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Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Town gain victory in survival bid

By: Richard Lord
Date: 16/02/2002

GRIMSBY Town this afternoon recorded a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Blundell Park. Stuart Campbell was the man to score the vital goal when he nodded in at the far post after a deflected Butterfield cross in the 77th minute.

The visitors had drawn 13 games this season and for most of the game it looked as though the teams would have to share the points, until the breakthrough came 13 minutes from time.

Danny Coyne continued in goal after his return from Wales in midweek. McDermott, Gallimore, Raven and Groves were the four at the back, with Butterfield, Campbell, Coldicott and Burnett the driving force in midfield. Boulding started up front alongside Allen.

The first have was a very even affair, with only long-range efforts troubling Blades keeper Simon Tracy. Coyne made a great save from a powerful looping volley from Peter Ndlovu to tip it over the bar, and United came closer when a free kick just scraped the far post.

There was an early booking for the Yorkshire side after a late lunge on Groves by loan man Paul Furlong. On two more occasions before half time similar lunges went unpunished by the referee.

As the teams came out for the second half there were no changes to the side that had held its own in the first half. The referee had also failed to notice that Tracy was wearing the same strip as the officials.

Grimsby began the second half with a storming performance which concentrated with attacks down the right hand side. McDermott and Butterfield linked up well when going forward, and Allen dropped back from attack to keep the moves flowing.

On several occasions Town entered the United penalty area but could not trouble Tracy. Boulding's pace when running at the Blades' defence threatened to bring that elusive goal but the shot lacked power.

As the half wore on wingers Butterfield and Campbell saw more of the ball and gave the team some much needed width. After several contentious offside decisions (which were disputed by substitute keeper Steve Croudson) the deadlock was finally broken.

Another flowing move down the right saw Allen lay of the ball to Butterfield who crossed to the middle but the ball took a deflection off a defender and looped to the far post where Campbell awaited to nod into the empty net.

The goal was no more than the Mariners deserved, and the second half especially the home side dominated. Even after the goal Grimsby refused to sit back and they could have added to their goal near the end.

Sheffield United applied some pressure in injury time, and substitute Ford made a great last-ditch tackle to deny Peschisolido a shooting chance.

Carl Cort The final whistle signalled Town's first win of the year and only their second goal of 2002. Sheffield Wednesday, who were losing at half time, went on to win against Watford, which means the Mariners' relegation battle isn't made to look any easier.

With the prospect of a Premiership striker coming to the club on loan after the weekend (with rumours of it possibly being Carl Cort, left, of Newcastle) Grimsby's push for survival is still not over yet.


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