A BRACE of second half goals from Danny Grannon gave Marine a share of the spoils, after a 2-2 draw with Stocksbridge Park Steels at a mist shrouded Bracken Moor on Saturday.
The Mariners had the better chances of a quiet first half, with the game bursting to life after the break as both sides went for the jugular producing end to end stuff in a pulsating 45 minutes.
A draw was probably fair in the end, with the Steels having wrestled the advantage from the visitors to go a goal up before Grannon popped up to salvage a point for the Mariners.
The popular centre half might well have had a quintet of goals, home goalkeeper Xavier Parisi pulling off two great saves to deny him, with another effort chalked off after a perhaps generous award of a foul on the gloveman.
The opening exchanges saw Matty Devine advance to the edge of the box before being stopped by a good tackle from Nick Swirad, home full back Ben Turner replying with a good run and shot wide of the near post.
Jon Goulding was the first to force a save from Parisi, pinching the ball off a defender and firing in a snap shot which the keeper claimed at the second attempt.
Shaun Dowling found space on the right of the area to bring another good stop from Parisi, this time with his legs with Grannon meeting the resulting corner, his strong effort from 10 yards bringing a great save from the Steels’ custodian.
Jordan Thewlis broke clear for the hosts with Ryan McMahon coming out to block, with another effort then blocked as the fog closed in.
Fortunately the gloom lifted a bit during the second half, Nick Rogan freeing Dowling with an astute pass for the young defender to rap a shot wide.
Turner had a dangerous shot blocked for Stocksbridge before Marine thought they had taken the lead, Grannon bundling the ball over the line but seeing play stopped for an infringement, the origins of which were lost in the mist.
Grannon was not to be denied for long and opened the scoring on 58 minutes, collecting Liam Rice’s well delivered free kick from the left to control and beat Parisi with a low shot from the vicinity of the penalty spot.
Steels responded well and turned the game on its head with two goals in a nine minute spell, a free kick being cleared to the edge of the box for Alex Callery to score with a strong shot in to the bottom corner after 64 minutes.
Matt Hamshaw brought a good stop from McMahon with a direct free kick, the Marine keeper quickly in action again to push substitute Spencer Goff’s drive over the crossbar as the hosts enjoyed a good spell.
The Marine defence got themselves in to all sorts of trouble with a corner conceded as Danny South threatened to score, but it was a temporary reprieve as the kick was nodded back across goal for Will Senior to head in from close range, on 75 minutes.
It was far from one way traffic though, Rogan’s neat turn and chip going over and then substitute Liam Dawson volleying inches over the top following a corner.
The equaliser arrived with 84 minutes elapsed, Paul Lundon sending in a thunderous shot from 30 yards which cannoned off the crossbar, Grannon showing commendable alertness to follow up and plant a diving header past Parisi’s despairing dive.
Grannon came very close to bagging a sensational hat trick and winning goal, shooting from just inside the box only for Parisi to pull off a super save to deflect the ball away for a corner.