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Grimsby 0-3 Forest
By: Richard Lord
UNCHARACTERISTIC errors from Danny Coyne and Paul Groves attributed to a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest. Jamaican international David Johnson scored a hat-trick and a second half sending off marred Tony Gallimore's return to the side.
The return of the left back was the only change to the side that began against Sheffield United on Tuesday evening. In the early stages it appeared Town were playing a defensive 4-5-1 formation.
Campbell played very narrow and Robinson drifted onto the right wing when Forest had possession. The opening 20 minutes were dull, but the signs were there as Harewood and Johnson combined well.
Chettle and Groves had their work cut out at the back, while Coldicott and Pouton were struggling to make a mark on the game. Forest's full backs Brennan and Louis-Jean got forward at every opportunity.
The game's first goal arrived via an error of judgment by Coyne. A deflected hooked cross from the right was not dealt with and in nipped Johnson, rising highest against Coyne and the ball drifted into the net.
The first half petered out, with only a tame Stacy Coldicott shot from the edge of the area troubling Coyne's opposite number. Campbell skewed a volley horribly wide from a cleared corner.
Harewood should have made it two but missed an absolute sitter at the far post following good work by Johnson. Prutton and Bopp were the driving force in an impressive Forest midfield.
The Mariners began the second half well with some neat one-twos, and Forest were forced onto the back foot. Kabba twice looked like beating his last man, only to stand on the ball or push it that bit too far.
Ford replaced Chettle after the former Forest and Barnsley defender seemed to pull up suffering from an injury. Ford slotted in alongside Groves in a straight swap.
A frustrating afternoon for the Mariners got worse when Gallimore saw red following a late challenge on Eugen Bopp. The tackle left the central midfielder prostrate but he was eventually able to continue.
That left Barnard covering at left back with the rest of the Town team over-stretched. The powerful Robinson always looked a threat and Kabba came close but the two never combined to create chances.
Passes were going astray, and a disjointed performance from the home team got worse when Groves brought down Johnson in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. The player/manager avoided further punishment.
Johnson stepped up and stroked the ball into the bottom right corner to send Forest 2-0 up with four minutes to play. Four minutes of injury time were also added on, and it was in added time that Johnson completed his hat-trick.
Forest threatened to score on several occasions before the third arrived. Johnson played the ball passed two Town defenders before appearing to push it too far but he adjusted to slot the ball past Coyne to make it 3-0.
Although Coldicott was sacrificed for Mansaram at 1-0, the youngster had little impact on the final outcome. Playing three up front after being reduced to ten men, it was little wonder that Town were caught out at the other end.
Only Robinson's performance was worthy of mention, and the whole of the back line looked shaky before Gallimore was sent off. It's now five straight League defeats for Grimsby, and they are now seven points adrift of safety.
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