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Unlucky 1-3

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 13/09/2008

GRIMSBY came unstuck today at Blundell Park, losing 3-1 to unfancied Chester, in a game when once again the scoreline did not truly reflect the passage of play. Chester took an early lead, but Town fought back through Danny North only to concede two late sucker punch goals.

Alan Buckley made two changes from the side which lost at Gillingham. Vidal came in at right wing back, and Chris Llewellyn was a surprise choice to lead the front line alongside Nathan Jarman.

Town got off to the worst possible start. Winger Kevin Ellison was played through, with Heywood initially looking favourite to at least get a challenge in on the City player. However Ellison outpaced and outmuscled the Town defender, who made no sort of challenge and was left behind. Meanwhile Ellison slipped the ball nonchalantly past Barnes to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Town looked completely out of sorts and were lucky not to go another goal down when Bennett gave the ball away in a very dangerous position.

Heywood had a good chance to make amends for the first goal when a loose ball from a Town corner fell to him in the box at close range, but he fluffed the chance seeing the ball too late and failed to get a touch.

Alan Buckley replaced Hegarty with Hislop after 25 minutes, although Hegarty had not looked the worst player on display.

Vidal made a telling cross on 35, then Llewellyn headed the ball down to Till, who launched a volley which unfortunately went straight to the 'keeper.

Town had created a few chances, and failed to capitalise on them. In particular they had failed to make the most of some set pieces in very dangerous positions.

Half Time: Grimsby 0 Chester 1

It was no surprise when Danny North came on at half time, with Llewellyn making way for the local lad. North almost immediately made an impact when he set up Till for a shot which flahsed across the goal, just evading Jarman at the far post.

From the resulting corner Danny North was left unmarked and when the ball broke to him he lashed it in from close range.

Chester then set their stall out to defend in depth and waste time at every opportunity. There looked only one winner.

Grimsby dominated the match for most of the second half, with several good opportunities to score being created. The pick of these was a Jarman cushioned header which fell perfectly for Boshell whose volley was tipped over by the Chester 'keeper.

The ref failed to give Grimsby a couple of free kicks in quick succession and then inflamed the crowed by giving the visitors a free kick shortly afterwards. Ellison managed to do what Grimsby had failed to manage and riffled a shot into the top corner, beating Barnes on his near post. It was totally against the run of play.

Town resumed their incessant attack but it was Chester who doubled their lead when Chester broke clear and the ball was played to goal scorer Ellison who once again fired a first time shot into the top corner.

With the Town fans streaming out Grimsby were given a lifeline on 88 when the referee gave a penalty after Boshell flung himself down in the box. Boshell himself took the kick and summed up the day for Grimsby when his shot went the wrong side of the post with the 'keeper beaten.

Chester then bizarrely twice hit the bar in injury time in separate breakaways.

The match was a classic smash and grab by the away side, whose finishing was excellent, and in Kevin Ellison looked to have a goalscoring winger in the Kevin Donovan mold.

Town had enough chances to win the game, but only have themselves to blame for not doing so. Once again it took us the best part of the game to assemble the best team and formation from the 16 players who had been selected. Surely Danny North has to start the next game, rather than Llewellyn who looked out of depth up front?

On a positive note North and Jarman looked like they had the potential to develop into a decent partnership.

Man of the Match was Peter Till, who once again looked the best player in a Grimsby shirt.

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