League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Nil Sine Labore
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY had to settle for a draw in a game at Wrexham in which defensives dominated. Both sides did have chances. Within two minutes of one another Elding missed a golden chance from close range, then in the next Wrexham attack McKeown made a terrific point blank save to deny Westwood.
That two minute spell was the highlight of a largely forgettable game which only briefly flickered into life. Wrexham had the majority of chances and possession but the Grimsby defence limited both their frequency and their danger. More worryingly for Town was the paucity of opportunities for the Mariners. Apart from Elding's chance there was little else that Town offered in the game, where they were badly lacking any sort of threat in the final third.
Town made three chances from the team that started the poor display against Nuneaton, which the managers choosing the keep the back 5 the same. Big striker Greg Pearson came in for Andy Cook, and Derek Niven and Frankie Artus replaced Andi Thanoj and Louie Soares in midfield.
The first half was only notable for a spell when three Town players were booked: Colbeck, S Pearson and Niven. Wrexham looked a little nervy at the back but Town never really capitalised, and the Welshman improved as the half went on but failed to create much of note. McKeown was only really called into action to punch a few crosses clear of his goal.
Harris started the second half with a long range volley that McKeown was well positioned to save. Wrexham then continued to press for an opener, but it was Town who should have broken the deadlock. Hatton took a free kick, conceded by Harris who was booked for it. Elding managed to get himself clear of the entire Wrexham defence without being caught offside, and found himself with loads of space at the edge of the six yard box. With time to control it, though, Elding instead snatched at the opportunity and hooked the ball wide.
Wrexham broke quickly and Thomas was forced to foul his man and pick up a yellow card "for the team". From the ensuing free kick Westwood had an unmarked far post header which looked certain to be a goal the moment he touched it. Somehow McKeown reacted in time and managed to parry it clear in a lightning reflex save.
Town's other chances of note were a Cook header wide from a Colbeck cross which should have at least forced a save and a Pond shot high over the cross bar after the Mariners had won possession from Wrexham.
Wrexham's Harris was sent off for a second bookable offence in the dying minutes but it made little difference to the game: Wrexham continued to press for a winner, and Grimsby were happy to take their time whenever they had possession.
Although Grimsby would probably have settled for a draw at the start of the game, even a goalless one, Wrexham are clearly not at their best themselves and if Town are to be promotion contenders they need to see off teams which are not playing at their best.
It means a Hearn-less Town have managed just 2 goals in 4 games this season and no forward has yet found the back of the net, although in truth Grimsby have not created that many chances for the forwards in the four games so far. There are only a few days before the transfer windows closes in which the Mariners would be able to bolster their attacking options.
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