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Grimsby 0 Norwich 2

By: Richard Lord
Date: 30/10/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN this evening reverted back to their losing ways as they were out-done by a physical Norwich side 2-0 at Blundell Park. A goal in each half by Phillip Mulryne consigned the Mariners to their seventh defeat in eight games but pushes the Canaries further up the table.

On what was a windy night the teams lined up for the first half with Town shooting towards the away fans. The first 20 minutes promised much for the home fans as they were on top and created a few half chances. Both teams failed to get the ball on the ground and pass but it was the Mariners who looked the likelier to score, that was, until Norwich broke the deadlock midway through the first half.

Norwich broke away down the right and were able to put in a cross that found Llewellen free at the far post. His looped cross was somewhat lost by Coldicott and Mulryne stole in to poke past Coyne to make it 1-0.

Grimsby hadn't come from behind to take three points this season and didn't look like altering that statistic thereon. They were just a shadow of the team that performed so well in front of the ITV cameras last Friday. Boulding again gave Town an option on the left but most of his work ended without a shot.

In the second half the Mariners had the wind behind their backs and put Norwich under some pressure, but the Canaries were able to break away at pace and cause Grimsby some problems at the back. Indeed this was how the second goal came about after good work down the left and a low cross, which was missed by everyone, and Mulryne again appeared to cleverly side-foot home the killer punch.

By that time Coldicott had been taken off and replaced by Willems, and the Dutchman was unlucky not to win several free kicks down the left wing. Broomes had claims for a penalty turned down before Chris Thompson made his league debut coming on for Ben Chapman, who looked to have taken a knock in the face. Rowan replaced Allen minutes before the third substitution.

The front pairing of Allen and Jevons was unsuccessful and just didn't find the energy or rhythm to undo the Norwich defence. On a windy night both sides insisted on pummelling high balls forward but only Norwich had the players to cope with this tactic and Grimsby played straight into their hands. The home side did look better going forward using the midfield players but they desperately lacked width.

Manager Lennie Lawrence will be disappointed after seeing his side lose the winning impetus and falling to the challenge of Norwich. Burly strikers Roberts and Libbra caused Beharall and Broomes problems all night and the midfield duo of Pouton and Coldicott just didn't look the same. Boulding failed to find the magic touch and Butterfield played too narrow.

The defeat means Town drop a place in the division and it sees Rotherham overtake them. Grimsby are now just four points out of the relegation zone, when a win tonight would have had the team looking the other way up the division.

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