MARINE 1, ASHTON UNITED 1
Honours finished even for the second season running at the Marine Travel Arena as Ashton United and Marine cancelled each other out with a goal either side of half time.
But the point picked up keeps the Robins in the play-off places in Northern Premier League, premier.
Tom Scott was deputising for the unavailable Luke Simpson in goal, and it was the home side who made the more measured start on the plastic surface as Sol Solomon’s backheel in the area was just intercepted by Sean Newton.
Louis White’s chip into the box then just evaded Solomon before White’s next pass found Manasse Mampala confronting Scott before firing wide.
Overlapping full back Joseph Ferguson then provided a cross which required Scott to palm away Jonny Spittle’s header and 20 minutes in Ferguson cut inside on to his left foot and just missed the far post.
Just before the half hour, a decent move by the visitors ended with Benny Couto firing too high and Mampala then failed to control Nathan Woodthorpe’s long pass in the area.
Right at the end of the half, a great run by Sam Baird won a corner and when Alex Byrne delivered a second set play the ball was volleyed in at the far post by Newton.
There was still opportunity in added time for Joshua Wardle to force Scott into a decent save before the half time whistle blew.
Five minutes after the restart, Ashton had a glorious chance to double their lead as Byrne’s right-wing cross picked out Keilen Adams who made insufficient contact with his header from point blank range before Byrne sent a curling attempt adjacent to the goal frame.
How Ashton were made to pay for those missed opportunities as two minutes later the Mariners were level as White picked up Ferguson’s pass from the right wing and beat Scott on his near post with a left-foot shot.
Solomon could have fired the home side ahead as a ball into the area saw Dan Cowan’s header helped into his path by Couto but saw his effort clip the crossbar.
Midway through the half, Byrne’s free kick saw a clearing header volleyed way over by Mitchell Rose before three Ashton players were booked in quick succession.
With time running out, Owen Robinson sent a swinging effort over the top and a quick break saw Adams’ low shot saved with substitute Daniel Jebbison denied on the rebound.
Ashton United: Scott, Cowan, Newton, Couto (Milner 65), Burke, Rose, Byrne, Lowe, Gilchrist (Baird 32), Adams, Cusani (Jebbison 73). Subs (unused): Culkin, Caton.
Report: David Robinson.