Question of the WeekShould England "Take the Knee"?
Hanging by a Thread
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY looked doomed, and probably still are, but their Great Escape is still on after an unexpected away win at Oldham. Barrow and Scunthorpe losing means the Mariners still have a possible lifeline to escape relegation if they win the last three games.
Matt Green made an unexpected start as Hanson was injured in the warm-up and that unplanned change was in addition to the replacement of Luke Waterfall and Giles Coke for Sam Habergham and Julien Lamy. It meant Grimsby were an outfield player short on the bench.
The Mariners were slow to start with a new look 3-5-2 formation and Oldham started strongest.
Waterfall nearly scored an own goal for the second game running when a cross was whipped in but McKeown was alert to spare the centre back's blushes with a save.
Town's first chance came when they won a free kick in a dangerous position from which Spokes hit the top of the wall, but Oldham were still the stronger side at this point.
Just when it looked like the Mariners had weathered the storm they conceded when Matete was caught in possession in midfield. The ball was played quickly to the speedy McAleny who slotted it past McKeown to put Oldham in front.
Grimsby though were soon level when Green hit a cross-shot from the left which looked saveable but went straight in the goal. The goal was very soft from Oldham's point of view but gave Town confidence and from this point, they were more than Oldham's equals.
Town almost went in front when a fantastic volley by Clifton was tipped over for a corner, and then the wing back made a terrific sliding challenge at the other end from a Barnes cross to deny a certain goal.
Oldham looked dangerous and almost went back in front when a short corner played into box rebounded off the post. The action was end to end and the next chance fell when a mistake by Oldham allowed Spokes to burst through unchallenged but he dragged his shot wide from a good position.
With Oldham pressing for a winner, Town has another chance on the break but Green faced with a 2 on 1 overhit his pass and the 'keeper intercepted. Clifton then made a fantastic run all the way from defence which deserved a goal but his shot was blocked for a corner.
It was then Matete's turn to make a stunning run into the box, and then this time he blasted a shot into the top corner to put Town in front.
The ref then sent Menayese off in a case of mistaken identity and Grimsby had the fourth official to thank when he let the ref and linesman know the error and the ref then showed the yellow to the correct player Khouri, who had not been previously booked.
Jackson came on in injury time for Town's only substitution of the game and the final action of a nail-biting game saw a direct free kick go narrowly over the bar from a central position.
Grimsby had fought their way into the game and ended deserved winners with a fantastic goal from Matete, and an outstanding performance from Clifton the highlight.
With a tough away game at Exeter next and matches with Port Vale and second-placed Cambridge still to come, it's a big ask for Town to complete their trio of wins, never mind the necessary other results which need to go their way.
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