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Grimsby 0-2 Coventry

By: Richard Lord
Date: 01/03/2003

AN unfortunate Simon Ford own goal and a John Eustace penalty that should never had been gave Coventry City the three points but it didn't hide the fact that Grimsby deserved to lose.

As expected Paul Groves dropped to the bench to allow Alan Pouton back into the side. Boulding was the only true striker on the pitch with Oster playing in the role between midfield and attack.

The Mariners got off to a good start with their best work coming down the right hand side involving McDermott, Campbell, Oster and Boulding. However, the opening goal on 17 minutes knocked the stuffing out of the home side.

Richie Partridge skipped past one challenge and drifted in a dangerous cross that was headed past Coyne by his own defender Ford. From there the game went flat with Coventry happy to just retain possession.

Town applied some pressure towards the end of the half with a series of corners but it only proved to be heading practice for Davenport and Konjic. The pair had the measure of Town's attack from start to finish.

Unfortunately the expected rise in effort and determination never materialised for the home side and a second goal by the visitors effectively killed the game off - although it came about in controversial circumstances.

Joachim wriggled past one challenge and then got in front of McDermott before Ford appeared to toe-poke the ball out for a corner but the referee disagreed and pointed straight to the spot.

This came about five minutes after Chippo was cautioned for diving outside the Town penalty area, despite receiving some treatment. John Eustace dispatched the spot kick off the underside of the bar.

Chippo was then guilty of the miss of the season. Partridge's shot was parried away by Coyne straight to the feet of the Moroccan but he managed to place his shot wide from six yards out with the whole goal to aim for.

Chances at the other end were few and far between. Mansaram replaced Pouton and Boulding was later taken off to be replaced by Livingstone.

Campbell had a good opportunity to pull a goal back when McDermott's surging run and pull-back found the winger but he was put off by two defenders who crowded him out.

Groves came on for Coldicott in the last few minutes as Grimsby threw everything forward in an attempt to rescue something from the game but they never managed to get past a solid Sky Blues defence.

Fortunately for the Mariners, the defeat doesn't alter anything at the bottom of the table after the three other relegation candidates were all defeated leaving Town in the same predicament as they were going into today's match.

However, the manner of the defeat and the lack of goalmouth action gives Groves plenty of food for thought ahead of the crunch tie with Sheffield United at Blundell Park this Tuesday night

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