Question of the WeekWill Grimsby get relegated?
|Green shoots needed
Sutton Hold Town to a Draw
By: Rob Sedgwick
A frustrating afternoon saw Grimsby draw 1-1 with bottom club Sutton at Blundell Park. The Mariners took an early Rekeil Pyke lead but conceded just before the breakthrough.
Despite more of the possession in the second half it was Sutton who had the best chances after the break and it needed a stunning point-blank save from Harvey Cartwright to keep the scores level.
The managers made three changes from the side which drew at FGR with Waterfall, Conteh and Wilson all starting in place of Rodgers, Green and the suspended Rose.
Sutton had a couple of early corners but Town broke quickly from one and Holohan's pass led to a Gnahoua shot straight at the keeper. Shortly after a cross from Mullarkey found Wilson but his shot hit a defender which took all the power out of it and it rolled into the hands of Bouzanis.
Bouzanis was then injured when a 5m sprint to the edge of his box saw him go down with a calf injury and he was shortly subbed. Shortly afterwards Grimsby took the lead. Another Mullarkey cross fell to Pyke whose first attempt to volley effectively trapped the ball at his feet and he fired it into the net with the second swing of his foot.
Grimsby looked the more likely to score a second and Wilson should have done better with an Andrews ball from the left but he failed to make good contact with the ball.
The whole dynamic of the game was changed in the final minute of first-half injury time, which was considerable because of the goalkeeper change. A Sutton breakaway saw O'Brien's pass take a slight deflection which fell perfectly to Smith, and he lashed it in past Cartwright.
Both sides had chances in a frustrating second half, but they mainly fell Sutton's way. Sowunmi had a good chance from a Jackson long throw but poor contact led his shot going just wide. Clifton game on for Andrews in a midfield change.
Sutton then had a very strong spell. First, a ball was played to Coley who turned and wrong-footed Mullarkey in the box but his shot went wide. Cartwright then made a stunning point-blank save to deny a Smith header. At the other end, Clifton went close after good work by Gnahoua, but his shot was cleared for a corner.
Sutton slowed the game down in the final stages and Grimsby were unable to muster anything of note with the game petering out. A draw was a fair result with Grimsby better in the first half and Sutton in the second. A new manager is expected to be unveiled soon, but the interim team have gone 5 games without defeat and progressed to Round 2 of the FA Cup at Oxford. Much work needs to be done though across the side with the defence being too porous and the attack not potent enough.
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