League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
The Living Dead
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY did what they had to do and beat Hereford away on Saturday. However with all their other relegation rivals winning against top sides it leaves them in arguably a worse position at the end of the game than they were at the beginning of it.
But considering at half time against Accrington I said they were dead and buried, it's a credit to the team that they still have a chance of saving their bacon.
Town deservedly took the lead in the first half with a another well taken goal by Jamie Devitt. The Mariners were the better side throughout the game, but with a one goal advantage their lead was by the slenderest of margins, and they had to negotiate some tricky moments which they largely did without too much trouble.
The only change from the side that beat Accrington was the return of 'keeper Nick Colgan in place of Hull City loanee Mark Oxley.
Hereford wore their black and white shirts which from the back looked nearly identical to Town's current home kit and I found myself willing them on momentarily several times in the game, only to realise I wanted the blue team to win.
Town with everything to play for compared to their midtable opponents looked pumped up when they came onto the pitch and made a strong start. Tommy Wright had an early header which he couldn't quite reach and Akpro shot wide. Devitt then had a good chance from the edge of the box, but his shot went just wide.
It was no more than Town deserved when they took the lead. The ball fell to Devitt at the edge of the box and Hereford allowed him time and space to curl the ball into the top corner off the underside of the bar. Sinclair then had a chance to double Town's lead when he latched onto a loose ball at the edge of the box, but his chance went wide.
The mood in the away end turned from one of celebration to a more reflective tone with the news that Lincoln, Torquay and then Cheltenham were all winning. If those scores stayed the same Town would be effectively relegated if they even got a draw.
Hereford ended the first half with a mini spell of their own, their first of the game which had been dominated by Grimsby.
In a quiet second half Hereford had more of the ball but rarely troubled Town, although they had a header which went over the bar from an early corner.
Coulson then missed a sitter after an aerial challenge on the 'keeper by Wright, which was not penalised by the referee, saw the ball fall to him at close range but he ballooned it over the bar.
Coulson then had a chance to make amends when he broke quickly, but with nobody to support him and lacking the pace to leave the defence for dead, he could only manage a weak shot wide.
Nick Colgan handled the ball outside of his box, but fortunately it was close to the goal line and did not stop a clear goal scoring opportunity, so he escaped with a yellow card.
Tommy Wright was then substituted and appeared to be booked after he had taken his seat on the bench, presumably for something he said to the match officials.
The substitute was Jude Stirling, which seemed on the face of it to be a sensible move bringing on a defender for a striker. However Stirling played up front, a bizarre move given that Proudlock was on the bench! But he did ok and almost set up a goal in the dying minutes.
Town wound down time as much as they could, playing short corners and generally wasting all the time they could. They survived a late scare when Hereford almost scored from a late corner in injury time, but hung on for a deserved win.
Man of the Match was Akpro who looked dangerous whenever he had the ball and was a real handful for the Hereford defence. Other deserving mentions go to Hudson, who battled tirelessly in midfield, and Devitt for his goal and general play (apart from his corners which were pretty awful).
Town's next match is at home to old foes Chesterfield on Tuesday, when their other main relegation rivals are playing away from home.
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