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Grimsby 3-3 Preston

By: Richard Lord
Date: 16/11/2002

GRIMSBY Town were cruelly denied three points this afternoon as Preston fought back from 3-1 down to take a share of the spoils inside the last ten minutes.

The return of Pouton resulted in the manager dropping himself from the side that won at Stoke last week. Coldicott continued in midfield amongst an otherwise unchanged side.

Only three minutes had elapsed when Stuart Campbell's quick thinking handed the Mariners the lead following a goalkeeping howler from Preston's Teuvo Moilinen.

The equaliser came after 27 minutes following a free kick that had been advanced ten yards resulting also in a yellow card for Pouton. Creswell tapped home from two yards out when the Town defence failed to deal with the free kick.

The first half belonged to the visitors but the home side began to control proceedings after the break. Mansaram saw a shot flash just wide after turning Mariners' old loanee Marlon Broomes.

Town regained the lead on the hour when Simon Ford out-jumped Moilinen to head in. Broomes was booked after pulling back Pouton from the left, and when the delivery wasn't dealt with by the Preston defence, Mansaram's cross coaxed the Finnish keeper out of his goal but Ford arrived first to score.

Manager Paul Groves brought himself on in place of a tired Coldicott and his presence had an immediate impact. From defending a corner, Mansaram broke out, holding Broomes off before finding Livingstone free down the left.

Livingstone pulled the ball back to Mansaram who took one touch before hammering a volley into the top right hand corner beyond the diving Moilinen.

At that point the game looked safe but a lapse of concentration by Ford resulted in a penalty and a red card for the youngster when he brought down Healy inside the area.

Alexander tucked the spot kick into the bottom left corner to make it 3-2 with six minutes left.

The sucker punch arrived with one minute left when a corner was headed back across goal and Etuhu nodded the equaliser.

At that point there only appeared to be one winner, but the Mariners could have snatched the victory in stoppage time, but they failed to create a chance from two free kicks and a corner.

The draw means it keeps Town out of the bottom three and makes it five unbeaten at Blundell Park - and also four undefeated in the league.

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