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One Nil to the Mariners

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 15/03/2023

TOWN won their second consecutive league game for the first time since October with a repeat of Saturday's 1-0 scoreline. The Mariners deservedly went ahead in the first half through Michee Efete and then dug deep in the second half to preserve their lead.

Paul Hurst, mindful of the Brighton FA Cup game at the weekend, made five changes. Taylor, Smith, Clifton, Morris and Amos also started with Emmanuel, Holohan, Khan, Glennon and McAtee dropping out.

Town were the better side before the break and had most of the chances. Taylor had an early effort when he turned and shot over the bar and Clifton volleyed wide. For the hosts, Beautyman had a good chance from a Kizzi cross, but his effort went just over.

The Mariners took the lead from goal kick when Taylor headed the ball on and Lloyd flicked it to Efete who was the furthest forward for some reason. The wing back finished like a striker to give Town the lead, although the keeper did make some contact but not enough to stop the goal.

Sutton had more of the game in the second half and Town had to spend long spells defending. Dennis beat two men, but Crocombe saved with his feet in an early chance, but otherwise, Grimsby largely contained United.

Grimsby will likely have to spend long spells defending against Brighton, so it was a promising sign, as are two consecutive clean sheets.

Town are now all but safe and would need to lose almost all 12 remaining games to get relegated. On the flip side, they would have to win about 10 of them to reach the playoffs. All thoughts though can now turn at last to Brighton, and can the Mariners repeat their 1939 win at Chelsea to reach the FA Cup Semi Final. It's a remarkable achievement for a side in League 2, especially the bottom half, to reach the last 8, but Grimsby's record in one-off games has been astonishing in the last 12 months, giving supporters a succession of memories to treasure for their whole lives. Sunday's game could well be another....

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