Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Barnet 0 Grimsby 1
By: Rob Sedgwick
TOWN'S revival under Alan Buckley continued with a hard-fought away win at Barnet, a match which was decided by a first half Martin Paterson goal.
Grimsby made one change, with the injured Paul Bolland's central midfield position being taken by Ricky Ravenhill. Around 300 Town fans, amongst them in the crowd were many unfamiliar faces, gathered on the covered terracing at Underhill, bringing back memories of yesteryear - including authentic period features such as the view of two corner flags being impeded by people standing in front of you.
Conditions were not ideal for football with a strong wind giving Barnet the advantage in the first half. Barnet from the off looked strong both from set pieces and balls whipped into the box at pace which gave Town's defence a lot of problems.
Despite Barnet having the bulk of the early possession, and Town not firing on all cylinders, it was the Mariners who took the lead. A delightfully weighted ball from Hegarty put the hitherto quiet Paterson through. The on-loan Stroke striker masterfully rounded the 'keeper and almost walked the ball into the net - a goal which no doubt had Alan Buckley purring in the away dugout.
Barnet should have equalised when yet another ball whipped into the box fell perfectly to Liam Hatch, whose bullet header sailed inches over the bar.
In the second half Barnet were forced to push increasingly forward, which led to a lot of possession in the Town box, but also to gaps at the back which Town could exploit. In fact Grimsby had a hatful of chances in the second half to increase their lead. Till, Jones and Paterson linked up effectively, but all three were guilty of failing to take their chances when in goalscoring positions.
Paterson in particular almost scored a brilliant individual goal when he beat three men and slotted the ball past the 'keeper only to see it strike the foot of the post.
At the other end Barnet's pumped balls into the box pushed Town's defence to the limits, but the back four were outstanding, and when they were beaten Phil Barnes was forced to make a brilliant reflex save to deny Graham.
A late Barnet effort was cleared off the line, and even their 'keeper had an attempt on goal when he came up for a late corner.
Grimsby rode their luck on occasions but overall their defence was magnificent, with Whittle and especially Fenton rocks at the heart of it. In a remarkably short period of time Alan Buckley has transformed our back five into a solid unit, without any changes of personnel.
Of the loanees Paterson and Till in particular have been outstanding in the two games so far and Grimsby must do everything they can to keep these players at the club for as long as possible.
The win sees the Mariners increase the gap between themselves and the danger zone. Another three points at home to Shrewsbury on Saturday would lift Grimsby to within sniffing distance of the play-offs.
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