Question of the WeekWho should start in goal?
Town Thrash Dover to Go Top
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY thrashed Dover with a rampant display at Blundell Park and climbed to the top of the league thanks to a late win for Altrincham over Dagenham. The Mariners led 5-0 at halftime despite missing a penalty and added a second without reply in the second half.
Ryan Sears replaced the suspended Michee Efete, and Hunt and Taylor came in for Coke and Sousa in the other changes from the defeat at Bromley.
Dover started strongly, with Town attacking the Pontoon in the first half, and Grimsby needed their defence in top form to clear a cross from Arthur. Bentley headed over from the ensuing corner.
Taylor dispossessed Hanson near the halfway line and the defender hauled down the striker as he was clean through on goal. The referee showed him a yellow, only the distance to the goal stopping Hanson from getting sent off as he was the last defender.
Town started to move the ball around well and a fine move involving several outfield players was capped off with Clifton shooting wide with his left foot. Not long after, with the half at its midway point, Grimsby won a penalty when Bapaga was brought down at the edge of the penalty area. McAtee's spot-kick was close to the 'keeper and was saved.
Town were not behind for long. Bapaga almost scored but his effort was blocked from point-blank range from a corner, from which Waterfall glanced the ball in.
McAtee then made amends for his miss with a stunning solo goal, when he danced around the 'keeper being side-footing the ball into the net and celebrating in front of the Pontoon.
Bapaga was brought down again in the box, this time in a more central position and Taylor took the spot-kick to send Grimsby 3-0 in front.
Town fans were soon in dreamland when Clifton pulled the ball back to Bapaga, who put the home side 4-0 up. The Mariners were looking dangerous every time they went forward and it was the icing on the cake when fans favourite John McAtee broke again and delivered a perfect cross for Taylor to make it 5 just before halftime.
Dover were playing for their pride only in the second half, but Grimsby continued to look likely to add to their lead. Hurst decided to bring on John-Lewis and Sousa for Taylor and McAtee on 65 minutes, mindful of the midweek game coming up.
But there was still time for Hunt to pick out Waterfall with another goal from a corner.
With late goals from other games going their way Town founds greeting the final whistle with jubilation, with the realisation that Grimsby were top of the league. The Mariners passed the ball around very nicely at times and were unplayable in the latter part of the first half especially.
The Mariners have two away matches against Altrincham and Woking coming up, which won't be easy as both sides beat more fancied opposition today. But Grimsby have bounced back nicely after the disappointment of Bromley, and maintain their 100% home record against another very high home gate.
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