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Notts County 2 Grimsby 2
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY capitulated a two goal lead at Notts County this afternoon, conceding two late free kicks to eventually draw 2-2 in a game they should have had sewn up. Parkinson and Crowe gave the Mariners a two goal cushion before the two long-range strikes brought Grimsby down to earth.
Town lined up as expected and played with three at the back, with Pinault, Bull and Reddy all on the bench.
Gritton and Parkinson linked up well in the opening half hour and it was those two which engineered the opening goal. The Scot neatly rounded a defender, and delivered a perfect cross to Parkinson, who cooly slotted the ball home.
The same double act almost delivered a repeat performance within five minutes, but the County 'keeper managed to smother the ball at Parkinson's feat.
Town got a warning just before half time when Hurst could only shoot straight at Williams from close range. The Welshman saved Town again immediately after half time with a save to his right.
A mistake in the Notts County defence led to a tap-in for Jason Crowe, and Grimsby were 2-0 up. Town then brought on two substitutes, both as a result of injuries, with Gritton making way for Reddy and Coldicott for Pinault.
The game became increasingly open in the second period, and Town had a number of opportunities to increase their lead with promising breaks. Jason Crowe several times broke away, only to fail each time to pass the ball to a team mate in a promising position. Parkinson, likewise, didn't capitalise on some good positions in the County box.
With ten minutes to go Grimsby conceded a free kick some distance out. With most people, including Williams, expecting Oakes to cross the ball into the box, he instead elected to shoot at goal and Williams failed to get a hand to it.
Ironically County's next free kick was in a much more dangerous position, but it was deflected just over - although the referee (who made several curious decisions) decided to award a goal kick,
The equaliser came from another long range free kick, which Oakes blasted in, with Williams once left again stranded.
The result was symptomatic of Town's season: should have done better.
A full report will appear later.
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