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Proudlock: Closest
Proudlock: Closest

30 Years of Hurt

By: Gary Cox
Date: 21/02/2009

THE Mariners travelled up North for this weekend's League Two fixture against Darlington at the ‘Darlington Arena‘, knowing that they had a slight advantage after Bournemouth failed to pick up any points last night, so if Town could pick up an unlikely point at the least things would look a lot brighter!

Home > 2008-2009 Season > Reports > Darlington (a)

Town lined up with Jarman on the right after his one match ban, and also Clarke was a welcome return to right back after his slight knock in a previous game. There was also a surprise call-up for Tom Newey who made the bench. Apart from that Town kept with the same team as in the previous match.

The game began with Town attacking the west end of the ground housed by the home supporters. Chances seemed very few and far between for both sides with Liam Hatch looking the danger man for the home team. The action slowly started to improve after the first 20 minutes or so and the first real chance fell to Town when former Darlo striker Adam Proudlock picked the ball up from a Kalala flick-on and turned hitting a fine volley from all of 30 yards which seemingly looked to be heading for the top corner only to miss by a matter of inches. Within 5 minutes of their first effort Kalala picked the ball up inside the Town half and found a way past 5 of the home team before hitting a tame shoot just wide of the goal. With Town looking to be the better side the home team began to step it up a gear and could have quite easily have taken the had it not being for some strong blocks by Bennett and Atko in the Town defence. Darlington had their first real attempt after Widdowson had bought his marker down and rightly got a yellow card from a somewhat poor Graham Laws (who in a previous game at Bury had sent Kalala off within half an hour). The free kick around 25 yards from the Town goal was hit straight into the wall and cleared with ease. Minutes later the referee and his assistant produced a very poor decision after Hatch - standing in front of the linesman and at least 3 yards offside - got hold of the ball only for the game to carry and Hatch to get on the end of the cross. That followed some fine football by the home side using what looked like his hand, with the referee not seeing! The home side continued to press and hit the bar out of the blue with just minutes to go in the half after a cross from the left was met by Poole who turned and hammered the woodwork. There was still time for a final effort by the home team after a long ball was pumped up top. Both Atkinson and the Darlo striker went up for it with what looked like a clear push from Atko much to the relief of the huge away following the referee put his whistle in his mouth and blew for an offside giving the Mariners a indirect free kick .

Half Time: Darlington 0 Grimsby 0

The second half began with the Town following stepping up the volume of noise and showing great support for their team. Town began to spread the ball around on what was a huge pitch and could have taken a somewhat surprise lead after some fine play by the very poor Elliot led to Forbes hitting the ball full force into the Darlo defence. The home side soon found themselves with a free kick around 25 yards from the Town goal and had it not being for Barnes's fine save it would have been 1-0 to the home side. As Barnes collected the ball he was fouled by a Darlo player who got a yellow card for his efforts.

Darlington soon had another deadly free kick situation after Elliot lost the ball down the left hand side and Clarke was caught napping, giving away a silly foul. The resulting free kick was closer to hitting the safety bar on the roof of the ground than hitting the target! Mike Newell then took the chance to surpise all supporters inside the ground by bringing on 3 subs: Llewellyn for Forbes (up top) Newey for Elliot (on the left) and Bore for Proudlock (Bore right Jarman up top). The game seemed to be heading for a dull draw with nothing being offered from either side.

However Danny Carlton seemed to miss a glorious chance from six yards to give the home side the lead . It was fair to say Barnes never had much to do but unfortunately for him he could not prevent Curtis Main who headed home from 6 yards after yet another silly free kick gifted by Town after great play from Sinclair only to lose it when it was easier to pass to Newey. After the goal Town tried to claw back but where limited to two of three crosses which where dealt with by easily by the home side. The Mariners could feel hard done by as but for one silly mistake they would have picked up a great draw at one of the league's top sides. Now all we can do is look forward to Tuesday night !!

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