Non-league player forced to fix floodlights after match plunged into darkness

A non-league footballer was forced into some emergency electrical work during Marine's FA Trophy clash with Dunston UTS.

The floodlights failed at the Marine Travel Arena, which led to the match being halted early in the second half.

Luckily, Dunston midfielder Phil Turnbull is a qualified electrician and flew into action to try and spark some life back into Marine's lights.

The 34-year-old was captured in full kit, including boots, as he went to work inside the cable box at the stadium, with fans leaving their pints above him as they pitched in to try and salvage the cup tie.

Although the former Hartlepool midfielder failed to get the lights going again, he attempted to get hold of a friend to help out.

The game was saved from abandonment after an electrician arrived on the scene and eventually restored the power at Marine after a 45-minute wait.

The clash finished 2-2 before heading to a penalty shoot-out, with Marine edging out Turnbull's side 5-4 to advance to the next round.

Marine's floodlight issues went viral after a number of tweets from the non-leaguers highlighting the issue during the lengthy delay.

The club's official account thanked Turnbull for attempting to fix the floodlights on their official Twitter account.

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They tweeted: "Thanks to @dunstonutsfc player Philip Turnbull for attempting to fix our floodlights."

A follow-up tweet revealed just how close the game came to being abandoned, with the referee setting a deadline for power to be restored.

"The referee has given a deadline of 5pm for the floodlights to work," said the club before the lights were switched back on.

The Northern Premier League Division One North West side have form in cup competitions after a dream domestic run last year.

Marine made headlines back in January this year when the non-league minnows were handed a dream FA Cup tie against Tottenham.

Spurs ran out 5-0 winners on a historic night for Marine, who play in the eighth tier of English football.

A hat-trick from Carlos Vinicius, along with strikers from Lucas Moura and Alfie Devine, were enough to see Spurs avoid what would have been the biggest cup upset of all time.

The minnows sold over 30,000 virtual tickets for the match, with many Spurs fans generously snapping up tickets, after Covid-19 protocols ensured no fans could be in attendance – robbing Marine of a bumper payday.

And they look set for another cup run in the FA Trophy after their cup clash was saved by an unlikely hero today.

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