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The Finishing Sraight
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY are Tranmere met in the season's finishing straight with both clubs having long since given up on promotion and likewise seen off any relegation fears. Town still hope to finish in the top half, which would be an improvement on their last few seasons at this level.
However, failure to make the most of their first-half chances proved fatal as Tranmere scored either side of the break with a penalty and free kick.
Paul Hurst made 5 changes to the starting line-up, with Orsi making a rare start for the Mariners. Town started well and Clifton had a shot deflected in early play. Orsi has the best chance of the game in open play after half an hour when a ball was headed into him from the edge of the box and he spun and shot from close range, but the keeper came out quickly and charged the shot down.
Just before halftime, Holohan stuck out a foot and Hendry went over, giving an easy penalty decision for the ref. Hawkes easily scored from the spot to give Rovers a halftime lead. Waterfall could and should have done better from a free kick late in the half when he found himself free at the far post, but he shot wide.
Any chance of a second-half fightback was swiftly quashed when Rovers doubled their lead after Emmanuel conceded a free kick right at the start of the second half. Hughes curled it around Crocombe for a well-taken goal, but Grimsby will be disappointed to have given them the chance.
The Mariners had a mountain to climb and rarely got beyond base camp for the rest of the half. Maher came closest with a headed opportunity, but the lack of bite was apparent.
Tranmere is not a lucky ground for Grimsby, and it proved to be again today. The Mariners have another midtable tussle with Crewe at Blundell Park on Tuesday when they will be looking to add to the five league wins they have had at Blundell Park.
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