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It's the Hope That Does It
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY gave themselves a mountain to climb after a poor start at Edgeley Park saw them concede two early goals. A second penalty would have seen them go 3-0 down but it was missed and surprisingly Grimsby pulled the game back to 2-2. Sadly it was not to be and Stockport won the game when Barry bundled in their third.
Paul Hurst made three changes, one enforced as Waterfall was suspended. Efete, Maher, Holohan and Wilson came in for Gnahoua, Andrews, and Eisa. Grimsby lined up 3-5-2 with Rose and Wilson up front.
Town started confidently but Stockport won a penalty in their first attacking spell after Maher brought down Collar. Barry sent Eastwood the wrong way to give the home side the lead. Things soon got worse when a long ball was played to the impressive Olafofe and he shrugged aside Rodgers to race through and add a second.
Stockport were totally on top at this stage and looked likely to add to their goal tally. They were dangerous down each flank and also a threat from midfield runners getting behind Town's back line. Grimsby were restricted to crumbs and Wilson might have nicked one when he failed to stretch to poke in a long ball.
Clifton, who was on a yellow card, brilliantly got back to defend after a Grimsby corner was intercepted and Olaofe looked likely to score a second on the break. A third Stockport goal looked on the cards though and it looked inevitable when Eastwood hacked down Olaofe. Eastwood got away with a yellow as there was a defender on the line, but Stockport got their second penalty. Olaofe this time took it and sent his shot wide to maintain Grimsby's slender hope.
Town though ended the half on a high when they pulled back a scrappy goal on the 40-minute mark. A ball from the right came off Amos and fell to Wilson who chalked up his third goal in a Grimsby shirt.
Grimsby started the second half strongly as they had the first. Amazingly they were back in the game when Hinchliffe hauled down Clifton for a penalty, and Holohan cooly slotted it in. Town had come from nowhere to level the game.
Stockport continued to look the more dangerous but Town were defending better than in the first half. The Mariners could have nicked a third when the ball fell to Wilson, who had a split second to shoot but delayed and the ball was whipped off his toes.
The pressure eventually resulted in a third goal for Stockport, a ball was played in from the left and was bundled in by Barry, although Olaofe looked offside.
There was plenty of time left to find an equaliser but Stockport restricted Town to few chances and ended up running the clock down.
It was a game that few expected to get anything from, especially after the terrible start, but they made a fight of it. Pressure grows on Paul Hurst, but this wasn't the game to sack him after. Tuesday night against Colchester at Blundell Park now has added significance. There are only four sides below Grimsby and Colchester are one of them. Three points would ease the pressure on Hurst, but anything else will only increase the cries for change.
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