Substitute Ryan Wignall secured Marine’s place in the next round of the FA Cup, in a 2-1 win at Dunston UTS. 

Early proceedings saw both sides tussle for possession and authority, with neither team managing to carve out any real clear-cut opportunities. Niall Cummins came the closest in the 19th minute, after he met Owen Watkinson’s cross and would have opened the scoring if he made a cleaner connection.  

A couple more chances for the Mariners would follow, with Watkinson and Ben Hughes being denied by Liam Connell in the Fed’s goal. 

Just before half time, a long ball forward for Dunston was met by Scott Heslop, who managed to flick the ball into the path of Jack Elliott, who raced through on goal and coolly slotted past Bayleigh Passant, despite the goalkeeper getting a slight touch on the ball. The goal came slightly against the run of play, with the travelling Mariners being made to regret a few missed chances.  

The home side came out for the second half with an added spring in their step, having taken the lead so close to the interval. Heslop, who led the line fantastically for Dunston, was unlucky to not double their lead, after his long range effort was tipped over by Passant in the Marine goal.  

Around half-way through the second half, Passant was perhaps fortunate to only receive a booking, after he collided with goal scorer Elliott outside the penalty area, much to the disgust of the home fans.  

However, in the 68th minute, Neil Kengni saw his effort deflect through to Watkinson, who had the wherewithal to pull the ball back to James Barrigan, who made no mistake with his right footed effort from just inside the six-yard box, levelling the score. Much like the Dunston goal, this strike came slightly against the run of play, bringing the score line to a more reflective outlook.  

With the final whistle looming and both sides pushing for a winner, the 90th minute drew closer. But with three minutes of added time played, the ever-threatening Kengni darted down the left wing, firing the ball across goal, where Watkinson was waiting to smash goalwards, with substitute Ryan Wignall on hand to see the ball over the line. The introduction of Wignall, as well as Mark Howarth, had proved instrumental in turning the game in favour of the visitors, with both providing an extra injection of energy, as well as composure to the midfield.  

As the game began to run away from Dunston, they continued to push for a late (late) equaliser, to force a second successive FA Cup replay for Marine. Eddie Thomas, who replaced Heslop midway through the second half, saw his headed effort run agonisingly wide for the home side, before the referee blew for full time, signalling a continuation of Marine’s 2021-22 FA Cup journey.  

After a competitive fixture that could have gone either way, manager Neil Young will be delighted to pick up another victory, at a ground that has proved so troublesome for the Crosby natives in the past.  

Marine now look forward to Monday’s draw for the next round of qualifying matches, before Tuesday’s home league tie against Glossop North End.  

Attendance: 361 

Marine team: Passant, Roberts, Joyce, Doyle, Shaw, Raven, Watkinson, Barrigan, Cummins (Howarth 66’), Hughes (Wignall 55’), Kengni (Lynch 90’) 

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