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Wright Returns to Haunt Town
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY slumped to their third consecutive defeat when they lost 1-0 to Luton at Blundell Park on Friday night in a close game of few chances. Former Mariner Tommy Wright scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half.
Grimsby's best chances mainly came from several free kicks around the box, but the delivery of set pieces was once again not good enough to seriously test the defence or 'keeper. Liam Hearn carved a couple of half chances in open play, but other than that the Mariners can mainly take positives from a more solid defensive performance than in recent games.
I'Anson, Wood and Makofo came in for Town, with Garner, Ridley and Artus making way.
Defences dominated in a first half of few chances. McKeown was though called upon to make two good saves when Luton did get a sight of goal. At the other end Hearn created a chance out of nothing when he rescued a ball that looked to be heading for a goal kick, skipped past a defender, and forced a good save from the 'keeper with a shot from a narrow angle low down to the near post.
Play continued in much the same vein in the second half, with Luton looking the more dangerous of the two sides, but Grimsby created chances for themselves winning several free kicks for themselves in dangerous positions. Coulson forced a save from the 'keeper from one of these, but in the main they were wasted.
Luton finally broke the deadlock on 73 minutes when Fleetwood chased a ball close to the goal line, and crossed to Wright just in front of goal, who headed past McKeown and celebrated in front of the Luton supporters at that end.
Town had two chances from free kicks to restore parity, but Eagle's delivery was not good enough on either occasion to test the 'keeper.
The match finished with Town going down 1-0. L'Anson and Kempson looked a better defensive pairing than those which have been employed recently. Although Grimsby defended well, the Mariners did not create enough chances in open play to expect to get much from the game. The fact that they seem incapable of scoring from free kicks or corners makes it a lot more difficult to score enough goals to win games. Hopefully a set piece specialist will be top of the January transfer window shopping list, provided the funds are available of course.
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