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Unlucky Thirteen

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 26/12/2007

GRIMSBY'S mini revival came to a disappointing end today at home to Accrington Stanley. On twelve occasions Stanley have been to Blundell Park before, only to return empty handed each time. Today was the thirteenth visit, and this time they came away with all three points to end the curse.

Home > 2007-2008 Season > Reports > Accrington (h)

It had all looked promising for the Mariners. An early goal by Nick Hegarty, his first of the season, had Grimsby an eighth minute lead, which lasted until half time, and with Accrington looking decidedly dodgy at the back there seemed to be the prospect of more chances after the break. However the Lancastrians had looked dangerous going forward and their equaliser early in the second half by Grimsby's nemesis Paul Mullin was more than their play deserved. They soon added a second, after which Town were chasing a game which looked totally beyond today's personnel to get anything from.

Alan Buckley made just one change from the team which got a point at Stockport. The injured Toner was replaced by Hunt, and Town continued with the 3-5-2 formation which has seen an improved haul of points of late for the Mariners.

There were so few away fans that they must have all been on first name terms and they looked too spread out to start a conversation, never mind a chant. As it happened a coach load made more noise than the mighty Pontoon who made no more than a few bleetings about the forthcoming Lincoln derby.

Town kicked off the "wrong" way, attacking the Pontoon in the first half. After a slow start, Hegarty gave Town the lead with the second decent chance of the game (the first had also fallen to him but he decided to shoot instead of pass). The ball came to Hegarty from a throw in and he had the time to shoot with his right foot, the ball striking the 'keeper's hand and going in off the post.

Jones then went close when a back pass fell short. The big Town striker and the Stanley keeper collided and both ended up on the floor fighting for the ball but the keeper managed to hook the ball out for a corner.

If Accrington looked vulnerable at the back, they also looked strong at the other end, and in Mullin and D'Sane they possessed two dangerous players. On 21 minutes Mullen in space headed just over the bar. Then later in the half D'Sane looked certain to score when presented with the ball in the six yard box, but a bit of last ditch Town defending saw the chance pass him by.

Town had a strong penalty shout just before half time. An Accrington Stanley defender slipped and allowed himself to be dispossessed by Butler. With the defender still on the ground and having lost control of the ball, Butler had to clamber over him, after which he had just the 'keeper to beat. Although the defender seemed to impede Butler as he tried to skip over him, the ref waved away the shouts for a penalty.

Half time: Grimsby 1 Accrington 0

Town perhaps just shaded the first half. Maybe.

After the break Accrington equalised for their first corner. The ball came into the box and was played back to the corner taker who hit the ball first time and picked out Mullin's head, who made no mistake from close range.

Town went close at the other end and the ball had to be scrambled away, but Accrington doubled their lead soon afterwards. Town failed to clear a ball into the box, and Accrington pounced with Proctor eventually smashing the ball past Hird who was stood on the line.

Town and their supporters were shell shocked. Despite the introduction of North and Bore, Grimsby were unable to create any chance of significance in the whole of the second half in what turned out to be another Blundell Park horror show.

Alan Buckley picked more or less the best team and formation available to him. Accrington were a poor side, so if anyone has to get the blame today it was the players who just lacked the fight to get back into the game once they conceded the goals. Nobody really deserves Man of the Match, but Nick Hegarty gets it mainly for scoring the goal.

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