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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
05:54 18th July 2013

A PENALTY from Lenell John-Lewis in the last minute of added time earned Grimsby Town a point against Woking after a crazy last 10 minutes at Blundell Park.

 

The game looked to be heading towards a goalless draw before the visitors seemed to have snatched all three points when an Andrew Boyce own-goal put them ahead with seven minutes to go.

 

Town fought back and equalised through substitute Oumare Tounkara as the game approached injury time but it looked like the points had been snatched away when Kieran Murtagh put the visitors back ahead.

 

Incredibly though, there was time for a second equaliser when Craig Disley was brought down inside the box and Lenell John-Lewis held his nerve to make it 2-2 from the penalty spot.

 

One change was made to the Town side that won at Kidderminster on Saturday, with Connor Jennings replacing Ross Hannah in attack.

 

James McKeown started in goal, with Sam Hatton, Shaun Pearson, Boyce and Aswad Thomas across the defence.

 

Alex Rodman, Disley, Scott Kerr and Scott Neilson were the midfielders, with John-Lewis partnering Jennings up front.

 

Hannah began on the bench, alongside Joe Colbeck, AndI Thanoj, Jamal Fyfield and Tounkara.

 

Woking made the long journey north looking to continue an impressive recent record that showed six victories from their previous six games, including away wins at champions-elect Luton and play-off chasing Gateshead.

 

Among the men to watch in the Cards’ side would be veteran winger Kevin Betsy and striker Scott Rendell.

 

Town kicked off and John-Lewis had the first shot of the game within 10 seconds, lifting a 25-yard effort over the bar.

 

Rodman then let fly with a low shot after being picked out by Jennings before the clock had passed the minute mark as the hosts started brightly.

 

And that good start continued with a great Grimsby move down the right that ended with Disley volleying a shot that bounced wide.

 

Woking’s first opportunity came on four minutes, when a cross from Rendell was flicked on by strike partner Jack Marriott but he could not get enough power on it and Town cleared.

 

Betsy hit a deflected shot four minutes later after beating Thomas and cutting in from the right and McKeown was forced into action for the first time to dive and make the stop.

 

A good chance for Town came when Neilson found Jennings inside the penalty area and he squared for John-Lewis, who could only lift his shot over the bar from 10 yards.

 

A Town corner came when keeper Sam Beasant beat Disley to the ball inside the Woking box but Kerr’s driven delivery to the near post was cleared by Josh Payne.

Rodman fired a shot from 25 yards after John-Lewis won the ball in the air on 17 minutes but Beasant was equal to the effort.

 

A foul on Kieran Murtagh gave Woking a free kick midway inside the Grimsby half but Payne’s delivery from it had too much power and sailed out for a goal kick.

 

Another opportunity for John-Lewis came when he outmuscled his marker to get on the end of a ball forward from Neilson but his shot was deflected out for a corner.

 

The game stopped for centre-back Mark Ricketts to receive treatment after going down injured when the corner came in.

 

Disley was shown the first yellow card of the night when referee Adrian Holmes adjudged him to have dived in the box in an attempt to win a penalty.

 

A foul on Jennings midway inside the Woking half led to Boyce going down under a challenge when Kerr’s ball came into the penalty area. The referee pointed for a goal kick.

 

Rodman sent a cross in on the half-hour and after Jennings couldn’t get to it, John-Lewis had a shot which was blocked.

 

At the other end, a shot by Murtagh deflected off Kerr and went out for a Woking corner on the right. John Goddard’s kick was headed clear by Pearson.

 

A foul on Rodman on the left touchline earned Adam Newton a yellow card seven minutes before the break but nobody in black and white could get on the end of Kerr’s free kick.

 

Thomas then flashed a right-footed shot just wide of Beasant’s target from 20 yards as Town continued to attack.

 

Jennings was clipped from behind to bring about another free kick but again, Kerr’s free kick was well-defended.

 

Woking had been quiet as an attacking force, while Town had done most of the attacking but not seriously tested Beasant.

 

Two added minutes were played at the end of the first half and there was almost an opening for the home side in the first of them when Jennings beat the Woking offside trap but could not get the ball to John-Lewis.

 

A Woking free kick was then comfortably dealt with by the Mariners, meaning the scores remained level at the halfway point.

 

No changes were made before the restart and Town won a corner on the left five minutes in after a cross from Thomas. Kerr’s delivery was punched by Beasant and then put out for a goal kick by Jennings.

 

Woking almost had a chance when a long pass forward from John Nutter looked to have found Marriott but Pearson recovered well to get back and win the ball.

 

And the visitors went closer still when a cross from the right bounced up in front of Rendell, who could not direct it into the net from close range as Town escaped with a goal kick.

 

Another opportunity for the improving away side came with a driven free kick from Payne but no attacker could get a touch to the ball and it was cleared for a throw-in.

 

A chance for the Mariners was created when Thomas got the ball on the left and sent a low ball across the six-yard line but John-Lewis could not divert it into the net.

 

Town went closer on 64 minutes when Kerr hit a shot from 20 yards but Beasant did well to get down and push the ball out for a corner.

 

The Grimsby pressure continued with a second corner in quick succession but it was eventually eased when the offside flag went up against Jennings.

 

An attempted overhead shot by Jennings hit the side-netting as Town continued to push for an opening goal.

 

Guiseppe Sole replaced Marriott as Woking made the first substitution on 70 minutes, before Mariners boss Paul Hurst responded with a double change, as Colbeck replaced Neilson and Tounkara came on for Jennings.

 

Excellent defending by Ricketts saw him head the ball out for a corner as John-Lewis looked favourite to get to a left-wing cross.

 

Pearson headed against the bar from the corner, before a second flag-kick was punched by Beasant.

 

Neither side had really looked like scoring but with seven minutes to go, the deadlock was broken by the visitors. A ball into the box was not dealt with and after McKeown made a brilliant point-blank save, he was powerless to stop the rebound being knocked in off BOYCE for an own-goal.

 

Fyfield replaced Thomas immediately after the goal, with the game now taking on a different complexion for the last seven minutes.

 

Rodman went close to restoring parity with a 20-yard shot that whistled over Beasant’s bar with three minutes left.

 

Town then got their equaliser as the clock ticked into the 90th minute, when TOUNKARA took the ball inside the box and steered a shot beyond Beasant.

 

That looked to have rescued a point as four minutes of added time were signalled but the away side had other ideas and after a rare mistake by Boyce, substitute Joseph Jones’ shot was saved by McKeown but MURTAGH found the net from the rebound for 2-1.

 

Incredibly, there was still time for the Mariners to rescue the situation again when they were awarded a penalty in the last of the added minutes when Disley was brought down inside the box. JOHN-LEWIS held his nerve from the spot to make it 2-2 and seal an important point.

 

Town are now back on the road for a game at Dartford on Thursday.

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