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Shop Rescues Point
By: Rob Sedgwick
LENNEL John-Lewis rescued a point for Grimsby at Dartford with a late equaliser for the Mariners. Both teams had had changes to take the lead in a low-key game before Dartford scrambled the ball home on the hour mark. Town didn't especially look like equalising but were fortunate to win a penalty which LJL took himself.
Paul Hurst made two tactical changes for the visit to Dartford, in part to try and address the team's shortcomings in the home defeat by Southport. Craig Disley came in for Clay to shore up the midfield and Patrick McLaughlin was preferred on the wing to Scott Neilson.
Town had the best early chance when the industrious Hannah tried to lob the 'keeper who had drifted off his line but his effort went narrowly wide.
A Dartford corner on the half hour led to a mass goalmouth scramble which eventually was smashed against the bar by Elliot Bradbrook, before Town got it to safety.
Town's only effort of note in the first half was a shot by McLaughlin, following a good lay off from Scott Brown, which landed straight at the 'keeper
After the break the Darts took the lead from a far post header by Tom Bradbrook which had just enough on it to scramble the ball over the line past the Town defence.
The game opened up a bit after the opener and John-Lewis should have done better but blasted a half chance way over the bar. Darts had a header cleared off the line at the other end.
Town should have levelled the game when a loose pass was intercepted by Oates and he put John-Lewis through. John-Lewis should have scored but his shot went wide. However the ref pulled play back for a handball and Nathan Collier was sent off. John-Lewis immediately grabbed the ball to take the penalty himself, smashed the ball past the 'keeper then "shush" gestured at the Grimsby fans behind the goal.
Craig Disley should have won the game for the Mariners from point blank range but the 'keeper managed to get something on the ball to deny Town an unlikely winner.
The result was disappointing as neither side played especially well and Grimsby should surely have won this match had they been anywhere near the top of their game.
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