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Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Troubled at Millers
By: Rob Sedgwick
FOR the second consecutive game the Mariners shot themselves in the foot, with the culprit in today's match with Rotherham being Nick Fenton. Unfortunate to be 1-0 down at half time, Town levelled the game only for the scorer Fenton to get himself sent off.
Alan Buckley named a surprise front two for the trip to South Yorkshire. Gary Jones led the line for Town, which Nick Hegarty seemingly playing just behind him. Hegarty thus had catapulted himself into contention ahead of Andy Taylor, Danny North and Nathan Jarman, Poor old Northy didn't even make the bench.
Town almost raced into an early lead. First a Nick Fenton header was cleared off the line in the first minute. Then Logan, having played a quick 1-2 with Till and got himself in an excellent position, slipped in the box at the crucial moment and the chance was gone.
Nick Fenton was adjudged to have brought down a Rotherham attacker right on the edge of the box early in the game. Fenton was fortunate to get away with a yellow card, some refs might have shown a red one as the player was facing goal when Fenton made contact.
When Newey had a shot tipped over from a free kick it was Town's third decent chance.
Rotherham's tactics seemed to be to test their former teammate Gary Montgomery, making his debut in Town's goal, for their attempts on his goal in the first half were mainly speculative shots from some way out. They also gave little chance for Town's players to dwell on the ball, hassling and harrying Grimsby's players whenever they were in possession.
Rotherham took the lead against the run of play. The ball broke to Hudson when Town's defence failed to clear the ball, and the striker slid the ball past Montgomery across the goal and into net on the far post.
Half Time: Rotherham 1 Grimsby 0
The scoreline was rough justice on Town who had looked the better team as well as having created the better chances. Sound familiar?
Alan Buckley brought on Bennett at half time for Peter Till, pushing Logan up the pitch on the right hand side of midfield. The move played dividends almost straight away when Nick Fenton headed the ball across the goal from a corner. Town visibly grew in confidence now they had got their just rewards. It was the equaliser that Town's play deserved and the mythical neutral supporter sat next to me would now have said Grimsby had a platform to go on and win the game.
Rotherham were just hitting hopeful shots mainly high above Montgomery's goal from way out, when suddenly the game changed, as is football's want. Nick Fenton, already on a yellow card, and an early candidate for Man of the Match, made a rash challenge close to the centre circle with Town in no immediate danger. The referee had no hesitation in reaching for a second yellow and Fenton apologised to his teammates as he walked off, bizarrely with Town's fans simultaneously chanting his name in celebration.
Town re-organised their side with a 3-man midfield and Andy Taylor as a replacement for Hegarty up front. It looked for a while that Town might heroically hold on (remember that 0-0 with 9 men against Rotherham?), with some heroic defending plus the Millers missing their chances. Yates sliced a golden chance straight at a grateful Montgomery and Montgomery clipped over a fierce drive from Mills.
But the inevitable happened when O'Grady rose to a deep cross, which Montgomery should perhaps have punched clear, and headed home from about 2 yards out.
Town failed to muster anything of note in the remaining minutes and also needed Montgomery to save the ball at the feet of Hudson.
Full Time: Rotherham 2 Grimsby 1
Of the new players Montgomery made a few good saves, caught a few crosses, missed the ball altogether once in the first half, and maybe was partly at fault for the second goal. Overall he had a reasonable game.
Hegarty looked out of depth playing in his forward role. His best games for Town have been on the left wing taking on players and getting crosses into the box, and must count himself lucky to have started ahead of Taylor.
Jones does not hold the ball up as well as Rankin, but at least seems to have more of an eye for goal, even if he too missed his chance today!
Man of the Match was Tom Newey, back to his best at left back and even his free kicks seemed to have improved today.
Overall it was an improvement on Wycombe and Bradford as Town at least had enough chances to win the game and but for Fenton's mistake may well have done so.
The next game is a nice easy fixture at top of the table MK Dons. Lose that and we could well be bottom.
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