Question of the WeekWho will win the National League?
Coming of Age
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY finally broke their winless run of 20 games with an invaluable three points against Chesterfield, thanks to a second-half Mitch Rose penalty. Town now can virtually complete their escape from the dreaded drop with three points against Barnet next week.
The result eases the pressure on new boss Michael Jolley, who picks up his first win as a Football League manager and leaves Town very much in control of their own destiny.
Siriki Dembele and JJ Hooper started, with Zak Mills and James Berrett dropping out and Reece Hall-Johnson dropping into the back four.
Grimsby had most of the possession in the first half but their best chances generally came from set pieces or should have done, but for the generally poor delivery.
Chesterfield had the first good chance on goal when a flying save from McKeown was required to deny a Dennis volley. Town soon created a good chance of their own just before half-time when Hooper broke into the box and shot straight at the 'keeper from a narrow angle.
There was a spell of intense Town pressure early in the second half when Dembele found the byeline and shot at the keeper. The ball bounced back out for further efforts by Summerfield and Rose before the ball was finally hacked clear.
With Town needing to score fresh firepower was brought off the bench in the form of Harry Cardwell and Gary McSheffrey. The goal eventually came from a Mitch Rose long throw-in. It bounced off Sid Nelson's upper arm in the six-yard box and the referee awarded a penalty for handball. Mitch Rose stepped up to send the 'keeper the wrong way and Blundell Park erupted.
Town had six minutes of normal time to survive and six minutes of injury time which they managed to negotiate to give themselves a real lifeline.
The back four were solid and McKeown, when called upon, was equal to the task. The worry is Town didn't create much and relied upon the largesse of the referee to give them three points. A better side would probably have won today, Grimsby weren't brilliant but did enough to keep a clean sheet and took the chance when it came.
Realistically three points against Barnet would all but end this nightmare of a season and allow us to build again for a new start next campaign. Failure to do so would drag Grimsby back in the mix and need them requiring more points in their final three games, two of which are very difficult on paper.
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