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Grimsby 2-1 Brighton

By: Richard Lord
Date: 14/02/2004

Grimsby Town responded to the dismal 6-0 thrashing at Oldham last Sunday in exactly the right fashion by defeating Play-Off hopefuls Brighton 2-1 at Blundell Park this afternoon.

Stacy Coldicott was the surprise inclusion as Town looked to take maximum points for the first time since their 3-1 win at Brentford in late November.

Rankin and Mansaram were the striking partnership for the afternoon, and Simon Ford stepped into the defence in place of Mike Edwards.

Rankin made it a perfect start for himself and his Mariners team-mates when he hooked in a shot from just inside the area to put Town 1-0 up.

Unfortunately the referee constantly fell for Leon Knight's diving antics - a player who was ultimately sent off in midweek for such actions.

Barnard, Crane, Crowe and Daws all received yellow cards in a first half littered with innocuous challenges, but the referee appeared to take more lenient action against the Brighton players.

Trevor Benjamin equalised when he unintentionally deflected a shot past Davison and Barnard just failed to clear off the line.

However, in the second half Grimsby stepped up a gear and began to seriously test the Hove Albion keeper with a string of testing crosses.

The keeper finally made a mistake that won the game for the home side. Anderson's shot squirmed away from Jones and Jevons, on as a sub for Mansaram, followed up and forced the keeper over the line.

The linesman gave the goal, and to Brighton's dismay, the referee agreed. The wet and greasy surface certainly had a part to play in the incident.

The goal almost made up for the penalty decision that was turned down by the referee when Mayo first handballed and then followed up with a clumsy tackle on Anderson.

In the final stages, Aidan Davison was sent off for an alleged head butt aimed at Trevor Benjamin, but it is unknown what the provocation was.

Des Hamilton took the keeper's jersey for the final minutes of injury time before the referee blew for full time.

It was an excellent performance by the Mariners under the circumstances. They hustled and harried and ultimately got what they thoroughly deserved.

Unfortunately, Blundell Park was host to yet another weak referee, who had trouble keeping things balanced and under control.

But these are precious points for Town, who will now have to regroup and prepare for the division's form team in Bristol City, who arrive on Tuesday night.

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