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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

Strong yes
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Stalemate Between Mariners And Wednesday

By: Richard Lord
Date: 01/04/2002

IT PROVED to be a frustrating afternoon for Grimsby as Sheffield Wednesday's dogged determination led them to a 0-0 draw at Blundell Park. Danny Maddix was sent off early in the second half but the Mariners couldn't break down the visiting 10 men.

Paul Groves again decided to stick with the same starting line-up and the same substitutes bench. Falconer and Robinson were named in the 16 but it was Allen and Boulding who started up front.

Wednesday were lucky not be down to 10 men as early as 30 seconds into the game, when Maddix clearly tripped Boulding when the striker was through on goal. But the referee chose to show a yellow card.

The powerful Shefki Kuqi gave Town the most problems with his surging runs down the wings but the Town defence were able to adapt and keep the Wednesday pressure away from goal.

On several occasions the visitors tried spectacular long-range shots but were unable to keep them on target. Town were showing signs of the team that beat Wimbledon so convincingly just over a week ago, but had no goal to show for it.

In fact it was Wednesday who were perhaps the better team in the first half, but Danny Coyne was never seriously tested. Groves and Todd were tidy in defence.

Just two minutes into the second half the visitors were reduced to 10 men. Maddix was unable to resist bringing down Boulding in a similar position to the first half and the former QPR defender was given his marching orders.

With Wednesday down to 10 men the Mariners piled on the pressure and could have gone ahead from a Butterfield free kick that was ordered to be re-taken. On both occasions Pressman made fingertip saves to keep the scores level.

Allen had two of the best chances for Grimsby in the second half; one where he couldn't control the ball after it had fallen nicely to him seven yards out.

Boulding then steamed in after an error in the Wednesday defence but completely missed the ball as a defender put him off.

Allen once more had a chance at the far post after a Butterfield cross. Instead of shooting first time with his left, he chose to control it but that gave Broomes a chance to get goal side of the striker.

The Mariners won plenty of corners but weren't able to convert pressure into goals. Kuqi and Sibon were Wednesday's main threats on the break, and only a shot into the side netting and a volley across the goal was all they had to show in the second half.

Otherwise it was all Grimsby and with 15 minutes to go there was a sense that the game would finish 0-0. Wednesday made two late substitutions and Robinson came on for Campbell near the end, but had little impact.

Haslam nearly gifted Town all three points when Campbell's second attempted cross was kicked over the angle of the goal when Pressman was just about to collect.

On another day it might have been three points to Grimsby, but that might have been harsh on Wednesday who were very disciplined in their defence after they went down to 10 men.

Other results didn't go in the Mariners' favour, with Walsall and Barnsley winning. Rotherham drew and Crewe lost, so although their league position might not alter, it's getting congested in the bottom six.



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