The Mariners fell to a late defeat away from home against Basford United Ladies on Sunday afternoon. Beth Wharton’s early strike was cancelled out in the second-half before a 90-minute dubious penalty sealed the three points for the hosts.

Abbie Emsley made her debut in black and white as the Mariners started off on the front foot; looking organised as a unit, with each player understanding their roles defensively and going forward.

The first chance of the game, however, came for the hosts; Alana Crawford opened her body on the edge of the area, striking an effort over the bar.

It was Beth Wharton who found herself on the scoresheet just after the ten-minute mark. Captain Danielle Brighton won possession back for the Mariners and played the ball to Olivia Kershaw who played a piercing pass into Wharton. Despite having to beat a defender, Wharton was able to calmly slot the ball home to give the Mariners the lead.

Chloe Gray was called into action to put a stop to a looping effort from the hosts. The ball was heading for the top-left corner of the net, but the Mariners shot-stopper leaped to tip the effort over the bar.

It was almost a brace for Wharton ten minutes later as her inviting pressure allowed her to ricochet an effort off of a Basford defender. The ball headed towards goal, and it looked like our lead was going to be doubled, but the Basford keeper managed to clear the ball off her line.

A defensive error from the hosts allowed winger Lily Jacklin to drive with the ball down the left- handside and cut inside, but after finding herself with only the keeper to beat, frustratingly fired wired.

Another chance for the Mariners saw Wharton and Jacklin combine, but their one one-two passing sequence resulted in the host keeper coming out to smother the ball and deny the Mariners a second goal on the stroke of half-time.

The hosts came out hungry in the final 45 minutes of the game, pressing higher up the pitch and forcing our defensive players into errors; allowing their players to get into positions they struggled to in the first half.

An injury to defender Sophie Gray meant the Mariners had to shuffle the defence about, with playmaker Eden Pederson slotting in at Centre Back for the final ten minutes of the game.

The Mariners were still holding onto their 1-0 lead until the 77th minute when the hosts equalised, but the Mariners were focused on trying to find a late winner, with Wharton having an effort from inside the box tipped over the bar.

Chloe Gray was forced into a double save late on, forcing the hosts first effort over the bar with the tip of her fingers and parrying another effort onto the post and out for a corner.

When the 90 minutes hit, the Mariners nightmare came true, as the referee dubiously pointed to the penalty spot; a chance that the hosts took to take the lead late on.

The Mariners thought they had found a late equaliser through Wharton as she drove into the penalty area, beating a host defender and finding herself in a position to slot home to earn the Mariners a well-deserved point, but her effort was agonisingly wide of the post.

The Mariners: C Gray, Dalton, Kershaw, S Gray, Wray, Pederson, Brighton, Walsh, Jacklin, Wharton, Emslie

Substitutes: Rawbone, Appels




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