Question of the WeekWho will finish bottom?
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY won their third successive league game for the first time since January 2008 with a well-deserved victory over Lincoln. It was also the first time Town had won 3-1 since 2005, and in 6672, the biggest home crowd since relegation from the Football League.
Town got off to a good start with a well taken goal from Liam Hearn. The Mariners scored again just before the interval when Coulson headed in a perfect Townsend cross, and then Elding scored a penalty in front on the Pontoon near the start of the second half. Lincoln gave themselves a lifeline when Taylor pulled one back, but Town defended solidly. The only downside was a red card for Manny Panther in his final loan game from Aldershot, and a tenth yellow for Bradley Wood - which will result in a two match suspension.
The win, Town's 12th match undefeated since losing to Luton in October, lifts the Mariners into the top half of the table, and all but banishes any lingering fears of relegation. Town now find themselves 16 points clear of the drop zone and inevitably are starting to look at the teams above them to see how high they can finish. However the only top ten team who Grimsby have beaten are the team above them Forest Green, a statistic Grimsby will have to overcome if they want to remain in the top half of the table.
The only change from the side when won at Sincil Bank was new signing Miller who was a straight swap for the suspended Pearson in the back four alongside Garner.
Town got off to a quick start and Disley latched onto a loose ball following a goal kick and shot wide in the first minute.
The dangerous Townsend then made a great run and pulled back to Disley who failed to strike the ball cleanly from a dangerous position.
Townsend again provided the assist for the first goal when he whipped in a ball which went through the Lincoln defence and found Hearn unmarked at the far post. Town's leading scorer made no mistake, drilling in past the 'keeper from close range.
Town went on to dominate the first 15 minutes before Lincoln started to come back into the game a bit.
Town extended their lead to give themselves some breathing space just before half time when Townsend crossed for Coulson to head the ball into the net.
Early in the second half Elding made it three from the spot following a handball by a Lincoln player, a decision which was hotly contested by the Imps.
McKeown then made a good save to deny Medley. From the resulting corner Taylor turned and shot, and it went in glancing off Disley's head to give Lincoln a lifeline.
Soon Disley was injured and was replaced by Thanoj.
The goal gave Lincoln hope and midway through the second half Taylor's long range shot went just wide.
Town though continued to look dangerous themselves and Panther had a shot cleared off the line.
Lincoln almost scored a second but Town survived a desperate goalmouth scramble.
With 2 minutes to go Panther was fouled and reacted to the challenge, and was sent off. Sinclair escaped with a yellow card.
Town survived without too much bother the 4 minutes of injury time.
It was a well deserved win and Grimsby continued their record of scoring lots of goals at Blundell Park. Town have now scored three of more goals in 7 games this season in Cleethorpes, and there have been a total of 65 games in 17 games, an average of nearly 4 goals a game. No wonder the punters are starting to come back!
Grimsby: McKeown, Wood, Garner, Miller, Townsend, Coulson, Disley, Panther, Artus, Elding, Hearn
Subs: Silk, Duffy, Makofo, Thanoj, McCarthy
Lincoln City: Anyon, Sinclair, Hinds, Williams, Nutter, Power, Christophe, Tyrone Thompson, Platt, Sheridan, Taylor
Subs: Draper, Smith, Russell, Nicolau, Medley
Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear)
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