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Grimsby Town 0 West Brom 0

By: Richard Lord
Date: 12/01/2002

IT WAS another goalless draw at Blundell Park as Grimsby and West Brom failed to make a mark on the game. The two teams, who have found goals hard to come by all season, provided some entertainment but for goalmouth action it was a game to forget.

West Brom lined up in a 4-4-2 formation and were a tall, physical side. Grimsby started in their newly adopted 3-5-2 formation but as the game wore on they reverted back to 4-4-2. Recent form suggested goals would be at a premium and that is what proved to be. Just two goals conceded by the Mariners in their last five matches and the Baggies had only converted 33 chances all season.

Stuart Campbell returned in midfield in place of the injured Stacy Coldicott, and Alan Neilson remained out of the side with Butterfield playing at right wingback. Otherwise the team remained the same that had failed to contain York last Saturday.

Within four minutes Town won a corner, which was virtually collected on the line by Baggies' keeper Russell Hoult. Minutes later and a high ball wasn't cleared by the visitors and Burnett's lob back into the middle was headed straight back into the arms of Hoult from Thompson.

All the action was in the first half and mainly stemmed from the home side but West Brom looked a threat on the break and Roberts' pace caused problems at the back. Midway through the first half Hoult dropped a cross in front of Campbell and Thompson reacted quickest to lift the ball over the stranded keeper but the goal-bound effort was headed off the line for another Town corner.

However, the Baggies had their fair share of half-chances and Coyne had to be at his best to deny a close-range effort at the far post after a cross was missed by everyone. Then from a corner there was a near-post scramble that was eventually cleared to safety. Danny Butterfield came the closest when his bending half volley scraped the paintwork off the post.

The second half was largely forgettable as neither keeper was called into action. West Brom made two changes but this failed to make any impact on the game. Chances were few and far between and there were limited moments of excitement.

Towards the end of the game Boulding replaced Campbell but again this didn't have an effect. Town were very solid at the back and kept the dangerous Roberts/Dichio partnership very quiet. Going forward the Mariners passed well but lacked the killer ball.

It's now four games unbeaten for the new Town boss Groves but the inability to open up defences to create chances has been lacking for some time and the need for a big physical striker is obvious to all, especially after today's attacking performance.

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