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|Bad Day at the Office|
Omnibus Rebus Finis Est
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY'S long unbeaten run came to end at home to unfancied Dartford at Blundell Park. On paper at the start of the season most Grimsby fans would have penciled in this game for three points and a comfortable win. However the Darts have hit a rich vein of form in September and it continued at Blundell Park.
After a goalless first half with neither side dominant, the Darts stepped up their game at the start of the second half and Tom Champion put the visitors ahead. The Darts sealed their win when Birchall broke and scored a second solo goal. Niven returned for Town in place of Artus.
Grimsby made just one change - Niven returned for Town in place of Artus. Dartford made four changes so if anything you'd expect the Kent side to struggle - it proved to be not the case.
Town had an early shout for a penalty turned down when Thomas was brought down in the box.
After a half hour with few real chances for either side, the first save of note was made from a Niven strike heading towards the top corner.
The half-time whistle blew to end a goalless half of few chances and a real stalemate.
Dartford went ahead from a corner early in the second half. McKeown failed to fully clear a ball to the far post, and it came back to Champion who sidefooted it into the net.
The goal put Grimsby on the rails and McKeown had to make a good save to deny former Dover striker Birchall.
The Darts continued to dominate, and Town brought on two strikers to replace the Cook and Hannah. One of them, Elding, shot straight at Hatton in Town's best chance of the second half to date. Shortly afterwards the other sub Southwell volleyed wide.
Dartford won the points when Birchall broke from a free kick and rounded McKeown to send the 150 away fans into raptures.
Grimsby: McKeown, Wood, Shaun Pearson, Pond, Thomas, Colbeck, Disley, Niven, Neilson, Cook, Hannah
Subs: Hatton, Miller, Elding, Artus, Southwell
Dartford: Bettinelli, Burns, Arber, Bonner, Rose, Bradbrook, Champion, Noble, Collier, Birchall, Harris
Subs: Wells, Hayes, Wallis, Erskine, Crawford
Referee: B Toner (England)
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