The Non-League Football Paper - - EVO-STIK NPL PREMIER - By Ralph Rands

MA­RINE’S maiden game of 2017 pro­duced their first goal­less draw of the sea­son as they were held at home by Bar­well.

Skip­per Rob­bie Threlfall headed an early cor­ner over the bar for the Mariners be­fore Cal­lum Ball was played through at the other end, the striker mis­cue­ing his fin­ish with just Calvin Hare to beat.

Ma­rine be­gan to gain the up­per hand and Danny Mitch­ley fired wide from 22 yards.

Kurt Sher­lock’s low cen­tre then found MJ Mon­aghan whose ven­omous first-time strike was in­stinc­tively tipped over by Bar­well keeper Liam Cas­tle.

Mitch­ley then spurned a glo­ri­ous chance as the Bar­well off­side trap failed and Mitch­ley found him­self clear but his shot cleared the bar by a yard as he at­tempted to pick his spot.

The ro­bust Le­ices­ter­shire side twice came close early in the sec­ond pe­riod as Hare bril­liantly de­nied Cal­lum Ball from closerange and kept out Craig Stan­ley’s de­flected ef­fort from dis­tance.

In an at­tri­tional en­counter with play all too of­ten punc­tu­ated by the ref­eree's whis­tle Ma­rine were re­duced to ten men with 15 min­utes re­main­ing, mid­fielder Billy Smart be­ing dis­missed for an offthe-ball clash.

Lee Hil­dreth and Luke Bar­lone sent head­ers well wide of tar­get for the Ca­naries.

How­ever, the Crosby side al­most grabbed the win­ner with six min­utes re­main­ing as debu­tant sub­sti­tute Matthew Hamilton fired inches wide hav­ing been played through by Kurt Sher­lock.

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