Will on target as Albion draw with Marine
A point a piece in highly entertaining battle
Witton fully deserved a share of the points from this “old boys” re-union game.
In the opening minutes Will Jones had seen his shot parried away by keeper Ben Barnes and Scott Bakkor had received the first caution of five for the visitors with a reckless tackle on James Foley, who was singled out for fairly rough treatment throughout, the busy midfielder handling himself very well despite the provocation.
With Anthony Gardner missing as he recovered from Saturday’s injury, James Edgar operating on the Marine left flank found plenty of space to deliver a shot from the edge of the area with 12 minutes on the clock that fairly whistled across the face of goal to find the far right side of Calvin Hare’s net.
Three minutes later Edgar again involved this time sending in a cross that just evaded skipper Danny Mitchley at the back post.
Albion countered, Jones put Steve Tames through only for him to shoot straight at Barnes, Matty Devine prominent in several sorties upfield ran through the middle but no end result as the shot was blocked and safely cleared.
Witton were now having a lot of possession but unable to put a final telling ball until firstly Jones let fly with a shot that just went over the bar before Foley saw his header blocked by Barnes. A corner-kick was then the prelude for a lot of activity in and around the visitors’ box.
Marine though it was who nearly scored the next goal when Mitchley’s snap shot went narrowly wide.
The outcome of the half-time dressing room discussion was plainly evident, not for the first time this season as, after pressurising the visitors from the off, Hopley’s header from the right to Will Jones saw him, despite Barnes getting a hand to the ball, put enough power in his shot to earn his team the equalising goal on 49 minutes. (Our ace cameraman Keith Clayton on hand to capture the above picture and a lot more that will be available on the site in the near future)
Jones had enough shot this time though over the target whilst a half-chance by Tames was scuffed wide of the upright.
The visitors still looked dangerous on the break and when Foley lost possession mid-way through the half it took a goal-line clearance by Nick Ryan to deny Edgar his second of the night.
A Hare long clearance was headed into Tames’s path by Rob Hopley only for a timely challenge to just produce a corner kick. Tames then worked himself into a good position but his shot gave Barnes a comfortable save.
The result of Marine’s 5th yellow card for Peter Wylie, four minutes from time, saw substitute Paul Williams’s free-kick punched away by Barnes. Tames, as the game entered four minutes stoppage time, again advanced well before picking out Hopley whose shot looked to be deflected but no corner given.
Instead the visitors countered strongly and a cross to substitute James Murray was crashed into the net only for Marine’s joy to be crushed with the raised flag for off-side.
In truth that would have been an injustice to Witton and the eventual point preserved their 7th place in the table.
ALBION: Hare; Wilson, Devine, Hedley, Brown, Ryan, Haywood (Williams 74), Foley, Hopley, Tames & Jones. Subs not used: Evans, Newby, Greenop & Neild. Booked: Ryan (foul)
MARINE: Barnes, Wylie, Short, Hughes, Grogan, Smart (Murray 66), Bakkor, Brewster, Mitchley, Bailey & Edgar. Subs not used: Striclland, Kisimba, Shaw & Mendes. Booked: Bakkor, Grogan, Short, Mitchley & Wylie (all fouls)
Referee: Alan Bennett Attendance: 267