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Goal Shy Town Lose Again
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY lost for the seventh time in eight games, falling to a late goal in the home match with leaders Chesterfield from top scorer Kabongo Tshimanga. It was a game of few chances when Grimsby created little again but a moment of quality proved the difference between the sides.
Pearson, Crookes, Coke and Bell came into the side in place of Towler, Maguire-Drew, Hunt and McAtee. The latter two changes were enforced as Hunt and McAtee were both suspended.
Max Crocombe kept his place in goal, with Pearson, Luke Waterfall and David Longe-King forming a back-three as Michee Efete and Crookes operated as wing-backs. Coke was joined in midfield by Ben Fox and Harry Clifton, with Bell supporting Ryan Taylor in attack.
Both sides had no more than half-chances until the closing minutes of the first half when the visitors almost scored. Tshimanga found Kellermann and the latter's shot appeared heading for the bottom corner until Crocombe made a great stop to tip it safe for a corner. Liam Mandeville then fired a shot over the bar for Chesterfield.
The match was cat and mouse in the second half until Grimsby conceded a free kick with 6 minutes to go. Kellermann played the ball into the box where it was flicked on and Tshimanga scored with a spectacular volley.
Town defenders Pearson and Crookes combined for the game's best chance for Grimsby, with Crookes firing over the bar from his fellow defender's cross.
The Mariners had barely an effort to show in 90 minutes and the free-scoring first few games are now a distant memory, as is the 100% record at Blundell Park with two sides now having gone away with all three points. Something has to change soon if Town hope to stay contenders in the promotion picture, the number 9 shirt, in particular, is still unclaimed despite months of searching for the perfect striker.
Grimsby next play in the FA Trophy against big-spending Stockport. The pressure is off in that game as the tournament is not a priority but at least it gives Grimsby a chance to boost their confidence against one of the division's best sides.
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