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The Green Shoots of Recovery

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 25/11/2020

GRIMSBY ended their miserable losing streak with an unexpected away win at Crawley, a victory that looked especially unlikely when they went 1-0 down after just 4 minutes. But Town's heads didn't drop and they fought their way back into the game with two goals either side of half time.

The goals seemed to ooze confidence into the Mariners and they finished the game looking the stronger side to pick up a deserved three points.

Ian Hollway made six changes after the 5-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday. Duncan Idehen, Danny Preston, Elliott Hewitt, Max Wright, Sean Scannell and Matt Green all came into the starting line-up.

A repeat of the 5-0 drubbing in Birkenhead looked on the cards when Town gave the ball away trying to play out from the back after 4 mins and the ball eventually fell to Watters who fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner for a stunning opener.

Town began to play some football with Green and Scannell looking lively up front, and the Mariners started to create some half chances, although Crawley still looked dangerous and Joe McNerney just failed to make contact with a corner which has eluded McKeown. Town's keeper then made a good save from Watters to keep the deficit manageable.

The turning point came with Grimsby won a free-kick and Rose's spot-kick was flicked on to the unmarked Green for a simple finish. The goal seemed to ooze confidence into Town and they never looked back, although Crawley were still a threat and McKeown had to make another save just before the break.

Town started the second half with a stunning goal 5 minutes in. Preston's ball out of defence picked out Edwards on the left and he crossed first time for Wright whose volley crashed into the net. The ball had gone from one end of the pitch to the other with just three touches.

A mistake by Idehen let Crawley in again but McKeown was on hand to deny Watters.

The game ebbed and flowed and Scannell wasn't far off with an outrageous attempt from the halfway line that had the 'keeper scrambling back. With the closing minutes approaching Town inevitably started to defend deeper and run down the clock and Crawley pressed for an equaliser. They came close with 3 minutes left but Waterfall managed to clear the ball off the line before the Mariners almost had the last laugh with sub Clifton curling the ball wide near the end.

It was a much better display. Grimsby still made mistakes at the back, but looked more incisive going forward and played some attractive football with some excellent link-up play. Scannell undoubtedly had his best game so far in a Grimsby shirt and Rose, Green and Thomas were all back to near their best.

Grimsby now have a week off with no game on Saturday and Ian Holloway has the rare opportunity to pick a settled side for the next game on Tuesday when Exeter visit Blundell Park.

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