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Grimsby 0 Shrewsbury 1

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 12/02/2005

THE Mariners slumped to their third consecutive home defeat at the hands of lowly Shrewsbury this afternoon, and virtually ended any lingering hopes of reaching the play-offs this season.

Russell Slade, as expected, started with Graham Hockless on the left wing, and Ronnie Bull returned at left back. Martin Gritton was adjudged fit enough to start in a 4-4-2 formation.

A disappointing first half saw the lacklustre Mariners generally outplayed by Shrewsbury, who seemed to have a greater desire to win than Town.

Town had an early chance when a Reddy knock-down was volleyed goalwards by Gritton, but the 'keeper managed to block the shot.

The Shrews went ahead from a free kick conceded by a rash Hockless challenge just outside the area. Sedgemore took the kick, which took a slight deflection and went past a stranded Anthony Williams in front of the Pontoon.

Williams was twice called into action to make saves in the first half, and Walton should have done better for the Shrews with a free header from a corner.

Town's other chances in the first half were limited to a Hockless free kick which went just over and a couple of half chances which fell to Parkinson and Reddy.

After the break Grimsby had almost all of the play, with Shrewsbury choosing to waste time at every opportunity. The Mariners went close on several occasions, and were unfortunate not to score an equaliser in the second period.

Reddy forced the Shrews' 'keeper into a save early in the second period from a narrow angle. Gritton had a shot which went agonisingly wide, grazing the post. Then in the final minute a Pinault shot bounced off the foot of the post.

For the second game running Town did not play well, but neither did they have any luck in front of goal. This time Russell Slade amazingly decided not to use any substitutes, or even change the formation of the players on the pitch.

Town's only realistic target this season now is to avoid the bottom two relegation places by at least ten points, with the possibility they may be forced into administration - should they be unable to pay their tax bill of around £750K.

A full report will appear later.

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