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Town Go Top With 1-0 Win Over Barnsley
By: Richard Lord
GRIMSBY TOWN ascended to the summit of the first division table this afternoon with a tense 1-0 victory over Yorkshire rivals Barnsley at Blundell Park.
After this afternoon's 1-0 success over Yorkshire side Barnsley, Grimsby Town sit proudly on top of the First Division. Phil Jevons' 22nd-minute goal combined with some dogged defending ensured the Mariners three points and top spot.
It may only be for 24 hours as Bradford are due to play tomorrow, but not since 1982 have Grimsby been top of the First Division - then under the management of Dave Booth. Watford and Man City have spent millions of pounds over the summer, but tonight it's the minnows of Grimsby Town who are putting the so called 'big teams' to shame.
It was also the day of Donovan's return to Blundell Park, and the Halifax-born midfielder was given a good reception by the home fans. An earlier than usual kick off of 1:30pm saw the Mariners begin their quest to lead the division and to set an example.
Grimsby began brightly but clear-cut chances were at a premium. Pouton again imposed himself early in the game and was involved in a lot of flowing moves and attacks. There was some nice interplay between Rowan and Jevons once more and the pair looked sprightly and creative all afternoon, never short of ideas.
Groves and Beharall were much stronger in defence and looked very tidy. Bruce Dyer and Mike Sheron looked a threat when the Yorkshire outfit moved forward, but they were contained well by a much more organised Town defence.
Coyne was called into action on a couple of occasions in the first half. He made a good block from a Dyer volley and positioned himself well to save shots from Sheron and Neil. Although the Tykes put the home side under a lot of pressure, they failed to find the breakthrough that would have helped the Oakwell outfit find a way back into the match.
Again towards the end of the match, Rowan was replaced by Jeffrey, and it was his ball through to Pouton which brought Miller out of his goal. The Tykes goalkeeper made and error of judgement and brought down Pouton outside the area, bringing about the inevitable red card.
After clearing desperately from defence several times from corners, the Mariners eventually held out for the win. It places Lennie Lawrence's side at the top of division, and he and his players can be proud of their achievement.
The full time whistle was greeted with jubilation around Blundell Park, where 6,173 spectators had witnessed an historic moment.
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