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Town Finally Win
By: Matty Newton
AT the 23rd time of asking the Mariners finally ended their winless run at Gigg Lane on Saturday, to the delight and absolute relief of the fantastically vocal travelling Town fans.
Mike Newell made three changes to the side that performed poorly last week at Morecambe. Hegarty replaced Llewellyn on the left, and Clarke was the surprise inclusion coming in for the injured Till. Town also welcomed back Trotter to the starting eleven after being cup-tied last week.
Grimsby started the first half with a real desire and fight and should have been 1-0 up within the first 10 minutes when Hegarty went 1 on 1 with the Bury 'keeper only to shoot straight at him and the ball was comfortably saved.
Proudlock and Kalala were needlessly booked for an argument with the referee. Proudlock had been fouled in the middle of the field, only for the ref to wave play on. Kalala said something to the ref that he did not like the sound of and was shown a yellow. Proudlock was booked but still persisted to shout at the official and almost talked himself into a red-card. Captain Bennett calmed the situation by pushing him away from the ref.
Clarke was the next to test 'keeper Wayne Brown, but his low narrow shot was tipped round the post for a corner. Shortly after Clarke's chance Town grabbed the lead. A great cross from the left hand side left the Bury defence in a state of panic. The ball couldn't be cleared and went up rather than out and as the ball came down TROTTER jostled for the ball and promptly nodded home from 4 yards out.
By now the Mariners were in total control and quickly doubled their advantage. A great cross from Clarke on the right found NATHAN JARMAN, who expertly volleyed the ball passed the diving Brown, to send the travelling fans into dreamland. Dare they believe that it was the their day?!
Atkinson connected with a header from Newey's cross which almost found the net only for the 'keeper to palm it away to Bennett; he shot but Brown was equal to it to his utter relief.
Town were then reduced to 10 men after Kalala was shown a second yellow for a mistimed challenge on 35 minutes, leaving a long time for the Mariners to hold on. Jarman dropped into midfield as Town regrouped going 4-4-1.
Bury's man advantage almost paid dividends towards the end of the half. Cross after cross came into the Mariners' box. Shots from O'Grady and Barry-Murphy came to nothing.
Grimsby were still giving as good as they got though and Clarke almost scored with a free-kick. As the half-time whistle sounded Town had managed to hold onto their two goal cushion.
Bury made a substitution at the start of the second half, Bishop replacing Morrell.
With help from the trumpet and the drum the Mariners faithful were in fine voice as the second half got underway, with the great escape being blasted out by the 321 travelling fans.
Town were on the backfoot straight as O'Grady shot over the bar. Chances again from O'Grady and Bishop were unable to find the net, but Bury kept up their constant wave of attacks. O'Grady shot from 20 yards but again was left without a goal.
Boshell replace Hegarty, with Newell tactically trying to stop the onslaught from the Shakers. Shortly after Jarman was taken off to a standing ovation from the Town fans and was replaced by Bore
Bury fans were becoming frustrated with their side, not that we could hear them as after 25 minutes of the second half we were still singing The Great Escape.
Boshell and Bore's introduction seemed to spark the Mariners back into life. Bore looked certain to be through on goal only for Sodje to pull him back and a give away a free-kick, but without a booking to the disbelief of town fans.
It was pray to the gods time as Bury again came on the offensive. Dawson twice went close with good shots but the much improved Barnes dealt with them easily enough. With time running out Bury went 4-2-4 and it almost paid off. Hurst shot inches wide, Dawson then clipped the outside of the post and Hurst again shot wide.
With 2 minutes to go Danny North was introduced in place of Proudlock, and Town had 3 good chances to extend their lead right at the death. Clarke's cross missed Bore's head by a fraction, then Bore was unable to reach another cross this time from Boshell. Danny North broke clear but scuffed his shot into the 'keepers hands.
As the final whistle sounded, the travelling supporters went mad as at very long last we had won a game. The players were delighted and all applauded the fans, whose support and vocal contribution had spurred the team on and acted as the 11th man for much of the game.
Man of the Match has to be given to Bennett for me. He played a blinder and complements Atkinson very well. He showed maturity when Proudlock lost his cool and gave a good captain's performance. Also a mention for Newey for was much improved and probably played his best game for a long while.
With Trotter in the side the midfield looks solid and it's great to see Jarman getting on the scoresheet.
Next up is Bournemouth on Friday Night. Get yourself down to Blundell Park and cheer the boys to victory!
Onwards and Upwards!
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