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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Twist and Shout
By: Rob Sedgwick
IN a sea-saw game at Blundell Park this afternoon against Dover, it initially looked like being yet another 0-0 draw. Then Grimsby took the lead and had the chances to make it two. They missed them and Dover scored out of the blue to level the game.
Town should have grabbed a late winner but Brown missed a chance practically on the line. In a final twist Dover looked to have won the game when there were awarded a late penalty but James McKeown made a superb save to deny the Whites a likely winner.
Paul Hurst played with a new 3-5-2 formation in an attempt to utilise the players available to him, with Grimsby still decimated by injuries and suspensions.
There were very few chances in a cagey first half. Lennell John-Lewis had Grimsby's best chance on 5 minutes when he tried to loop a header over the Dover 'keeper who had come off his line, but it didn't have the strength and was cleared. Dover had the only good chance on the half hour mark when Modeste set up Payne who advanced on goal and slide the ball wide of McKeown and just past the post.
John-Lewis was desperately unlucky at the start of the second half, after a great cross by Connell, but his effort hit the post. Connell set up John-Lewis again a few minutes later, in a promising position, but he slipped and the chance was wasted.
Town broke the deadlock on 75 minutes after a Town attack was thwarted and the ball broke to McLaughlin on the edge of the box. His shot took a deflection and went over the 'keeper into the net.
John-Lewis and substitute Pittman should have scored between them when they broke with 10 minutes to go. John-Lewis's initial shot was saved, and Pittman failed to shoot from the rebound, and eventually the ball was cleared.
Dover, who had played second fiddle for a bit, then scored when a run by Nannetti virtually the length of the pitch and past three Town players who tried to tackle him, allowing him to pick out Locke who slotted it past McKeown to the joy of the 90 Dover fans at that end.
Town should have grabbed a winner when a Pittman overhead across the box eluded John Lewis's head and Brown looked certain to slot it in on the far post, but somehow he made no meaningful contact with the ball and the chance was saved.
The final twist came from a penalty given away by Boyce with just seconds remaining. McKeown saved the spot kick to avert a complete disaster for Town.
It's frustrating to draw another game that should have been won, but the unbeaten record remains, and there's a week now until the next league game, during which most of the squad should recover for the trip to Gateshead which Town make seeking revenge for the play-off defeat on Tyneside.
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