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20Leyton Orient6-74
23Newport County6-91
24Notts County6-101

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Grimsby 1-1 Bournemouth

By: Richard Lord
Date: 13/03/2004

JONNY Rowan was given a surprise recall to the Grimsby Town side that drew 1-1 with Bournemouth at Blundell Park this afternoon. The striker, whose contract is up in the summer, put the Mariners ahead early in the game but Paul Warhurst's own goal denied Nicky Law's men the three points.

Just over 5000 fans turned up to witness the new manager's first home game and for long periods it looked as though his resilient side would hold out for a much-needed victory.

However, Bournemouth worked hard all afternoon and deservedly equalised 17 minutes from time when Town debutant Warhurst turned in a cross past the stranded Alan Fettis.

Law chose to utilise four central defenders as Town's back four, with Barnard moving to the left midfield spot. Coldicott and Campbell played in the centre with John Thorrington starting on the right. Jevons moved up front alongside Rowan.

Unfortunately the match was spoilt by a referee who was more concerned about taking centre stage himself. He made six first half bookings - four of them Town players - and only one was probably deserved.

Bournemouth had a goal disallowed for offside but it came from a ridiculous decision by the referee. The visitors won a free kick, for which the official whistled for, but then proceeded to wave play-on. Several Town players stopped on hearing the whistle.

Warren Feeney was then guilty of diving when a superb Greg Young challenge dispossessed the tricky striker.

The second half produced very little goalmouth action, with many players holding back from challenging due to ridiculous first half cautions.

Good work by Rowan down the right found Jevons free in the box but the delivery was just inches behind Town's top scorer.

Hamilton replaced Coldicott but the change failed to change the pattern of the game. Bournemouth enjoyed plenty of possession before equalising through the Warhurst error.

Fettis then pulled off an amazing one-handed save to keep the Mariners level, before Hockless and Mansaram were brought on late in the game for Thorrington and Rowan respectively.

The game petered out, and even a late surge by the Mariners couldn't change the predictable outcome.

Five Town players were booked in a game that was played out, on the whole, by two sporting teams. There were no bad tackles or challenges in this game where seven players were booked.

The point helps Town climb closer to the 50-point mark, but with bottom teams beating higher teams in the past few weeks, this total might not be enough.

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