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Grimsby 2 Kidderminster 1
By: Rob Sedgwick
TOWN hung on to grab a 2-1 win against Kidderminster, despite completely dominating the first 45 minutes of the game to go into a 2-0 lead. After the break, though, it was a different story with bottom club Harriers pulling one back and then having the chances to rescue an unlikely point.
Town started the game with a 4-4-2 formation as follows: Macca, Whittle, Jones, Bull; Sestanovich, Crowe, Pinault, Gordon; Cramb, Parkinson. From the first minute to the last of the first half Town created good chances on a regular basis. Cramb and Parkinson both went close on a number of occasions, with the former having a shot which hit the underside of the bar and just bounced the wrong side of the line; the latter had several chances, closest of which was a shot cleared of the line.
But it was Dean Gordon who put Town 1-0 up with a great finish, picking his spot to place the ball into the top corner of the net on just 9 minutes. Within 15 minutes Pinault had added a second with a side-foot volley from the edge of the box, as Grimsby totally dominated the game.
Just before the break Town had a warning when a Ronnie Bull slip let in dangerman Simon Brown, who forced Williams to make a good save,
Two substitutions by former Town midfielder Shaun Cunnington - now caretaker boss of Harriers - either side of the break, completely changed the shape of the game. New signing Pedro Matias came on up front at half time and forced Williams to make a save within a minute of his introduction.
Town had another scare on the hour mark when a Simon Brown shot hit the post. Grimsby should then have scored themselves when Andy Parkinson threw himself at the ball in a great position, but his head failed to make contact.
Shortly afterwards Harriers finally got the goal their play had been threatening. Matias lashed in a shot which beat Williams in the Grimsby goal.
The West Midlands club should have equalised when a great chance fell to Darryn Stamp, but he wasted a great opportunity, shooting straight at Williams.
Town held on to record three valuable points, but in a most unconvincing fashion. Their next game is a trip to Essex on Friday night when they face Southend. Whether Russell Slade with persevere with 4-4-2, revert to 3-4-3, or play some other formation is not a problem today's performance will readily suggest an answer to.
The win moves Grimsby up the table to within just four points of the play-offs.
A full report will appear later.
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