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Notts County 0 Grimsby 1

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/02/2006

MICHAEL Reddy once again was the hero for the Mariners as a makeshift Grimsby side overcame the disappointment of losing the two previous two games and battled for all three points at Notts County to draw level with joint leaders Carlisle and Wycombe.

Russell Slade was forced to make a series of changes against his former club to accommodate his new signings as well as those forced by injury. Rob Jones missed out through a groin strain, which meant Slade elected to play Tom Newey at centre back alongside Ben Futcher. Gary Croft played at left back and Gary Cohen featured out of position at right back now Matt Bloomer has returned to Lincoln.

New signings Goodfellow and Woodhouse both started in midfield. Gary Jones is still a week or two from returning to the first team so Michael Reddy had a new partner up front in the form of Junior Mendes. Andy Parkinson made a rare start on the bench.

Town's attacking line-up led to an open start to the game, although neither side really came close to scoring. Dangerman Michael Reddy was put through after five minutes, but a last gasp defensive challenge stopped Town's leading scorer from shooting.

County also survived an early penalty appeal, when Reddy was brought down in the box.

At the other end Ben Futcher conceded a dangerous free kick just outside the box, but Mildenhall was equal to Dadi's attempt on goal.

Bolland, who was playing on the right wing, received his fifth booking of the season for a late challenge and will miss next weekend's Lincolnshire derby against Boston.

Former Mariner Mike Edwards had County's best chance of the first half when he latched onto to a far post cross, but his free header went sailing over the bar.

Grimsby broke the deadlock just before half-time. A cross-field defence splitting pass by Tom Newey produced a perfect ball at the feet of Michael Reddy, who fired a low shot past the County 'keeper to give Grimsby the lead.

After half-time Michael Reddy was foolishly antagonised by the County defenders, and ended up being booked after a "handbags" incident with Wilson, who also received a yellow card.

At this stage of the game Town were put under relentless pressure by County, but their makeshift defence held firm, with Ben Futcher a rock at the back for the Mariners.

After another altercation between Reddy and Baudet, Town's leading scorer was given a stiff talking to by the referee, and was lucky not to be shown a red card.

Dadi had a great chance for County when he was allowed to run into box but failed to make contact with ball after it was whipped at pace into his trajectory.

County had other chances to draw level. Dadi again was in a good position, but his header was directed straight at Mildenhall. Town's 'keeper also made a brilliant save when he somehow retrieved the ball from between his legs whilst lying on the ground from a close-in Baudet shot.

With time running out for County, Mendes had a great chance on the break to make it two but the 'keeper managed to grab the ball before Town's makeshift striker could get a shot in.

Town negotiated their way through the final few minutes to collect a much-needed win. It was a good all-round performance, when Michael Reddy once again showed his worth and was the most lethal striker on the pitch. Reddy was probably the difference between the two sides, vindicating the Grimsby board's decision not to cash in on their most valuable asset.

The defence was outstanding, and the new-look midfield worked hard for the win against a well-organised County side, who could well go on and reach the play-offs.

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