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Grimsby 3 Cambridge 0
By: Rob Sedgwick
THE Mariners finally returned to winning ways after four games without a win in a 3-0 victory over bottom club Cambridge, but it was never as comfortable as the scoreline suggests. For once Town took many of their better chances, with Pinault, Bull and Gritton on target for Grimsby.
The flu virus which has infected many of the residents of Blundell Park meant both Reddy and Sestanovich had to drop out of the squad, meaning a return for Pinault, playing in a more advanced role behind the front two of Parkinson and Gritton. Terrell Forbes also returned in place of Justin Whittle at the back, who looks like missing several weeks through injury.
Town got off to a bright opening, with a Pinault free kick tipped over the bar at the second attempt being the pick of their early chances. Cambridge, as they were to do so all game, looked at their most dangerous from set pieces.
Town went into the lead just after the 30 minute mark. Pinault took advantage of a hesitation in the Cambridge defence following a Gritton knock down, and slotted the ball home off the post.
Four minutes later Ronnie Bull rounded off a flowing move from one end of the pitch to the other. The ball was played out of defence to Andy Parkinson who linked up superbly with Jason Crowe. The former Pompey midfielder unselfishly squared the ball to the unmarked Bull, who scored with a perfect finish. It was probably the best team goal Town have scored this season.
Anthony Williams had to make a good save to deny U's dangerman Jermaine Easter shortly before half time.
Cambridge had most of the possession during the second half, but were restricted to only a few chances by a combination of good defending, an in-form Williams and poor finishing from the league's bottom club.
Ironically the chances Town created during the second period were generally more clear-cut than the opposition's. Andy Parkinson was put through by Pinault with only the 'keeper to beat in one of Town's rare breaks, but forced a good save out of Ruddy.
Substitute Darren Mansaram almost scored a superb individual goal with his first touch, but his final shot was woeful after doing the hard part to get in that position.
And finally, on their last break of the game deep in injury time, the impressive Pinault once again set up a goal for his team mates. The Frenchman crossed to Gritton, who cleverly chipped the 'keeper to score his first ever goal for the Mariners.
Town are now five points off the play-offs, but they have a game in hand over most of the other teams in the division.
A full report will appear later.
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