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Grimsby Town 0 York City 0
By: Richard Lord
YORK CITY almost provided a cup upset this afternoon at Blundell Park but poor finishing was to blame as Grimsby failed to get out of first gear. Lee Nogan made his return to Cleethorpes partnered by on-loan Sunderland forward Michael Proctor.
For Grimsby there were no changes to the team that battled out a 0-0 draw at Barnsley on New Year's Day.
From the kick-off it was clear that the condition of the pitch was going to upset the rhythm of the game, but it was the third division visitors that adapted the quicker. The aforementioned Nogan, with two Welsh caps to his name, missed a glorious chance after just four minutes when he placed his shot wide of Coyne's left hand post when through on goal.
The Mariners' misplaced passes were a reoccurring theme in the first half but York failed to seize upon the opportunities that came their way. Coyne again was forced into making a stop after Burnett's sloppy pass let Proctor run through on goal but with the angle against him Coyne made the save.
From the resulting corner Coyne again had to be agile and alert to get down at the near post when a point-blank header lacked the power to beat the Welsh stopper. Grimsby's attempts to keep the ball along the ground weren't paying dividends and as York pressed, the home team got caught up.
Only in the second half did the favourites mount any kind of sustained pressure. The first 45 minutes were forgettable as an attacking threat but there was a five-minute spell when City couldn't clear. Stacy Coldicott in the centre of midfield picked up loose balls all afternoon but the final pass was left wanting.
Midway through the second half a ball down the left released Thompson and his shot failed to find Willems but Butterfield racing in at the far post seemed destined to score, only for his miss-hit to go straight back across Fettis in goal. The clearance hit Willems and nobody was on hand to follow up.
As the game wore on, tired legs forced Rodger and Groves to replace the lively Jevons with Boulding, and eventually Thompson left the field for Jeffrey. It didn't make any difference and it was York who could have won the game in the later stages.
Nogan was released down the right but his cut-back failed to find a yellow shirt, and on more than one occasion Grimsby gave possession away at the back to hand York a shooting chance.
It was a disappointing performance from Grimsby but York will be encouraged by their display and will surely be the more confident heading into the replay. Manager Terry Dolan will be hoping more of the same from his men back at Bootham Crescent.
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