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Braintree Knock Town Off Their Perch
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY'S long unbeaten run stretching back to just after Bonfire Night at Hyde finally came to an end on Tuesday night at another of the Blue Square Premier League's far flung outposts - Braintree. Town ultimately deserved nothing on a terrible playing surface in difficult conditions on a foggy night.
The managers shuffled their pack bringing in John-Lewis to partner Cook in an untried combination. It's one that never really paid off, although with games coming thick and fast all the squad are going to play their parts between now and the end of the season.
Town have had a number of wins recently when they haven't been at their best, so maybe the writing had been on the wall that a defeat was coming somewhere. At least the points haven't been handed to one of their promotion rivals, although most of them picked up maximum points last night, and the Mariners have been knocked off their perch.
A poor start on a difficult surface saw Town go 1-0 down when Daly scored after 27 mins, nipping in to send a cross past McKeowen.
Town could have gone 2-0 down just before the break but McKeown made a save after a goalmouth scramble.
Grimsby finally mustered a decent effort on goal when Disley drilled the ball wide with 20 mins to play.
Shortly after Town conceded a second with 13 mins to go, direct from a corner. Disley should have cleared the ball but missed it completely and that wrong-footed McKeown. The fog might not have helped.
Braintree coasted to a deserved win. At least it was an improvement on last year when Grimsby lost 5-0 at Braintree.
Town now have to pick themselves up for the second game with Dartford, a game they don't need to win (as they lead 3-0 from the first leg) but one which the club will be desperate to put the bad taste of this defeat behind them.
Braintree: McDonald, Peters, Wells, Massey, Habergham, Mulley, Davis, Paine, Daly, Marks, Holman
Subs: Symons, Sparkes, Watts, Walker, Wickham
Grimsby: McKeown, Hatton, Pearson, Miller, Colbeck, Niven, Disley, Thomas, Marshall, Cook, John-Lewis
Subs: Brodie, Devitt, Wood, Thanoj, Hannah
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