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Grimsby 2 Walsall 1
By: Jake Olley
TOWN went into the game knowing that wantaway striker Michael Reddy wasn't available and that Graham Rodger had failed to deliver the goods in the transfer market, but the Mariners managed to put together their best performance of the season so far to beat a attack-minded Walsall side.
Danny Boshell was in my opinion unfairly replaced by new boy Ricky Ravenhill, with Gary Jones getting the nod in place of Reddy. Macca also made a welcome return to the bench.
There was unsurprisingly an air of doubt around Blundell Park before the game though this was all but quashed with the Mariner’s ‘up and at em’ start.
Right from the first minute Town offered a combination of flowing passing football along with a more direct approach towards Jones, and this worked.
Walsall unfairly took the lead with their first attack. Hector Sam centred a low ball from the right for Martin Butler, who thrashed home to give the League Two new boys the lead.
The Mariners didn't drop their heads and Gary Jones was sent in almost straight after only to be beaten to the ball by Clayton Ince, who for the umpteenth time kicked the ball into the stands.
On 22 mins Rankin was sent through only to be beaten to the ball by the solid Ince who would have been happy Town only got a corner.
Rankin only minutes later was again sent through but this time it was his finish which lacked quality. Rankin, who threatened throughout, needed just to guide the ball over Ince but the ex-Brentford man hit it straight at the Trinidadian.
On the 35th minute Town got what they deserved from midfield maestro Paul Bolland. Town gained a corner which was cleared off the line. Walsall then send it wide, Ravenhill collected it before sending ‘Bolly’ through. Bolland banged the ball past the ball past the 'keeper to give the Mariner’s a deserved equaliser - easy!
I know this may seem like I am repeating myself but Rankin was again sent through with only the 'keeper to beat. Ranks tried to take the ball around Ince who stood up well and stretched out his arm to deny a goal.
Towards the end of the half the Mariners dominated with a number of half chances going our way but the score still remained 1-1.
The whistle came at the wrong time with the Mariners in the form that nearly saw us up last year. Town showed some great football, though poor finishing and decent goalkeeping denied them - Walsall were in for a good talking to by the manager!
Walsall must have been on the receiving end as at half time two changes were made by the Saddlers with Pead and Fangueiro lad coming off for Taylor and Westwood.
It wasn't much later that Super Bore was on for an injured Beagrie.
Unfortunately for the Mariners the tempo of the game had been slowed down by Walsall, who didn't look like scoring but you still knew they were dangerous.
After 66 minutes skipper Justin Whittle was brought on for McIntosh, who returns to Huddersfield after the game.
Now we have a quiz. For one point have a guess which striker was sent through again only for Ince to pull off a decent stop? Any guesses? The rebound was then smartly stopped by the impressive 'keeper at his near post after Gary Jones hit a sweet strike.
On 72 minutes Super Bore came to the rescue again for the Mariners, again after Gary Jones's initial header had been parried. Bore darted in to powerfully head the ball home.
Walsall brought off Fox for another of their impressively named players, Ishmel Demontagnac!
In injury time Walsall gained a few corners with a late scare coming in the final action of the game. The ball came in and eventually stopped four yards from goal only for Man Of The Match Gary Jones to dive in and get a foot to the ball, allowing Whittle to clear and that was it!
Town delivered the goods after Fenty’s dreaded Vote of Confidence in Rodger. Finally it looks as if things are picking up and hopefully Town can do the business and start to climb the table.
Man Of The Match Gary Jones. Outstanding, battled hard and deserved a goal.
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