A missed penalty cost Warrington Town as they were held to a goalless draw by Marine on Boxing Day.
In their first game for more than three weeks, the Yellows couldn’t find a way through the best defence in the division.
Bayleigh Passant saved from Stefan Mols’ first half spot-kick after Isaac Buckley-Ricketts had been brought down, and despite several chances, the hosts couldn’t break the deadlock.
After consecutive postponements, the Yellows were playing for the first time since the disappointing home draw with Stalybridge on December 3.
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In many ways, the game followed a similar pattern – with the Yellows enjoying the better of the game and creating more chances, but without being able to put themselves in a winning position.
Buckley-Ricketts played through the middle in the absence of banned skipper Josh Amis and Jordan Buckley, still only fit enough for a place on the bench.
The Yellows had already had a chance cleared off the line when Buckley-Ricketts was chopped down in the box by Josh Solomon-Davies.
With Sean Williams on the bench, Mols stepped up and his penalty well to Passant’s left, but the goalkeeper guessed the right way and clawed the ball to safety.
It was nearly a double blow for the Yellows as Marine went up the other end and had the ball in the back of the net – but Andy Scarisbrick was offside when he tapped in the rebound from Charley Doyle’s saved shot.
Buckley-Ricketts then twice raced through, the first resulting in a shot across goal being hit against the post by Mols sliding in at the back post.
The second saw Buckley-Ricketts outpace Josh Wardle and force a smart stop by the legs of Passant.
Marine came out stronger at the start of the second half and enjoyed their best spell of the game, with Doyle firing over from a good position off a Jordan Lussey long-throw.
The Yellows introduced Buckley and he immediately helped create a chance for Matty McDonald, who squeezed a shot beyond Passant but also beyond the far post too.
Although Tony Thompson didn’t really have many saves to make, he was very nearly beaten by Sol Solomon’s free kick from the left which evaded everyone in the box and dropped just wide of the far post.
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As the game entered the final few minutes, it was the Yellows who looked the more likely.
Bohan Dixon got away from a cynical foul by Jonathon Spittle, cut inside and fired a shot just over the bar, and he then had a left-foot shot well stopped by Passant.
Then in injury time, a mix up at the back enabled Buckley to steal in and poke the ball just wide of the post and the hosts had to settle for a point.
Warrington Town: Thompson, Seary, White, Hannigan, Gumbs, Harris, Mols (Buckley), McDonald (Williams), Dixon, Duffy (Duggan). Unused subs: Walker, Mfuni
Marine: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Smith (Barrigan), Lussey, Wardle, Spittle, Weir, Doyle, Touray (Howarth), Solomon, Scarisbrick (Campbell). Unused subs: Clarke, Price.
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