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Town Back on Track
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY put their promotion campaign back on track with a workmanlike win over Salisbury at Blundell Park, the first time Town have beaten City in four attempts. An early goal by Craig Disley set Town on their way.
With defences dominating, Town fans had to be patient for a second goal but it finally came with Alex Rodman giving the Mariners some breathing space with 8 minutes to go.
With two goals behind them Town had the chances to get more against a tiring side, but in the end everyone except the eight visiting supporters went home happy with three precious points finally taking them off 49 points. With other results going their way the league table looks much healthier with Town two points off the play-offs with five games in hand.
Three changes were made from the side which lost at Southport in midweek. New loan signing Connor Jennings replaced Hannah up front, Andi Thanoj was preferred in midfield to Scott Kerr and Chris Doig replaced the injured Clayton MacDonald.
Town got off to the perfect start when a ball to Disley by John-Lewis beat the offside trap and the Town captain raced on to finish with composure and ease the nerves.
It proved to be though one of the few chances in a first half dominated by defences. Salisbury passed the ball around nicely but didn't really trouble James McKeown in Town's goal and Grimsby hardly created another chance all half.
The goal came to life just before the hour mark when McKeown made a stunning save from Sinclair's 20-yard effort which was destined for the top corner. Somehow Town's 'keeper managed to get enough to the ball to paw it against the bar and preserve Town's lead. On another day that could easily have gone in and Salisbury gone on to win the game. But instead it gave Town heart that this was going to be their day.
There were lots of stoppages and free kicks throughout the second half. Grimsby's delivery from set pieces was once again consistently poor, but the stop-start nature of the game made it difficult for either team to really gain any momentum.
Rodman had two attempts to put Town further in front after good work by Hannah. His first effort was blocked, then the ball came back to him, but his effort fizzed just wide of the post.
Three minutes later though Rodman finally struck goal, when a John-Lewis ball was played down to him in a central position and he blasted it past the 'keeper to make the score 2-0.
Puddy was then lucky to stay on the pitch when he brought down John-Lewis on the edge of the box with the Town striker having a clear run on goal. The free kick was cleared but shortly afterwards John-Lewis should have made it three but his shot was blocked from close range.
Town, and the rest of the division, now have a ridiculous week off thanks to the England C friendly in Jordon, but at least it come at a time when the treatment room is fairly full. The Mariners next visit Macclesfield, where another win could see them climb back into the play-off places if other results go their way.
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