draw this season after the opening matchday against Gainsborough.
Both teams went into the game vying for a playoff spot but have experienced mixed results and cup exits as of late.
Marine made six changes to the team beaten by Harrogate in the FA Cup. New signings Lewis Earl and Jalil Saadi came straight in the starting eleven along with Owen Robinson who has returned from his loan spell at nearby Bootle FC.
United on the other hand were without their regular goalkeeper Luke Simpson but welcomed back captain Nathan Lowe who made his first start for a month.
Marine were by far the better team throughout the first 45 minutes. Shots were peppered at the Ashton goal by the Mariners but Ashton’s keeper, Tom Scott kept the scoreline goalless.
On the stroke of the interval, Ashton, who had started to partly come into the game were rewarded with an unlikely lead. Defender Daniel Cowan headed home provided by a set piece Alexander Byrne corner.
The second half began as did the first. Marine dominating the play but they needed a goal to show for it and the 1262 fans in attendance didn’t have to wait long. In the 52nd minute, Louis White went on a short mazy run and shot from just outside the area low and away from Scott to level the game.
Sol Solomon was ever threatening for Marine and he should have put his team in front but opted for power over precision when the ball landed at his feet deep in the box with no defenders in sight. His half volley blasted past Scott but Ashton were saved by the crossbar which shook for what seemed like an eternity.
Ashton had a sitter of their own but former Mariner Kielen Adams could not reach the ball which came from out wide where any form of connection would have landed his team the lead once more.
As the game drew to a close, heavy tackles and late challenges from Ashton gave Marine hope from dead ball situations but the hosts could not find a winner.
Despite the sole point, Marine manager Neil Young was proud of his players efforts after the game.
“I can’t fault the lads, I thought they were outstanding…We take our opportunities, we win the game. It’s one of those days, you need a little bit of luck which we haven’t had a lot of lately but the performance was very good.”
Marine: 1 Felix Goddard, 2 Joseph Ferguson, 3 Nathan Woodthorpe, 4 Jalil Saadi (Liam Nolan 71′), 5 Jonathan Spittle, 6 Josh Wardle, 7 Owen Robinson, 8 Louis White, 9 Manasse Mampala (Chris Doyle 81′), 10 Sol Solomon, 11 Lewis Earl
Subs: 12 Kyle Hayde, 13 Richard Cowderoy, 14 Liam Nolan, 15 Chris Doyle, 16 Michael Carberry
Ashton United: 1 Tom Scott, 2 Dan Cowan, 3 Sean Newton, 4 Bernardo Couto (George Milner 65′), 5 Luke Burke, 6 Mitchell Rose, 7 Alex Byrne, 8 Nathan Lowe, 9 Jason Gilchrist (Sam Baird 32′), 10 Keilen Adams, 11 Marcus Cusani (Micah Jebbison 73′)
Subs: 12 Sam Baird, 13 Oliver Culkin, 17 Micah Jebbison, 15 George Milner, 16 James Caton
Referee: Barry Lamb