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Rainham End

Town Fall to Late Winner

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 15/02/2023

GRIMSBY succumbed to a late goal at Gillingham which saw them drop further down the league table. The Mariners had fought their back into the game to level it 1-1 through Holohan, only to capitulate to a late Gillingham onslaught and end up losing 2-1.

Town were the stronger side in the first half, but second best after the break. Having equalised, Grimsby has the opportunity to press for a winner but they looked happy to settle for a point. Gillingham though wanted all three to ease their relegation worries and were brave enough to chance their arm and go for the winner in the later stages.

Paul Hurst rotated his squad making three changes. Andy Smith, Anthony Glennon and Holohan all started with Josh Emmanuel, Danny Amos and Alex Hunt dropping to the bench

The first half was a scrappy affair, but Town had the better chances with Efete looking dangerous going forward and leading many of Town's attacks. McAtee had the best chance for Grimsby when Lloyd won the ball and it lead to a chance for the Town striker, but his shot went just wide. Glennon also missed a good chance towards the end of the half when he blasted over from a narrow angle.

Gillingham upped their game after the break and Crocombe was forced to make an early clearance for a corner. Town survived many penalty appeals attacking their own fans, but the pressure was starting to build up and Grimsby were forced to defend deeply and rely more on the quick counterattack.

The breakthrough came 10 minutes into the second half when Jeffries crossed from the left and Lapslie scored from close range.

Town almost fought back straight away in a swift breakaway when Clifton and McAtee combined but Town's No 10's shot was blocked, and then McAtee has another attempt tipped wide for a corner.

Grimsby equalised with a similar goal to Gillingham's, a cross from the left by Glennon was powered home by Holohan at the far post.

With the match level, it was down to whoever wanted it most. Gillingham attacked in numbers and got Town on the ropes. Crocombe kept Town in the game with several saves but the pressure finally broke when Hawkins headed what turned out to be the winner.

Gillingham managed to waste almost all of the 5 mins of injury time so Town's chances of a late equaliser were limited. The majority of the crowd went home happy but Town's small contingent of supporters were left wondering what might have been.

Grimsby now have a much sterner task of getting something from Northampton away next week. The FA Cup has been a pleasure but the league is still the team's bread and butter and the Mariners start to need some more points on the board soon to avoid getting sucked into the fight at the bottom.

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