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Cup Joy for Town
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY defeated League Two Port Vale last night at Blundell Park to bring a bit of early season cheer to Cleethorpes after a disappointing start to the season. Serge Makofo was once again the hero for Town, scoring the game's solitary goal in the second half and earn the Mariners a second round tie at Salisbury.
Elding replaced Duffy in a rare start up front for the former Stockport striker in the only tactical change, with Town going back to a 4-4-2 formation. Michael Coulson returned as expected on the right after a one match suspension and Shaun Pearson replaced the injured Darran Kempson at centre back..
Port Vale had the better of the opening minutes, but the first real chance fell to Hearn after 20 mins who latched on to an attempted headed backpass but shot straight at the 'keeper.
McKeown twice saved Town with good saves before Hearn wasted another opportunity when he was played through by Disley, but ballooned his shot over the bar.
Both sides had chances as the intensity increased leading up to the hour mark, and Pearson had a header cleared off the line from a corner, but it was Town who drew first blood when Makofo drilled a low shot into the corner of the goal on the hour mark.
Town, who have led many times this season, but often conceded when 1-0 up, looked solid at the back for once, and limited Vale to just a handful of half chances in the remaining half hour, and Town went close at the other end with Elding forcing a good save and Coulson shaving the outside of the post. However Vale saved they best chance to last when Rigg was played through in injury time but McKeown did well to save at his feet.
Grimsby now have Salisbury standing between themselves and Round 3, but with recent defeats by Bath City and Chasetown in cup competitions, Town know as well as anyone that lower league opposition cannot be underestimated.
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