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11/12 Stockport 1st Half
By: Rob Sedgwick
Grimsby Town 3 Stockport County 2
11 Dec 1999, FA Cup
After heavy rain the pitch was soft and a poor crowd assembled for what was effectively the Mariners last chance to salvage their season with a good cup run.
Town, attacking the Osmond end were soon up against it with a hard working and confident Stockport dictating the pace.
Town were given little room to play as County closed them down and in the early stages looked the more threatening side.
They won the first corner in the sixth minute with Cooper's kick being headed over his own bar by Lever.
From the second corner Gannon headed back at the far post and Lever headed clear.
The visitors posed the first serious threat in the eighth minute. Bailey raced into the left hand channel, turned inside onto his right foot and sent in a stinging shot which Croudson palmed into the path of Cooper who dived and headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Then from a Bergersen cross it was Bailey who glanced a header past the far post.
With just 12 minutes gone the small crowd were becoming impatient at Towns' lack of progress.
Coldicott needed treatment for a cut to the head after going up with Dinning.
Town then came into the game as a serious threat for the frist time when a ball from Lester allowed Donovan to hit the by-line but the cross was pulled back behind the Towns forwards.
A minute later Donovan had another crossing opportunity but this was intercepted.
Coldicott then gave away possession as Town looked threatening as they moved towards the box. But this was the story so far, a disjointed performance from the Mariners.
Town at last got some sort of grip on the game and had their first effort on target in the 23rd minute. It came from a free kick deep on the right taken by Butterfield and met by the head of Livingstone, but the effort went straight at keeper Nash.
Gallimore saved Town with a fine tackle, inside the box, on Cooper as the front man threatened to break away.
Then Stockport tested Croudson again with a Bergersen header from a Flynn cross.
Coldicott again needed treatment this time after being caught late, on the knee, by Bennett.
Lester appeared to be held inside the box as he tried to turn Flynn as Gallimore's ball went in but referee Pearson was not interested.
Stockport fashioned a move down the right with full back Connelly muffling Adam Buckley off the ball before crossing to the far post where Moore headed back and Groves headed clear.
Buckley had not seen much action on the left hand side but when the ball did finally come to him a goal followed.
The wingers cross into the box was cleared as far as Groves whose effort rebounded to Livingstone who buried a first time right footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The goal livened up the crowd but Stockport also stepped up a gear.
The visitors came back strongly and four minutes before the break Moore broke down the left and fired in a cross shot which bounced over Croudson's hands and out for a goal kick.
Then Bailey fired in another effort from a similar position which flashed past the far post.
Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Stockport County 0
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