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Millwall 2-0 Grimsby

By: Richard Lord
Date: 31/08/2002

VETERAN striker Steve Claridge proved to be the Mariners' undoing this afternoon as his two goals helped seal a 2-0 win for Millwall at the New Den. It was yet another poor attacking performance from Grimsby and they have now made it just one goal in six games.

Paul Groves decided to stick with the 4-5-1 formation for this afternoon's game, with midfielder Alan Pouton returning to the starting line-up in place of Terry Cooke, with Stuart Campbell moving to the right wing.

Other than that it was an unchanged side to face an under-par Millwall. Despite a bright opening by the visitors, a howler by defender Steve Chettle gave Claridge the perfect opportunity to open the scoring.

A terrible attempt of a back-pass went straight to the 36-year old who buried the chance. That put the Mariners on the back foot, and soon after Chettle had to leave the field and Cooke entered the fray with Groves dropping back into the defence.

Neil Harris hit the post soon after and Claridge failed to covert the rebound when presented with the ball 12 yards out. Warner in the Millwall goal was never really tested and it didn't appear to get better in the second half.

Pouton was poor in the centre of the park, and the isolated Kabba once again ran his socks off without success, and he again proved to be the Mariners' most attacking threat.

Claridge made it 2-0 on the hour when he pounced on the ball after Coyne had initially saved well from Tim Cahill. Robinson and Jevons entered the fray later in the half but they had little effect on a game that was drifting away from Grimsby.

The result means that Town have picked up just two points from a possible 18 and have scored just one goal in 540 minutes of football. Once more, it was against a side that had only scored two goals before today.

The Mariners are still searching for their first win of the season, and it looks to be a little while longer before that arrives after news that the Ipswich match next Saturday has definitely been called off.

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