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Bristol Rovers 3 Grimsby 0

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 05/02/2005

THE mini-revival of Town's away form came to an end this afternoon at a damp and miserable Memorial Ground, Bristol. Three first half goals by Rovers sowed things up for the Pirates, but the scoreline flattered the West Country club, with Grimsby squandering several good chances during the game.

Russell Slade fielded the same team that beat Cheltenham last week, with Justin Whittle coming back from an ankle injury to start on the bench being the only chance to the squad.

Town got off to a bright start and should have been 2-0 up after just 20 minutes. Their first chance fell to Gritton, who found himself with his back to goal about 2 yards out. But the Scot's turn and shot was somehow saved by Ryan Clarke from close range.

Michael Reddy had Town's second good chance when he was put through on goal, but could only shoot straight at the Rovers 'keeper.

Anthony Williams then gave a taste of things to come when he failed to catch two straightforward crosses in the box, but Town got away with it on this occasion after the ball was cleared.

Rovers then went 1-0 up with their first decent chance of the game. The ball fell to James Hunt, about 20 yards out, whose blasted shot looked to take a slight deflection on the way into the back of the net. Parky almost scored straight from the restart, but the 'keeper managed to get a foot to the ball.

Rovers then made it 2-0 with another well taken goal from distance, this time by Ryan Williams. With Town continuing to create and waste chances, the Pirates then went 3-0 up when Walker beat the offside trap and skillfully lobbed Williams.

The first half ended 3-0, which was very harsh on Grimsby, who had created more chances in the 45 minutes than the home side. Town's defence once again looked fragile, with Williams having a poor game in goal.

In the second half Rovers were content to sit back and defend their lead, and Town failed to create as many clear-cut chances. A cameo appearance from Graham Hockless in the last 15 minutes failed to break down the Bristol club. Overall the performance was not that far from last week's victory over Cheltenham, the difference being that this week Grimsby didn't take their chances.

With Jason Crowe and Ronnie Bull due to return next week against Shrewsbury, Town can hope to field a more balanced team than the makeshift line-up of the last two games.


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