Question of the WeekWho will win the National League?
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY have only beaten Hartlepool once in the league since 1970s and Town have suffered some heavy beatings at the hands of Pools during that time, losing 4-1, 8-1 and 4-2 amongst a few less emphatic beatings. Unfortunately yesterday's game continued the trend and the Mariners were well beaten at 3-0.
Town started strongly and a bad injury to Chambers after 7 minutes - which saw the winger stretchered off after a midair collision with Carroll - did not disrupt Town's rhythm as they looked the much stronger side.
Hartlepool stunned the crowd with an opener against the run of play. Allessandra forced his way into the box, skipping round Summerfield, and his shot hit the post. On hand was former Mariner Padraig Amond to score his first from close range,
The goal seemed to knock all confidence away from Town who looked a shadow of the side which started the game for the remainder of the match. Amond added a second on 36 minutes, drifting away from his market to volley in an inch perfect cross.
Bolarinwa, who looked dangerous in the first half, caused panic when he ran at the Hartlepool defence and he set up Summerfield for a good chance before the break, but the midfielder's piledriver narrowly missed the target.
After the break Grimsby should have scored with a frantic goalmouth melee that saw around six shots on goal, and various saves, clearances and blocks to deny Town. Hartlepool emerged from this spell and added a third of their own with a superb lob from Thomas over McKeown's head.
Grimsby looked increasingly clueless as the game went on and never looked likely to score in the closing stages as the fans drifted out of Blundell Park. It was a poor display and the Mariners appeared to lack belief or ideas once they went a goal down. The injury to Chambers can't really be pointed to, as Bolarinwa was a ready replacement (at least for the first 20 minutes he was on the pitch).
Town next have a game against Leicester in the much-derided EFL Trophy, but it does at least give Paul Hurst the chance to try some of his fringe players our.
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