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Town Lose to Daggers
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY'S eleven match unbeaten run finally came to an end at Blundell Park this afternoon, ironically in what was on paper probably the easiest of the eleven games to win. And lose they did in some style, being comprehensively beaten 4-1 by lowly Dagenham.
Grimsby started with an unchanged starting line-up, meaning a good performance would pretty much guarantee each player a place in the big match at Morecambe on Tuesday night.
Town started poorly it was no surprise when a header by Smith from a corner on 15 minutes gave the visitors the lead.
Alan Buckley responded by bringing on Gary Jones for Sam Hird, and switching to 4-4-2. The rest of the afternoon showed this was probably an overreaction, although on another day it could have gone down as a piece of tactical genius.
Town's afternoon got worse when Tom Newey limped off injured on 23 minutes, with Ryan Bennett coming on in his place.
The Daggers were awarded a penalty on 29 minutes when Clarke fouled top scorer Strevens in a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box, which Rainford converted to put the visitors two goals up.
Town had more possession but did not come close to scoring in the remainder of the first half.
Grimsby made their final substitution at the start of the second half, bringing on Peter Bore for Paul Bolland.
Town failed to make the most of their possession in the second half, and conceded a third goal when Strevens benefited from a mistake by Fenton and lashed the ball past Barnes on 81.
Within four minutes poor defending from a corner allowed Rainford a free header which led to a fourth goal.
Gary Jones scored a consolation for Town on 89 minutes, but it was far too little too late.
It was a poor performance by Town, although 4-1 probably slightly flattered Dagenham. Grimsby will need to play a lot better on Tuesday night at Morecambe (who like Dagenham they have never beaten) if they are to still have a chance of going to Wembley this time next week.
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