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Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Stockport 2 Grimsby 1

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 25/04/2004

A first half capitulation by Grimsby gifted Stockport a two goal lead which proved a mountain for the Mariners to climb, despite a spirited come-back in the second half.

On just six minutes Jon Daly put the Hatters 1-0 up with a close-range volley, despite appearing to be in an offside position. Within five minutes it was the turn of Danny Jackman whose close-range shot following a defensive mix-up made it 2-0 to Stockport.

It should have been 3-0 shortly after when Wilbraham somehow managed to hit the crossbar with the goal at his mercy following a save by Fettis from Daly.

Town finally started to come into the game more in the second half and went close when a Phil Jevons volley hit the crossbar. The introduction of substitute Graham Hockless, though, for Darren Mansaram was the turning point of the half. Hockless' impact was almost immediate when a 40-year blast flew into the top corner, with 20 minutes left, to give the Mariners a precious lifeline.

The rest of the game was almost all Grimsby pressure, although Stockport's timewasting probably restricted the last 20 minutes to just 10 of actual play. Town had a penalty appeal turned down, Iain Anderson went close with a shot in the dying seconds, but ultimately the task proved to be beyond Grimsby.

The defeat leaves Town needing to win their final two games to have a realistic chance of staying up. Anything but victory against Brentford on Saturday at Blundell Park would make a second successive relegation a certainty.




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