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Portsmouth 4 Grimsby Town 2
By: Richard Lord
GRIMSBY TOWN today went down 4-2 at Portsmouth in the bank holiday clash at Fratton Park.
An eventful second half saw the Mariners come from behind twice, only to have Menno Willems sent off and ultimately surrender to Portsmouth's front line attack.
Pompey did take the lead in the first half with a debut goal from Mark Burchill as the home side dictated the run of play and put the Mariners under immense pressure. Towards the end of the half Town managed to gain possession and forced one or two half chances to keep the Portsmouth defence on guard.
There was an explosive start to the second half when from a corner, Danny Butterfield rifled in an unstoppable shot to pull the Mariners back on level terms. It was perhaps an undeserved equaliser but Grimsby rode their luck. It wasn't long before Portsmouth regained the lead through Peter Crouch, but Grimsby again showed the verve and courage to force another equaliser even though Willems was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Michael Jeffrey was sent through on goal and he calmly slotted past the onrushing keeper to pull the game back to 2-2. Down to 10 men, the away side had once again resisted a capitulation and found themselves still very much in the game.
Despite riding their luck in the first half when Pompey hit the post and some desperate defending by Beharall, Portsmouth again found the lead through their latest recruit Burchill, and lanky striker Crouch scored his second and Pompey's fourth soon after to seal a 4-2 win.
Gallimore and McDermott struggled with Portsmouth's advancing wing-backs, and Croatian Robert Prosinecki ran the show in midfield throughout the 90 minutes. Lennie Lawrence will be disappointed with his team's defending in the second half, resulting in Grimsby's first defeat of the season.
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