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Grimsby 1-0 Brentford

By: Richard Lord
Date: 01/05/2004

A decisive goal by Isaiah Rankin 20 minutes from time ensured that Grimsby Town head into the final fixture at Tranmere with their destiny in their own hands, after they beat relegation rivals Brentford 1-0 at Blundell Park this afternoon.

The victory lifts the Mariners above Chesterfield and Rushden and level with Brentford on 50 points, but with an inferior goal difference.

Town head for the Wirral next weekend two points above the drop zone but still with everything to play for. A win might not be necessary, but all their rivals have the advantage of home fixtures.

Rankin's goal capped a good performance by Grimsby, but the visitors made the home side work extremely hard for their win.

Town were driven on by the return of Jamie Lawrence in midfield. Stuart Campbell moved out to the right and Iain Anderson dropped to the bench. Rankin and Mansaram continued their partnership up front.

Brentford were first to threaten, following an opening four minutes of strange decisions by the officials. Fettis clawed an effort off the line after the in-swinging free kick failed to get a touch from the strikers.

The Bees were tough and uncompromising, and they were proving a threat in the air, so it was from a well-worked routine that Town created their first chance when Coldicott saw his 18-yard effort saved by Nelson in the Brentford goal.

The game ebbed and flowed for the rest of the half, although Coldicott again found space to shoot but this time his effort went wide.

Darren Mansaram was next to try his luck, on the turn from outside the box but again Nelson was equal to the effort. Sonko's long throws were causing the Mariners problems at the back but the half ended 0-0.

The second half began with an injury to Rankin. The striker fell awkwardly after challenging Sonko in the air, but following treatment, he was able to carry on.

The pace of Jay Tabb gave Brentford the added impetus to push forward, but he simply wasn't utilised by the rest of the team as they continued to lump it forward to May and Harold.

Jevons came inches away from scoring a sensational goal when he had the audacity to chip the Bees keeper, but he saw his effort tipped over the bar.

The talking point came after 70 minutes following the substitution of Hockless for Mansaram. Within minutes, the youngster's trickery and decisive cross picked out Rankin, who headed home from six yards.

Tony Crane somehow contrived to miss the chance of the game when Barnard's corner eluded everyone but the big defender couldn't find the back of the net with his volley.

With plenty of time left, there was still work to do. The Bees had one excellent opportunity to equalise but the ball somehow stayed out at the far post when it got trapped under several pairs of feet.

Jevons was unlucky to see his near-post header parried away and Campbell saw his curling effort tipped past the post by the impressive Nelson.

Town tried to play out time in the corners, and with plenty of fans climbing over the advertising hoardings, the referee finally blew for full time.

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