Marske United 2 North Shields 1
Marske manager Carl Jarrett was forced into one change for the visit of FA Vase winners North Shields, with Jamie Owens replacing the injured Reece Kelly. The change meant that Nathan Mulligan switched from striker to the left hand side of midfield. North Shields were missing Curtis Coppen, Denver Morris and talisman striker Gareth Bainbridge.
The first effort of the game arrived on 3 minutes but Owens saw his header from a Glen Butterworth cross go well wide. Two minutes later Liam O’Sullivan was unable to keep his effort down when a corner from Chris Emms dropped to him on the edge of the box. The away side then forced a succession of corners, the last one flew across the face of goal with no Shields player able to get on the end of it. On 10 minutes Owens showed great tenacity to win the ball in the centre circle and advance forward but he dragged his effort wide of the target. The next chance fell to North Shields but Dean Holmes saw his shot deflect off Mulligan for a corner. On 24 minutes, Marske came inches from breaking the deadlock but Danny Brunskill’s header from a Craig Gott cross hit the post and went to safety. Four minutes later Marske had a great opportunity to take the lead when Mulligan sent Owens clear on the left and the striker delivered a pin-point cross to Butterworth at the back post but the midfielder sliced his volley wide. Stuart Donnison became the first player to be booked by referee Tony Peart for scything down Butterworth on the left before North Shields took the lead on 33 minutes when Jordan Summery took advantage of a slip from Butterworth to play an excellent through ball to Holmes who slid the ball past the advancing Robert Dean with Mulligan just unable to clear the ball off the line. However, the lead lasted for around 90 seconds when a poor clearance from John Parker fell to Butterworth 25 yards out and his low effort evaded the dive of Chris Bannon in the Shields goal. It became 1-1 on the bookings count just before half time when Adam Wheatley was shown a yellow card for a foul on Dan Wilson.
Half Time: Marske 1 North Shields 1
Marske started the second half taking the game to North Shields and the first chance fell to Gott but he shot over the bar following patient Marske approach play. On 53 Austin Johnston tried his luck from fully 45 yards but his effort went over the bar. Moments later Owen beat 2 men on the edge of the box, got the ball on his favoured left foot but his effort went wide. Marske weren’t to be denied though and took the lead on 55 minutes when a superb corner from Emms was headed home by the unmarked Owens just one yard from goal. Glen Butterworth became the second Marske player booked on 59 minutes when he fouled Wilson. Two minutes later Emms shot wide after picking the ball up in midfield before James Luccock tried his luck for Shields but his effort failed to test Dean. In attempt to get back into the game the away side made two changes, with Ryan McGorrigan replacing Ryan Carr in 65 minutes and David Pounder replacing goal-scorer Dean Holmes on 70 minutes. Shields were cranking up the pressure with a spell of sustained pressure and O’Sullivan became the third Marske player to be booked for a foul on Luccock. With 10 minutes remaining Emms and Owens combined to set up Butterworth but his curling shot went wide. On 81 minutes, both teams made a change with Sam Garvie replacing the hard working Mulligan for Marske and in an attempt to salvage a point Shields took off centre half Kevin Hughes and replaced him with midfielder Gary Ormston. North Shields came within a whisker of equalising on 83 minutes when great skill from Wilson dumped Wheatley on his backside and his cross was flicked just wide by McGorrigan. Ben Richardson became the fifth player booked on 85 minutes for dissent and a minute later Marske made their second change with Brunskill leaving the field to a huge ovation from the Marske faithful to be replaced by Dan Riley. With 3 minutes remaining Marske nearly extended their lead when Gott set up Owens who cut inside and saw his shot saved by the legs of Bannon and go just past the postfor a corner. In the second minute of injury time Shields had the ball in the back of the net but Ormston clearly and cynically had put the ball in the goal with his hand.
Full Time: Marske 2 North Shields 1
Marske: Dean, Grier, O’Sullivan, Johnston, Butterworth, Wheatley, Emms, Gott, Brunskill (Riley), Owens, Mulligan (Garvie)
Subs (not used): Ruddy, Briggs
North Shields: Bannon, Donnison, Summerly, McKeown, Parker, Hughes (Ormston), Luccock, Richardson, Wilson, Carr (McGorrigan), Holmes (Pounder)
This was a fifth consecutive league win for Marske which pushed them up to third place in the table. It was a closely fought game with clear chances at a premium but driven on by the imperious Austin Johnston in midfield, who won countless tackles, Marske held on for a vital three points having had to dig deep in the face of strong North Shields pressure in the last 25 minutes.