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Shrews 1 Grimsby 1 - Grim Rob's Report!
By: Rob Sedgwick
TOWN held on for a point at picturesque Gay Meadow last night, despite going into an early lead and looking the better side for the first 45 minutes.
Russell Slade elected to start with former Shrew Colin Cramb on the bench, choosing to employ his favoured configuration of Reddy, Sestanovich and Parkinson up front. The extra bite of Stacy Coldicott was preferred in midfield to the continental flair of Pinault, who was left on the bench.
Town got off to the perfect start when a Dean Gordon corner ricocheted back to the former Palace full back. Gordon blasted a low, hard cross into the box, which ended up at the feet of Terry Fleming. The former Cambridge defender made no mistake and scored his first ever goal for the Mariners.
Town's best chance to increase their lead in the first half fell to Parkinson, who blasted wide from a Sestanovich cross.
Early goals away from home are a frequent curse of Grimsby, and it looked like the Shrews were back in the game when a penalty was awarded for a push on danger man Luke Rodgers by Jason Crowe - it was the second of several penalty appeals for Shrewsbury on the night. Rodgers stepped up to take the kick, hitting it low to Williams' right in front of the Town supporters. The Welsh keeper managed to save the ball, and it was eventually cleared, to the delight of the visiting fans.
The ever-dangerous Rodgers almost levelled for the Shrews just before half time when a slip by a Town defender allowed him in, but Williams made a great save to keep Grimsby's noses in front.
Terry Fleming was booked after the half time whistle for what appeared to be a case of "handbags".
The game became increasingly open in the second half, with both sides having a number of good chances to score. Veteran John McDermott was at the heart of most of Grimsby's attacks, creating chances for Reddy and Parkinson, and having a number of shots on goals himself.
As the half progressed, however, the Shrews became the dominant force, and Town were forced to hang on to their lead with some desperate defending and last-ditch tackles. The Mariners conceded an enormous number of free kicks from around the edge of the box, and it was from one of these that the Shrews scored a deserved equaliser.
Ironically after all the hard work and good defending, it was a mistake which allowed the Shrews to finally draw level with 13 minutes to go. A Jack Sedgemore free kick should have been a straightforward catch for Williams, but it skidded through the Welshman's fingers on the wet surface and into the net.
Town did well not to concede another goal before the final whistle and hung on, for what in the end, was a good away point. The draw continues their unbeaten run in the league to six games. Next up is a difficult trip to nearby Chester
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