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Cook Brace Sends Town Top
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY returned to the top of the non-league with a hard fought win over Hyde United at Blundell Park. With games involving their promotion rivals all falling to the weather, two late goals from substitute Andy Cook allowed Town to put space between themselves and the chasing pack.
With the goal heading towards a drab and disappointing 0-0 draw, Cook finally broke the deadlock when he rose to head in a Devitt cross with 6 minutes to go. Hyde were forced too come out of their shell a bit and laid siege to Town's goal, but Cook put the game beyond doubt with a great solo goal in injury time.
Town were forced to start without 'keeper James McKeown and Marshall's return to Bury also meant a start for Colbeck.
Very little of note happened in a dull first half. A Phil Jevons free kick should have been routine for the 'keeper but Flemming juggled the ball before eventually capturing it. Town's best chance also came from a free kick, but Disley fired wide from Hatton's set piece.
The game was turned by two Town substitutions in the second half. which at the time were the biggest talking point of the game. Niven was taken off and replaced by Thanoj (with a few idiots jeering Niven as he left the pitch) and Andy Cook came on for Brodie, who stormed off down the tunnel before being called back.
Hannah had a chance to put Town in the lead when he latched on to a long ball, shrugged off a defender but blasted his shot wide. Playmaker Jamie Devitt then picked out Colbeck with a terrific long ball and the Town winger fired a powerful shot which the 'keeper managed to save.
It looked like it wasn't going to be Town's day when Devitt once again acted as playmaker, picking out Disley with a perfect cross but the Town midfielder blasted over from point blank range.
However a Devitt assist finally came to fruition - in the air this time - when Cook rose at the far post to head Town in front with six minutes to go.
Hyde had a fair amount of possession in the final 10 minutes of playing time but Grimsby had the last laugh when Andy Cook fired in a long range shot and put the game beyond doubt with a few seconds left.
Town's bench won the game in effect. The strength of the squad is such that Grimsby have the quality on it that smaller clubs like Hyde generally don't and the visitors didn't have the ammunition to counter the changes that Town made.
Cook and Thanoj's performances will give the managers something to ponder before the next game with Cambridge on Saturday, followed shortly by the FA Trophy clash with Luton at Blundell Park.
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