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Shocked by Quakers
By: Rob Sedgwick
ANY hopes of a Mariners revival after the 3-0 win at Barnet took a severe battering tonight at home to Darlington. A woeful Grimsby performance saw the Mariners thrashed 4-0 by an in-form Darlington side who looked light years ahead of Town.
Alan Buckley cast his formation dice again and Grimsby this time started with a 4-5-1 formation against the Quakers, with the Town boss electing to play Danny North as a lone striker. Ryan Bennett was left on the bench, with the two loan defenders both starting the match in the back four.
Grimsby made a terrible start and Alan White scored with a free header from a corner in the third minute, which squeezed between the players stood on the line.
With Town's defence all at sea and failing to cope with Darlington, Grimsby almost conceded a second on 10 minutes. The Mariners allowed Greg Blundell to have a shot which Montgomery made no attempt to save and the ball crashed against the outside of the cross bar and went out.
The Mariners were offering nothing in attack and could not keep control of the ball in midfield, despite the extra man in the centre of the park.
Montgomery was called into action on 20 minutes, coming off his line to intercept a Blundell shot with a good save.
On 25 Darlington broke quickly and were allowed to run though Town's defence. Montgomery saved the initial shot but it was no surprise when Blundell was quickest to react to the ricochet place the ball through Town's statuesque defence.
James Hunt was immediately brought off for Andy Taylor, with the Mariners switching to 4-4-2. Two minutes later Ryan Bennett came off for Hird, in an attempt to bolster up Town's defence.
Town were almost punished for losing the ball once again when Montgomery parried a shot from Cummins.
Shortly before half time Grimsby finally threatened the Darlington goal. North got behind his marker and fed the ball to Taylor. Taylor eventually got the ball under control and passed it to Toner, who side footed it wide from close range.
Half Time: Grimsby 0 Darlington 2
The second half started no better than the first. A Wright cross was parried by Montgomery but only as far as Foran, who riffled the ball home.
Town had a mini revival and a Toner shot at goal turned into a good cross for Bennett, who failed to get the ball on target.
With the match effectively over ex-Mariner Ricky Ravenhill and Fenton were at the centre of a mass altercation after Ravenhill had received a yellow card.
Danny North, who was struggling with an injury (3 subs had been made), had a great chance to score when he got in behind the defence and his shot beat the keeper but drifted narrowly past the far post.
Montgomery tipped a late shot over from Abbott to avoid a more embarrassing scoreline than it was, but a minute later Austin added a fourth, looping a header over Montgomery, who had come off his line, and into his net.
Well under 3000 Grimsby fans were at Blundell Park to watch the game despite the club's depressing financial statement this week.
A full report will appear later.
Grimsby: Montgomery, Hird, Fenton, Atkinson, Newey, Till, Bolland, Hunt, Boshell, Toner, North
Subs: Barnes, Taylor, Rankin, Bennett, Clarke............
Darlington: Stockdale, Purdie, Foster, White, Ridley, Joachim, Cummins, Ravenhill, Foran, Blundell, Wright
Subs: Oakes, Austin, Miller, Abbott, Colbeck............
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