Marine came from behind to draw with fellow promotion hopefuls Pontefract Colleries, in an entertaining game at the MTA Arena.

The result means the Mariners sit fourth in the Northern Premier League North West, and stay ahead of fifth placed Pontefract.

The visitors from West Yorkshire lead shortly after half time, as Joe Lumsden capitalised on a slow start to the second period by Marine.

But the Merseyside club rallied, and found their equaliser through their top scorer Craig Lindfield, who hit the net for the sixth time this season.

Both sides had chances to win the game in the dying moments, but neither team were clinical enough to take all three points.

How it happened

Marine came into the game knowing that win would take them within two points of league leaders Workington, who were out of action after their postponement at Widnes.

Neil Young’s side looked keen to get the job done early, as they made a confident start on a chilly day in Merseyside.

Full-backs James Joyce and Josh Solomon-Davies looked dangerous going forward in the opening exchanges as Marine dictated the game, but with little end product.

It wasn’t until 20 minutes into the game when Pontefract started to gain a foothold – Marine goalkeeper Shamal George was called into action for the first time as he tipped a 25-yard effort over the bar.

Marine continued to threaten down the other end though, as James Barrigan saw two close range efforts blocked, before a Craig Lindfield strike was gathered by Pontefract ‘keeper Sebastian Malkowski.

After the half hour mark, the game started to open up, with George being forced into another save – this time sliding in to deny Vaughan Redford, before Joyce cleared of the line.

Marine captain Niall Cummins nearly opened the scoring just before half time, but his studs were just inches from Lindfield’s dangerous free-kick.

After the interval, the home side started sluggishly, and would’ve conceded just seconds into the second-half but for a terrific Anthony Miley clearance.

The breakthrough did come just minutes later though, with Joe Lumsden tucking home the opener for the visitors.

The goal seemed to shock Marine into action, and the next ten minutes saw Malkowski forced into two good saves, before a Barrigan shot was hacked off the line.

As the game ticked past the hour mark, George had to make a smart diving save to keep the score at 1-0, before Marine eventually found their equaliser.

The Mariners were awarded a 20-yard free-kick, which Linfield dully curled over the wall and beyond Malkowski to level the scores.

As both teams looked to find a winner, the game became stretched, with chances falling to both sides.

George and opposite number Malkowski both made a series of good saves to prolong the deadlock, before Linfield nearly bagged his second as his shot skimmed the crossbar.

With just injury-time remaining, Marine bundled the ball inches wide of the Pontefract post as a corner caused havoc in the box.

It was the visitors though who almost snatched a win with the final kick off the game, but a phenomenal sliding tackle from Joyce earned his side a point.

It was a game either side would have been disappointed to lose, but neither manager could wholeheartedly say their team deserved to win.

Marine now sit three points clear of Pontefract (5th) and Tadcaster Albion (6th), but both sides below them have games in hand.

What’s next

Marine host Clitheroe in the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night (7:45pm), before travelling to table-toppers Workington on Saturday (3pm).