Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Marske Held to a Draw at the End of a Trying Week; SPORT EXTRA NORTHERN LEAGUE

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Marske Held to a Draw at the End of a Trying Week; SPORT EXTRA NORTHERN LEAGUE

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Steel Sports writer adam.steel@eveninggazette.co.uk

MARSKE boss Ted Watts is still sure the big-spending Seasiders will finish in mid-table in the Northern League first division despite being held to a goalless draw at home by relegation-bound Billingham Town.

Marske were looking for a tonic at the end of a trying week which featured a club record 7-1 defeat at Consett, but had to settle for a point in a wind-affected derby featuring few chances.

Andy Jennings brought a point-blank save out of Town keeper Joe Williamson in the first half and the on-loan Darlington shot stopper tipped Craig Gott's inswinging corner onto his crossbar after the break.

Leggy winger Daniel Ballantyne was denied twice by Robert Dean in the Marske goal after being sent racing clear for the well-organised visitors' two best chances, but neither side could muster a winner.

There have been growing rumblings of discontent at the GER Stadium with ambitious Marske now down in 16th place in the table following a blistering start to the season.

But Watts is sure he can mastermind a strong finish to the campaign and said success in football does not just happen overnight.

"I'm not naive enough to think it was a good result against Billingham Town, because it wasn't," Watts said. "We should be beating them.

"But I'm still totally confident that we will finish in mid-table, which was the target at the start of the season, and we have just got to be positive and stick together.

"I'm not low at all. I had lower points when I was at Stokesley. It took 12 years and four teams to get us from the bottom of the Teesside League to the NL First Division.

"I've only been here just over a year and if we finish above 13th - which I'm still confident of doing - it will be Marske's best finish for over a decade. …

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