Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Battling Marske Defy Odds to Clinch League Title

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Battling Marske Defy Odds to Clinch League Title

Article excerpt

Byline: RAY SIMPSON

MARSKE manager Carl Jarrett paid tribute to his battling players after they managed to overhaul a 28-point gap on Morpeth to clinch a glorious second title in four seasons.

The Seasiders drew 0-0 with Newcastle Benfield on Saturday to put the title beyond Morpeth's reach following a remarkable last month of the season.

"I couldn't have asked for more from the players," he said. "It is unbelievable what they did.

"They must have had some dreadful feelings after we lost to Stockton Town in the Vase semi finals, but they have put a real shift in since then.

"When you consider that we have played 16 league matches since the Vase final - on two occasions playing four games in a week - and to have only lost one and drawn four of those is astonishing. It's no wonder that there were some tired legs out there.

"We were 28 points behind Morpeth at one point, and after losing in the Vase they could easily have given up. They are stronger than what I thought.

"It wasn't an easy game against Benfield on Saturday, they didn't come and lie down. They made it difficult for us. Our aim now is to finish with more than 100 points." Stockton Town have suffered a blow ahead of their Buildbase FA Vase final with the news that deadball specialist Max Craggs is almost certain to miss the game because of a medial ligament injury.

He's due to see a specialist tomorrow after going off injured on Thursday night, and manager Micky Dunwell fears the worst.

"As soon as it happened, I knew it was a bad one. He went in for a block tackle, he leaned back and got the full extent.

"Losing a player happens to the best of clubs, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes missed big games for Man United once, so it's something we have to deal with.

"We're hoping it's not as bad as it looks, but I think it will simply be confirmation of what we fear.

"We'll prepare as best as we can without him. We've got other lads who can take deadballs. He'll be a big miss, but the lads are still confident that they'll win." Stockton are now up to sixth after winning 3-1 at Jarrow Roofing on Saturday, with goals by Chris Stockton and Sonni Coleman (2).

"We were poor in the first half, but we got a reaction after half time. Our first target this season was 40 points, and we achieved that. Our second target was 70 points, and we're just two points from that."

Stockton have two games left this week, at Marske on Wednesday and Dunston on Thursday.

Guisborough were beaten by a first half goal at Dunston UTS, but manager Gary Forster thought that they were worth a point.

"It was a frustrating game," he said. "We dominated possession but failed to make it count. Fair play to Dunston they did a good job of making it difficult for us. Once they got ahead, they limited our chances. …

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