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Terry Cooke's Up The Magic
By: Richard Lord
A TREMENDOUS second half performance by Grimsby gave them a deserved point at Norwich this afternoon. Terry Cooke grabbed the all-important goal on his debut after 84 minutes to silence the home supporters as the game finished 1-1.
For Norwich it means their assault on the play-offs is temporarily halted, whereas for the Mariners it may prove to be a priceless point, which will surely go a long way to help in their Division One survival.
After injuries were sustained to Allen and Boulding, it gave Falconer and Robinson a chance to impress up front. Campbell was also missing and as predicted, Cooke replaced him but he and Butterfield swapped wings. Cooke featured on the right.
It was the worst possible start for Grimsby as Nielsen's work won a corner and experienced campaigner Mackay nodded in at the far post to get Norwich on their way.
It was a storming opening from the Canaries and they could have added to their goal but Coyne and some desperate defending kept the score at 1-0.
It was a competitive first half and Gallimore was lucky not to be given his marching orders after swiping out in frustration. He was shown a yellow card, as was Groves and Coldicott in the first half.
Norwich controlled the game but towards the end of the half it was Town who put the pressure on the home defence. A succession of corners yielded nothing but Grimsby went into the break hopeful of turning the game around in the second half.
From the kick off Norwich were completely overrun all over the park as the Mariners dictated the play. There were no signs that Norwich were pushing for Premiership football next season as Grimsby taught the home side a lesson in the art of football.
Norwich could hardly get a kick and it was just a matter of time until Grimsby got the equaliser. That didn't come until six minutes from time, after Steve Livingstone was brought on for Willie Falconer.
Gallimore punted the ball forward and Livingstone nodded on for Cooke to thump home from inside the area. It was a thoroughly deserved goal that had been coming all half.
Norwich's defence is the second best in the league and Grimsby have the worst goal record away from home, but there was no element of surprise about this particular match. Norwich's first half display won them the point but all three could have so easily gone to the Mariners.
Groves had earlier rattled the bar and also glanced a header agonisingly wide before the equaliser came. Pouton's driving runs through midfield caused the home side trouble and Cooke looked increasingly confident as the match went on.
Whilst Norwich looked a threat on the break, they were made to look like the away side as Grimsby eventually got what their play had deserved. Well, not quite. Another goal would have done!
Walsall beat Stockport but it was the Saddlers who were the only winners of today. Barnsley got thumped at Manchester City and Wednesday lost at home to Forest. Crewe face Palace at home tomorrow, and Rotherham travel to West Brom.
It leaves the Mariners on 47 points and in 21st place, with Barnsley and Crewe below them. A win against Burnley next week is a must but they have the momentum from this match at Carrow Road to push forward and get that vital victory.
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