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The Joy of Six
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY recorded the third biggest away win in the club's history with a six goal bonanza at Gateshead. Scott Neilson scored a couple of goals, including the pick of the six, and striker Lennell John-Lewis also bagged a brace. Gateshead had several chances too but could only manage one goal.
Paul Hurst made two changes. Jon-Paul Pittman started in placed of Alan Connell. Neilson also replaced Disley in midfield in his first start of the season since the three match ban - imposed for the farcical sending off on the same ground in April's play-off game. Ex-Mariners Oster and Rodman both started for Gsteshead.
After 5 minutes a terrible mistake by defender Craig Baxter (who got Neilson sent off last May) led to an horrific own goal to give Town the lead. Baxter's attempted backpass initially looked in reach of debutant 'keeper Baird, but Baird was a little slow to anticipate the pace of the ball, and it eventually eluded him to squeeze in the far post. It was especially fitting given Baxter's dive in the play-offs.
Neilson then rubbed Gateshead noses in their faces with a stunning goal, beating a man and smashing it past the keeper from 25 yards.
Town went into dreamland five minutes before half time when Gateshead allowed John-Lewis space to drill a low shot past Baird into the bottom corner.
With Gateshead expected to up the tempo in the second half Town once against stunned the home side when Neilson scored virtually from the kick-off at the start of the second half to put Town 4-0 up.
Rodman set up Madison for what looked like a consolation 10 minutes later to make the score 4-1. Gateshead at this stage were throwing caution to the wind and created several chances and McKeown had to make several good saves to avoid giving the Tynesiders a lifeline.
Baird saved at the feet of John-Lewis when the Town striker was clean though, but substitute Craig Disley came on and put the game beyond doubt when headed Town's fifth with five minutes to go.
John-Lewis added his second and Town's sixth in the dying seconds to give Paul Hurst his biggest win as manager since arriving at Blundell Park.
It was the first three points of the season and a great attacking display. Town barely have time to celebrate though as they face Alfreton at Blundell Park on Bank Holiday Monday, another fixture which has a habit of producing high-scoring games.
Gateshead: Baird, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Wilson, Oster, Turnbull, Chandler, Maddison, Rodman, Guy
Subs: Jones, Ramshaw, Brown, Allan, O'Donnell
Grimsby: McKeown, Boyce, Nsiala, Pearson, Magnay, Neilson, Brown, Clay, McLaughlin, John-Lewis, Pittman
Subs: Bignot, Mackreth, Disley, Connell, Winfarrah
Referee: Adrian Holmes (West Yorkshire)
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