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Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Swindon Spank Town
By: Rob Sedgwick
TOWN were emphatically beaten by Swindon this afternoon, with the Robins putting three goals past Phil Barnes to once again leave the Mariners precariously close to the relegation zone.
For the first half hour of this match, however, Town more than held their own and, if anything, looked a marginally better side than Swindon. Grimsby, however, failed to make the most of their possession during their best spell and indeed rarely threatened their opponent's goal throughout the entire game.
Peter Bore was prominent in the early stages of the game, running at defenders, and looking dangerous, but failed to deliver the final ball on almost every occasion. Tony Thorpe, too, seemed fired up against one of his former sides, and covered a lot of ground, but never really looked like scoring.
Town's only significant effort of the first half was a Toner attempted lob of the 'keeper which went over the bar, although they did have a couple of penalty shouts turned down.
Folawiyo Onibuje, Swindon's huge Nigerian striker, was a thorn in the Mariners' side, not least for his attempts to con the referee into giving free kicks against him. Fortunately the referee never fell for one of Onibuje's dives in the box, when he narrowly failed to latch onto an underhit Bore backpass, and there were loud shouts for a penalty.
It was the 6'7" striker who created the first decent chance of the game when he completely skinned Andy Butler on 32 minutes, and burst into the box. Although his cross was dangerous, Town still seemed to have the opportunity to clear it, which they failed to do as it ricocheted into the path of Pook, who had a simple tap-in.
At that stage Town still looked capable of getting back into the game but a goal just before half time put Swindon out of reach. Monkhouse was allowed space at the edge of the box to have a shot, which he blasted in giving Barnes no chance.
A half time lead of 2-0 flattered Swindon as it did not reflect the balance of play.
After the break Town's best chances all came from free kicks which Swindon kept conceding in decent positions, but they didn't really trouble Peter Brezovan, who dealt comfortably will Town's corners as well.
The Mariners were given a slim hope when Ricky Ravenhill, in his eagerness to get the ball, seemed to accidentally stamp on Brezovan, who after lengthy treatment was eventually stretchered off (above). Swindon had no 'keeper on the bench, so had to play for the last 15 minutes with defender Ady Williams in goal.
Williams however failed to be troubled by what shots Grimsby could muster, and in fact it was Swindon who put the game beyond reach with a classy goal by Peacock, who lobbed Barnes, the ball bouncing into the net off the underside of the bar.
Swindon were superior in every department to the Mariners. First and foremost they were defensively strong, which meant Town were unlikely to score. Secondly they made the most of their chances. Town can draw some comfort from the fact that the matched the Robins for the first third of the game, but if you don't create chances you won't win games.
Barnes played better than he has done and was not at fault for any of the goals (with the possible exception of the third), Fenton was the pick of the defenders, Ravenhill the most effective midfielder, and Tony Thorpe less worse than Gary Jones.
With the next three league fixtures being against Peterborough, MK Dons and Wycombe it looks like being a difficult period for the Mariners in the next few weeks, and a nervous time for Graham Rodger's career prospects.
Man Of The Match Ricky Ravenhill
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