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Town Earn Point at Newport
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY extended their unbeaten run to ten games with a goalless draw at leaders Newport. The Mariners restricted Newport's potent strike force to just a handful of chances, and recorded another clean sheet in the process - Town's seventh in the first twelve games.
A clearance off the line in the first half and a second half cross-shot which struck the post were the home side's best chances.
Grimsby had chances themselves to break the deadlock, especially after the break. Colbeck and Disley both went close in the second half and Grimsby ended the game with a succession of corners and free kicks. In the end though Town had to settle for a point, something they almost certainly have done before the game.
Town made just one change, as expected, bringing in Frankie Artus in midfield for the suspended Derek Niven.
Newport kicked off with the wind in their favour, and tested McKeown with an early free kick, which the Town 'keeper did well to palm over the goal. Town though, playing in blue, soon got into the game and Hannah's cheeky attempted lob nearly caught the 'keeper out.
After a good 20 minutes for Town the home side came back into it and almost went ahead from a long ball played into the Town box. It came awkwardly for McKeown who came out and tried to punch it away. He made some contract with the ball, but not enough to clear the danger, and the Town 'keeper found himself stranded while the ball fell to Crow. Thankfully two Town defenders got back and Pond was able to clear it relatively comfortably (for a goalline clearance!) off the line.
McKeown was called into action not long after when O'Connor made a smart turn and shot but the Town 'keeper got down in time to make a smart save.
In the second half Town had more opportunities to break the deadlock. Colbeck had a good chance but he slightly snatched at his shot and Pidgeley managed to get down low and turn it round the post for a corner. Thomas managed to get forward more in the second half and he set up Cook with one of the left back's trademark crosses, but the Town striker's header was under the ball.
Hannah then broke quickly for Town and picked out Disley who had made a great run from midfield. His first time volley would have been a fantastic goal, but it went over the bar.
Newport then could have scored against the run of play out of nothing. A cross-shot (well it was a cross which turned into a shot by chance) from the substitute Swallow, eluded Macca and surprised everyone by looping in and hitting the inside of the post.
The game ended with a succession of free kicks and corners to Town. The 300+ away fans tried to suck the ball into the net, but the incessant pressure didn't quite throw up a gilt-edged chance. Bizarrely Town could have scored when the 'keeper's kick struck Elding's hip, who was making a pest of himself trying to disrupt the 'keeper's rhythm, and could have gone anywhere. Sadly it ended up just wide of the goal, and the 'keeper was able to take another goal kick.
Credit once again must go to all the defence and the 'keeper who were as solid as ever, with Bradley Wood the pick of the five of them. The Newport forward line looked very dangerous and you could see why they've scored so many goals this season. There won't be made teams who come here and restrict County to a clean sheet and just one shot on target (so say the BBC).
Although Town have dropped out of the play-off zone the fact that the Mariners have already played fancied sides like Forest Green, Luton, Wrexham, Newport, Mansfield and Hereford means that their present position is not a pressing concern.
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