Ralph Rands reports from Borough Park as Mariners slip to first defeat of season…
A 4th minute Brad Carroll goal was enough to inflict Marine’s first loss of the campaign on Saturday afternoon.
With the two clubs meeting for the third time in eight days it was no surprise that the game would prove a tight affair, with scoring chances at a premium throughout the contest.
In remarkably pleasant conditions in Cumbria the Reds were quickly on the front foot. A ball played into the Marine box saw Allison completely miss his kick, but Gooden’s effort ricocheted off David Raven and fell to Carroll who slotted past Bayleigh Passant from just six yards out.
The Mariners were dealt a cruel blow on 12 minutes as Anthony Miley went down in the Workington area. The popular defender received treatment for all of six minutes on the Borough Park surface before being stretchered off with a serious injury to his lower right leg.
Marine’s chance of note came when James Barrigan’s lofted pass found Owen Watkinson bursting into the home box, the striker dragging his shot well wide amid claims that he was caught late by home centre-back Smith.
The Blues were presented with an even better sight of goal midway through the half as a Barrigan free-kick saw Watkinson prod the ball towards Raven, the veteran defender failing to make the necessary contact with his right foot from 8 yards out.
At the other end the tireless front-runner Allison created another chance for the homesters but Gooden’s instinctive effort from 12 yards flew a yard wide of Passant’s left-hand post, as half-time arrived.
The second half provided even fewer noteworthy scoring chances, as both sides appeared weary from their exertions of the previous week.
Skipper Niall Cummins saw a 25-yard volley sail high over the home crossbar, before Manager Neil Young introduced Neil Kengni and Lewis Reilly to add impetus to the Marine attack.
However it was the Reds who looked more likely to grab the next goal as Clarke’s pass found Hubbold advancing into acres of space to bear down on goal before squaring towards Allison for a tap-in, but James Devine recovered brilliantly to clear from under his own crossbar and keep the Mariners in the game.
Marine did have two efforts on target as the second half wore on, Watkinson’s tame header and Barrigan’s volley from distance being easily held by purple-primped custodian Atkinson.
The home side comfortably maintained their advantage to the final whistle as the trilogy of games ended with honours even. However the main concern was for Anthony Miley, and of course we all wish Anthony well in his recovery from an injury which is likely to keep him out of the game for an extended period.