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Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Town Win 7 Goal Thriller
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY made hard work of beating an Ebbsfleet side who twice game back from seemingly impregnable scorelines to narrowly lose by a 4-3 scoreline. In reality Town should have won more comfortably as they led 3-0 and then 4-2, but allowed the visitors back into the game.
Grimsby have now scored 32 goals in 13 league games at Blundell Park, and also netted 11 goals in the 4 cup games to date, with AFC Hornchurch still to come! Nobody can say they are getting poor value for money in our home games with scorelines of 5-2 (twice), 7-0, 5-0, 3-0 (twice) and now 4-3 with more twists and turns than an Agatha Chrstie novel! It's just a same the Mariners are not as formidable away from Blundell Park.
Town made just one change from the side which lost to Salisbury in the cup, Will Antwi (who was ineligible for the FA Cup replay) replacing Pearson in the back four.
Liam Hearn got Town off to the perfect start when he intercepted a poor backpass in the second minute, beat the 'keeper and slotted the ball in.
Town added a second from a corner on 11 when the 'keeper never came out for the ball and the unmarked Antwi headed it in at the far post.
After 12 minutes McCarthy set up Hearn who cut back and slotted it through the 'keeper. With the Mariners leading 3-0 after 13 minutes it looked like Town could surpass their 7-0 mauling of Stockport last month, which in itself was the biggest win since the 1950's.
Sadly it was not to be. With Town totally dominating McKeown then gave the away side a lifeline when he delayed kicking a backpass for which he was under no pressure, which allowed Pinney to chase him down and intercept it. It ricocheted off Pinney's boot and into the net.
Ebbsfleet then scored a second almost straight away from a corner, where Mambo climbed above Antwi to score at the far post.
Town had a Elding goal disallowed for offside, and then Grimsby almost scored a fourth from a corner where the 'keeper flicked the ball onto the bar and then Hearn's follow up was cleared off the line.
After a lot of Ebbsfleet pressure Town almost went 4-2 up when Elding lobbed the 'keeper but it didn't have the pace to make it over the line.
Almost straight after half time Coulson scored a great team goal, taking the ball from the 'keeper and running into the danger zone. Coulo linked up with Hearn and Elding who returned the ball to Coulson, who had continued his run, and Coulo hit it past the 'keeper on the half volley.
Soon after Ebbsfleet were denied what looked like a clear penalty when Antwi hacked down Willock on the corner of the box. It looked a cast any penalty but the referee waved play on and didn't book the player for diving. It was a big let off for Town.
With Town leading 4-2 Ebbsfleet pressed for some sort of a lifeline, but Marum wasted a good chance which we blasted over.
On the stroke of 90 minutes sub Shakes made a great run, beat Townsend and blasted it into the top corner to make it 4-3 and increase the blood pressure of all Town fans and staff.
The ref played 5 minutes of stoppage time and McKeown had to make a save right at the death after a goal mouth penalty. Ebbsfleet could argue that it should have been 4-4 with the penalty, but then Grimsby had a goal chalked off for offside which television replays showed was the wrong decision.
Grimsby's unbeaten league run now stands and 7 games, and the two Christmas games with Lincoln are next up.
Grimsby: McKeown, Wood, Antwi, I'Anson, Townsend, Coulson, Disley, Panther, McCarthy, Elding, Hearn
Subs: Silk, Artus, Pearson, Thanoj, Makofo
Ebbsfleet United: Edwards, Stone, Simpemba, Mambo, Howe, West, Marwa, Phipp, Enver-Marum, Willock, Pinney
Subs: Welch, Herd, Shakes, Darvill, Barrett
Referee: Richard West (East Yorkshire)
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