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23:40 3rd July 2012

Town extend unbeaten run

GRIMSBY Town’s unbeaten run was extended to seven games with a goalless draw against Kidderminster Harriers at Aggborough.


The Mariners created the better chances against the bottom-of-the-table Harriers but they were unable to force a breakthrough.


Grimsby were denied a penalty in the first half when a shirt-pull on Aswad Thomas went unpunished, while striker Richard Peniket glanced a header wide in what was the home side’s best chance of the half.


After the interval, Town continued to create chances and Joe Colbeck went the closest to grabbing a winning goal, hitting the bar twice.


Grimsby were unchanged from the XI that started the single-goal victory over Forest Green Rovers at Blundell Park last time out.


That meant Andy Cook and Bradley Wood were able to keep their places after recovering from injuries picked up against the Gloucestershire side.


James McKeown started in goal, with Wood, Shaun Pearson, Nathan Pond and Thomas, the latter fresh from making his England C debut in midweek, forming the defence.


Colbeck, Craig Disley, Derek Niven and Frankie Artus were the midfielders and Cook was joined up front by Anthony Elding.


The Grimsby substitutes’ bench showed two changes, with Ian Miller coming into the squad in place of Simon Ford and Greg Pearson returning to replace Louie Soares.


The other subs were Sam Hatton, Dayle Southwell and Andi Thanoj.


Kidderminster came into the game as the Blue Square Bet Premier’s bottom club and the only one yet to register a victory so far this season.


The first chance of the game came for the hosts on four minutes, when a free kick from Mickey Demetriou was met by centre-back Cheyenne Dunkley but his free header from inside the box flew wide.


At the other end, Colbeck looked to beat his man on the right but he could not get a cross in, with Demetriou stepping in to win the ball and clear.


The home side were making the early running, with the Mariners showing little attacking threat in the opening stages of the game.


A Town penalty appeal came when Thomas overlapped and ran into the box before going down under a challenge but the referee ruled he had not been pulled back.


A free kick for a foul on Artus in the centre circle gave the visitors another chance to get the ball into the box but after Pearson headed it across the goal, it was eventually cleared from danger.


Grimsby were now beginning to come into the game and they had a chance on 17 minutes, when Artus sent a free header off-target after a cross by Wood on the right.


A Colbeck cross was then tipped away by home keeper Nathan Vaughan, who then got to the second ball ahead of Niven.


Town were now the side creating chances and the next one came on 21 minutes, when Elding crossed for Pond but again, he could not hit the target.


Disley then tried a shot from long range after picking up the ball from a clearance by keeper Vaughan but the effort went wide.


A Kidderminster free kick just before the half-hour was volleyed clear by Cook but the hosts kept possession and launched another attack, which was also repelled by the Mariners.


That proved to be the start of a spell of home pressure that also included a weak shot by right-back Lee Vaughan, who beat Thomas to the ball inside the Town box.


Midfielder Keith Briggs was the next to get a shooting chance after Elding lost possession but his effort was saved by McKeown.


Elding then shot straight at Vaughan after beating the offside trap to get on the end of a header by Disley with eight minutes to go before half-time.


Kidderminster came close to opening the scoring with a glancing header by striker Peniket but with McKeown beaten, the ball bounced inches wide of the post, keeping the game goalless.


Peniket headed over the bar soon afterwards as the home pressure continued, before a Town free kick led to Thomas playing the ball into the box, where it was dealt with by keeper Vaughan.


One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no further chances for either side, the match remained level at the break.


No changes were made before the restart and the first real action of the second half saw Wood go down under a late challenge, which went unpunished.


Three minutes in, Town almost took the lead when a cross from Thomas was pushed out by Vaughan but Colbeck slammed his shot against the underside of the bar, before Cook put the rebound wide.


At the other end, a Kidderminster free kick in a dangerous position was hit by Demetriou but McKeown was equal to it, catching the ball.


Midfielder James Vincent had the next opportunity for the home side but he sent the ball wide of the mark from inside the penalty area.


Kidderminster won a corner when a driven cross by Demetriou was put behind by Pearson, although the flag-kick was cleared from danger by Cook after Pearson had won the initial header.


A late challenge by Thomas earned him the first booking of the game on 65 minutes but the resulting free kick was collected by McKeown.


Town made a change up front soon afterwards, with Greg Pearson coming on for Cook.


The change was the second of the afternoon for the Mariners after Hatton had come on for Wood and Pearson was soon into the action, hitting a shot wide after being picked out by Elding.


A shot by Colbeck was blocked by Dunkley and another Town attack saw Elding go down inside the box but his penalty claims were waved away by the referee.


A weak shot by Ryan Rowe, on for Peniket, caused no real problems for McKeown as both sides continued to attack without giving either keeper too much to do.


Town won a corner with 13 minutes to go but they could not convert it into a chance in front of goal and Kidderminster broke clear after Callum Gittings’ clearance, although they too were unable to create an opportunity.


Experienced striker Steve Guinan was sent on by Harriers boss Steve Burr for the last 12 minutes of the game, as the home side kept looking for that elusive first win.


Greg Pearson won a throw level with the Kidderminster penalty area with eight minutes left but again, Town were unable to build on the position.


The home side had another chance when a free kick was given for a foul by Disley on the edge of the box but the opportunity was not taken, as Town held firm to clear the initial delivery and the follow-up shot.


A foul on Greg Pearson halfway inside the Kidderminster half gave Grimsby a position from which to launch another attack but Hatton chose to shoot from it and fired high and wide.


Soon afterwards, a Disley cross was blocked and Demetriou broke clear, although Thomas stepped in to halt the attack.


Artus was then penalised for a foul, which earned the winger a yellow card.


Three minutes of added time were signalled, giving both sides more time to break the deadlock and snatch all three points.


Greg Pearson, having only entered the fray with less than half an hour to go, was forced to depart the field with an injury and Southwell replaced him for the last two minutes.


Town almost won the game in the last of the added minutes when Colbeck crashed another shot against the bar after he was played in by Hatton.


Another Hatton cross was headed away as the visitors looked for one last opportunity to claim the three points.


But with no further chances, the Mariners had to settle for their third goalless draw of the season.


Town now look ahead to Friday’s televised clash with Luton Town at Blundell Park.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.