Cap­tain Hughes the hero for Mariners as he nods home late lev­eller

Midweek Visiter - - Motors - MA­RINE:

Ma­rine 1 Gran­tham Town 1 ADAM HUGHES’S last minute header sal­vaged a point for Ma­rine against Gran­tham Town at the Ma­rine Travel Arena on Sat­ur­day.

The Crosby side cre­ated the first scor­ing op­por­tu­nity as James Short and Michael Brew­ster showed com­po­sure in their own half, Brew­ster’s ball for­ward be­ing headed by Ge­orge Lo­max into Vinny Bai­ley’s path. Bai­ley ad­vanced and stepped in­side a de­fender’s chal­lenge but could not pro­vide the fin­ish the move mer­ited, his right-footed ef­fort from the edge of the box fly­ing high and wide of tar­get.

Gran­tham came a whisker away from tak­ing the lead in their first mean­ing­ful at­tack as a ball fed in from their left found mid­fielder Andy Wright just out­side the area, his pow­er­ful shot graz­ing the an­gle of post and cross­bar.

The Ginger­breads con­tin­ued to threaten down their left flank and a cross saw striker Jor­dan Hem­pen­stall rise high­est but the ex-Brack­ley for­ward headed wide of goal.

The Whites were en­joy­ing their share of play in the open­ing half-hour and James Mur­ray showed tenac­ity on the right to find Bai­ley af­ter his ini­tial cross had been blocked, Bai­ley in turn be­ing de­nied by a block from a yel­low-shirted de­fender.

On 20 min­utes Gran­tham mid­fielder Danny Mead­ows placed a shot a yard wide of Ben Barnes’s left-hand up­right af­ter the Ma­rine ‘keeper had punched clear, be­fore the same player came even closer just a minute later. A cor­ner from the Town left saw Mead­ows rise un­chal­lenged to send a header crash­ing against the cross­bar from 12 yards out, the re­bound be­ing cleared as far as Gran­tham skip­per Ste­fan Galin­ski whose ris­ing drive from 25 yards cleared the bar.

The Lin­colnshire side were now firmly in the as­cen­dancy and made the break­through eight min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val.

The Ma­rine rear­guard proved their own worst en­e­mies on this oc­ca­sion as Barnes and Adam Free­land tried to play out from the back, the Ginger­breads ap­ply­ing pres­sure and Wright pinched pos­ses­sion, cut­ting in from the left be­fore drilling a low shot into the bot­tom cor­ner from the ‘D’.

The Mariners emerged on the front foot af­ter the in­ter­val as Brew­ster found Mur­ray in space, the winger tak­ing a touch but slic­ing his fin­ish wide of goal from 15 yards.

Ma­rine then spurned a great chance to equalise on 51 min­utes as play ebbed and flowed, Short’s cross pick­ing out Bai­ley who flicked a header from six yards out but which was di­rected straight at visit­ing keeper Kieran Pre­ston, the keeper’ par­ry­ing at close quar­ters and the Gran­tham de­fence were re­lieved to clear.

New sign­ing Chris Lo­max was in­tro­duced in place of Edgar and his cross from the left evaded brother Ge­orge as he chal­lenged with a de­fender, the ball tak­ing the on­rush­ing Billy Smart by sur­prise as it bounced off his thigh at the back-post.

With seven min­utes left, the Ginger­breads were re­duced to 10-men as sub­sti­tute cen­tre­back Rhys Lewis, who had re­placed in­jured Gran­tham skip­per Galin­ski, was given his sec­ond cau­tion in the space of 15 min­utes by ref­eree Nathaneal Cox.

And the Mariners even­tu­ally took ad­van­tage of the ex­tra player in the fi­nal minute of the 90 fol­low­ing a spell of pres­sure, as Short’s cross was met by Hughes, the home skip­per’s header loop­ing over Pre­ston and un­der­neath the cross­bar to spark ju­bi­lant scenes at the MTA.

The Mariners travel to Cum­bria tonight to face Work­ing­ton in their next Evo-Stik League North­ern Pre­mier Di­vi­sion fix­ture (kick-off 7.45pm).

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