Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Everything to Play For!
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY and Gateshead drew the first of their play-off semi-final games at Blundell Park last night. Town started poorly and went 1-0 down after just seven minutes. The Mariners rallied however and Craig Disley levelled the match midway through the first half.
From that point on Grimsby were the better side and but for the Gateshead 'keeper Bartlett's fine form Town would have won the game.
Their overall superiority will give Town hope they can emulate their regular season win at Gateshead's ground. The one downside of the match last night was that Town defender Shaun Pearson was booked early in the game, and so will miss the remaining two games of the season through suspension - including the Wembley final should Grimsby get that far.
Grimsby got off to a poor start, with Gateshead looking much more comfortable in the early stages. Shaun Pearson got his 15th booking of the season after 3 minutes, then Gateshead took the lead when Larkin ran into space behind the Town defence and slotted the ball past McKeown, who was wrong-footed.
Midway through the first half Craig Disley equalised when he ducked to head in a clever low dinking ball from Scott Kerr into the box. Town's skipper almost scored a second within a minute when a cross bounced off his shin but straight to the 'keeper.
Grimsby recovered well and had chances to go in front before the interval, the best of which was a terrific save by Bartlett just before half time from a Rodman header after a great cross by Hatton.
Grimsby had the better of the second half, but Gateshead defended well and Bartlett had to make three good saves to keep the tie finely balanced.
Grimsby: McKeown, Hatton, Pearson, Boyce, Thomas, Neilson, Kerr, Disley, Rodman, John-Lewis, Hannah
Subs: Cook, Thanoj, Southwell, McLaughlin, Fyfield
Gateshead: Bartlett, Magnay, Curtis, Clark, Baxter, Walker, Turnbull, Oster, Maddison, Larkin, Marwood
Subs: Hatch, Cummins, Lester, Ramshaw, O'Donnell
Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)
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