Marske United 1-1 Ossett United
Mount Pleasant, home of Marske United, lived up to its name on a balmy October evening as Ossett United travelled to the North East on the back of a confidence-building victory over Widnes seven days ago.
It was unclear what Marske United side would turn up, would there be players rested ahead of their FA Cup 4th qualifying round tie at Brackley Town in four days’ time or would they be fired up and fighting for places in that game.
It was clear from the team sheet it would be the latter with a strong side named, and ten minutes into the game it was even more clear as the home side started quickly and took the game to Ossett United, wearing sky blue shirts and white shorts and socks.
As early as the first minute they looked to break through an Ossett defence still absent of Blackburn, Cass, and Cowgill but a weak effort was no trouble for the in-form Max Dearnley. He was called into action again in the opening ten minutes, this time a double save prevented The Seasiders from opening the scoring.
Ossett United defended resolutely, with Stockdill and Hogg protecting the back four as well as looking to move play forward slowly started to grow into the game. Ripley lead the line with Haswell, Normanton, and Connolly interchanging behind him.
It was Connolly who had Ossett’s first shot of the game, a strike from distance blocked, but the coaching staff were encouraged to see the game moving into the Marske half of the field.
Stockdill again was at the heart of everything, a cross into the six-yard box had to be headed out for a corner, yet Ossett couldn’t take advantage as a strong wind took the inswinging cross our for a goal kick. (Incidentally, Craig on Ossett United radio, was corrected by a Marske fan at this point Up there what we call a strong wind is described as a whisper)!
Marske were certainly on top of the game in the first half but out of nowhere Ossett went close, good work found Haswell some 25/30 yards out, and out of nowhere he unleashed a piledriver of an effort, it was straight down the keepers throat but too hot to hands as it took him of his feet. Fortunately for the home side, the ball fell behind Connolly and under pressure, he was unable to take advantage.
Perhaps with Saturday’s FA cup tie in mind, or perhaps because they were not expecting such a tough game, Marske made a double change at the break and once again started the half quickly with a strike in the opening minute that Dearnley dealt with.
With the half just four minutes old Stockdill was adjudged to have caught Glen Butterworth 20 yards from the goal, it looked soft, but referee Steven Lawson was adamant the Marske player was fouled. Butterworth himself stood over the free-kick and expertly lifted the ball over the wall and into the corner of the goal.
It was hard to argue Marske didn’t deserve the lead at this point but there had been enough on show to give the travelling Ossett United support the belief that they could get back into this.
The belief grew straight from kick-off, Haswell released Normanton who from a difficult angle saw his shot deflected into the keeper’s arms, the chances were there if Ossett could take them.
As Ossett continued to press an attacking triple change saw Elliot Harrison replace Jimmy Burke as well as debuts for Levi-Lewis and Waud who replaced Ripley and Connolly. Waud was straight into the action but once again the strong Marske defence was equal to the challenge.
Marske paid a huge compliment to Ossett as the game ticked into the final quarter as they started to slow the game down and defend their lead as the visitors pressed further and further forward. Levi-Lewis showing some excellent touches as he has done in training over recent weeks as he awaited International Clearance. It was Levi-Lewis who, with ten minutes remaining, released Normanton down the left, he drilled an excellent cross over and with Waud closing in it was Captain Jack Stockdill who swivelled and fired home the equaliser.
Level at Marske, ten minutes to go, Ossett will take that. Won’t they? The players had different ideas as they attacked again, Normanton’s sliding effort was saved by the home keeper. Marske were not settling for a draw either as the game got stretched going into time added on, twice they went close but Dearnley’s goal was not breached.
Lawson blew for the final time and both sides will feel like they could have snatched it at the end.
- Max Dearnley, 2. Harry Gagen, 3. Ross Hardaker, 4. Luke Hogg, 5. Jimmy Burke (12. Elliot Harrison), 6. Cameron Clark, 7. Nash Connolly (15. Mitch Levi-Lewis), 8. Jack Stockdill © (Goal), 9. Jack Normanton, 10. Seon Ripley (14. Reggie Waud), 11. Aaron Haswell | 16. Jake Teale.