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Town's Cup Overfloweth

By: Matty Newton
Date: 07/10/2009

THE Mariners travelled to Hartlepool for the second round of the JPT looking to put the woeful showing in the capital at the weekend behind them.

Changes to the side were made as Mike Newell had promised. Peter Bore and Jamie Clarke were replaced in the starting line-up by Josh Fuller and Danny Boshell. Nathan Jarman was also included in the first eleven in place of Akpa-Akpro, his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury. Town lined up in what looked to be a 4-4-2 formation with Nick Colgan between the posts. The impressive Bradley Wood at right back, Bennett and Atkinson in the middle and Widdowson on the left. Josh Fuller took up the right midfield position with Boshell and Sweeney in the middle of the park and Jarman wide left. Proudlock and Forbes were paired up top. Linwood had travelled with the side but failed to shake off a slight concussion.

Town started really brightly and were awarded a free-kick early doors, when Forbes was brought down after a decent run into the Hartlepool half. Danny Boshell tried to take the free-kick quickly but the referee wasn't having any of it and promptly booked him, which seemed a little harsh but it came as a blessing in disguise for the Mariners as it allowed Peter Sweeney to pick his spot with a beautifully struck strike from 25 yards. 6 minutes gone and Grimsby are leading 1-0 to the delight of the 63 travelling fans. Town’s vocal support came from just 10 fans, but they were out-singing the 1000 or so Hartlepool fans by this point as Grimsby continued to press. Hartlepool almost found a way back into the game, but Monkhouse hit a shot high and wide.

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro joined the action as a substitute in the 29th minute replacing Josh Fuller who didn't seemed to be injured, so I presume the change was tactical.

The game became fairly scrappy after that until Town hit on the counter attack to add a second! Boshell picked up the ball just inside the Mariners half after Hartlepool had been denied a free-kick. As he moved over the half way line he picked out Adam Proudlock with a inch perfect pass. Proudlock sprinted away from the defence and calmly chipped the ball over the keeper Flinders.

After a couple of half chances from Hartlepool, Grimsby really should have put the game to bed. A great interchange of play between Jarman and Proudlock allowed Proudlock to find some space and put in a cross which found Forbes just inside the penalty area. Unfortunately Forbes dragged his shot just wide of the mark.

As the Half Time whistle sounded, Town fans were left in utter shock but very happy.

The second half was all about rearguard action from the Mariners side as Colgan’s goal was peppered with strikes, most of which went over the bar.

Bennett and Atkinson both made last ditch tackles to first prevent McSweeney and substitute Boyd from scoring.

Town did have a couple of opportunities, with the threat mainly from set pieces. Sweeney this time laid the ball off to Boshell, who belted the goal-bound ball into the one of the Hartlepool defender's ribs, and Akpro headed over the rebound.

Nick Colgan was then brought into action; fantastically tipping Behan’s shot onto the crossbar and out for a corner.

Jamie Clarke came on for Jarman with just over 10 minutes to go as Town were looking to strengthen the defensive options.

The only sour point in the game for the Mariners came in the 81st minute when Boshell was booked for the second time and received his marching orders when he brought down Behan on the edge of the area. Town brought on Michael Leary in the last few minutes for goal scorer Proudlock and managed to keep hold of their clean sheet and advance through to the area quarter-finals.

Man of the Match for me has to be Peter Sweeney, not only for his goal, but for his constant willingness to win the ball back and his awareness to play people into space.

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