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Mariners Sunk at Bath
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY were left to rue their missed chances and defensive blunders as they left Bath City empty handed in a match they quite conceivably could have won. Duffy and Leary both missed great chances and the Bath City goalkeeper probably had one of his best and busiest days of the season.
Town made two defensive changes. Bradley Wood came in at right back in place of Peter Bore, and Steven Watt filled in for the suspended Darran Kempson - sent off in the match that never was.
Coulson, who looked dangerous throughout the game, went close on 10 minutes. Connell played a ball through to Town's winger on the edge of the box, and Coulson's shot flashed narrowly wide of the post.
Town were having the better of the game, but on 25 minutes, a superbly timed challenge by Bradley Wood saved the Mariners, as Bath threatened. It proved to be a warning sign.
Shortly afterwards Bath's Philips received the ball close to the corner flag, ghosted past Atkinson as though he wasn't there, and ran along the touchline, before picking out Watkins to tap in from close range.
Town could and should have equalised straight away. The Mariners were awarded a free kick in a central position which Bradley Wood shaped up to take. The ball bounced back off the crossbar and fell to Duffy just a few feet away from goal. Duffy had time and space to jump up and head the ball, chest it, control it, anything, but somehow he contrived to tamely head it over the bar from about two feet out.
Ten minutes before half time the Bath 'keeper denied Leary who blasted the ball at him.
After the break Bath conceded a goal for handball and Coulson blasted it into the top corner from about 25 yards out. It was no more than Town deserved and set up the game for the professional side to go on and beat their part time opponents.
Town had the chances to take the lead. Connell blasted over when one of Ridley's long throws fell to him on the edge of the box. Coulson then made a great run, beat his man, and but his cross just evaded Connell at the far post.
With 5 minutes to go Bath fired a cross into the box, which Coulson went up for and appeared to be fouled. Town were slowest to react and Mackie gleefully nicked the ball and fired into the net to give the home side the lead with Town's 'keeper still on the ground.
In injury time Town should have got a point. A corner was cleared and fell to Leary on the edge of the box, who was totally unmarked and had the time and space to pick his spot - which unfortunately with six feet above the goal.
It was not to be. Town had not been at their greatest but it was a travesty that they lost the game. Coulson was by far the best player, Watt and Ridley played well, Eagle and Leary were OK. Duffy looked slow and cumbersome, Atkinson misplaced too many passes and lost his man for the first goal. Sinclair and Connell were not at their best. The substitutions came too late - Duffy obviously needed to come off, and Peacock should have had at least 20 minutes.
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