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|Can it get worse?|
Shocked by the Quakers!
By: Robert Salt
DARLINGTON were the visitors for todayâ€™s game at Blundell Park which left the Mariners ruing six defeats on the trot without a single goal in return. However Town were the better team and their performance was much improved upon recent matches; they just did not get any luck this afternoon.
On a freezing cold day at Blundell Park, Grimsby Town lined up the same eleven that started and played well against Walsall on Monday night. The only surprise was that Nick Fenton did not start alongside Whitts; Fenton, who had been serving a ban, was due back today but missed the match through illness.
Town played facing the wind and it was proving quite difficult for them to put anything together; likewise Darlington were also finding it difficult with the strong wind behind them.
The early stages of the match were constant stop-start with both teams playing offside and too many passes not reaching their players. Martin Patterson had a couple of good early runs before being stopped at the last minute, and a weak backpass from the Town defence almost let in Julian Joachim. Although the speedy, much-travelled striker was straight onto it, Barnes just managed to kick the ball clear in time.
Half way through the half Whittle had to be replaced by Gary Hawkins. Whittle seemed to have picked up an injury and the captainâ€™s armband was given to Croft.
Both teams struggled to get any efforts of note on target, although The Mariners were the better team and looked more likely to score and were getting some tackles in. However, from a Darlington corner Barnes came out to claim and lost the ball, but luckily it rebounded straight to the Town 'keeper.
Just before half time, a lively Patterson run was halted. illegally according to the ref in the Darlington penalty area and Town were awarded a penalty. At last a good chance to end the goal drought! However the Darlington keeper made a good save from Toner and the chance had gone.
In the second half Town did not make any changes but continued to work hard and be the better team. It seemed only a matter of time before the breakthrough would come. However they had to be on their guard because the lively Joachim was causing the back four problems and he shot into the side netting after Darlingtonâ€™s best move of the second half.
A good move on the left by Town put Patterson in again and he somehow managed to cross the ball across the face of the goal for Gary Jones who had the simplest of tap-ins. Unfortunately Pattersonâ€™s cross surprised everybody, including Jones who missed a great chance.
Chances were very few but Town continued to be the better team, it was just they were not testing the away keeper as much as they should. Then with 10 mins left a free kick outside the area for Darlington somehow was mishit by Ryan and it travelled along the ground and somehow squirmed its way past Barnes in the Town goal.
In the last few minutes Patterson made runs into the Darlington penalty box but with no support and Darlington cleared another effort off the line as they held on to claim three points total against the run of play.
MOM: Martin Patterson : Never gave up, battled well and looked the most likely to end this alarming goal drought.
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