Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Northampton 0 Grimsby 0
By: Rob Sedgwick
TOWN held on at in-form Northampton to earn themselves a draw which extended their historic unbeaten sequence of away games to nine. Although Northampton had by far the bulk of the possession and chances, Toner missed a golden opportunity to grab all three points at the death.
Town's midweek exertions against the Geordies in the cup meant Reddy could only make the bench alongside Gary Jones, whereas Parky was missing altogether from the squad through injury. This provided an opportunity for Gritton to partner Andrew up front and Toner to begin on he left side of midfield.
The loudest cheer of the day was reserved for Justin Whittle, Alan Shearer's adversary in midweek, when he emerged onto the pitch for the pre-match warm-up.
Former Mariner Jason Crowe started in the Cobblers line-up at left back, although he ended the game playing on the right side of defence following a first half injury in the Northampton back four.
It took just 3 minutes for Northampton's first serious attempt on goal. A instinctive Lowe flick from a cross fortunately was directed straight at Mildenhall.
After ten minutes Whittle brought down Crowe and was fortunate not to be booked, especially after all the recent media attention directed at the former Tiger. From the resultant free kick, dangerman Mendes headed over the bar from a good position.
As in the Newcastle game the Mariners set their stall out to defend at all costs. Andrew frequently seemed to drop back into midfield, and Cohen at times acted as a second right back alongside Macca as Town got all hands to the rearguard pumps.
Mildenhall was then caught off his line and a long shot by a Northampton player fortunately sailed just wide of the open goal.
Whittle almost ended an eventful week by heading the ball into his own goal, but the ball went over the bar for a corner, and shortly afterwards a McGleish shot likewise went just over Mildenhall's goal
The Mariners hardly had a serious effort on goal all half, with a Gritton miss-hit strike the closest they came to scoring.
The second half was more even after Reddy was brought on for Andrew with half an hour remaining. Nevertheless, the Grimsby fans amused themselves by tossing a monkey around the away end in the absence of much entertainment on the pitch.
Mendes had two good opportunities for Northampton with a close-range header going over, and a shot straight at Mildenhall.
But it was Toner who had the best chance of the game. A defensive mistake saw the ball break to substitute Gary Jones, who unselfishly crossed to the unmarked Toner who had an open goal at his mercy. The former Imp could only volley the ball wide of the goal. It was a golden chance, but would have been a sucker punch to Northampton who had dominated virtually the whole game.
Andy Kirk came on in the last few minutes and a had a great chance to win the game for the Cobblers, but his shot too went just wide.
So Town survived to grab a valuable point, partly through their own solid defending and partly through Northampton missing what chances came their way. Grimsby missed Reddy's pace up front, which has been a huge factor in many of their away wins this season, but Town now have a week in which to rest before their next game against Macclesfield at Blundell Park.
For man of the match there is no need to look further than the ubiquitous Rob Jones, who once again majestically commanded Town's rearguard. Mildenhall looked solid and hardworking; Bolland was the pick of the midfielders. Grimsby's strikers, when they weren't back helping the defence, only really came to life when Reddy came off the bench.
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