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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
05:00 31st December 2013

Barnet 2 v Town 1

A LATE goal condemned Grimsby Town to a second consecutive defeat as Barnet ran out 2-1 winners at The Hive.

 

Town started slowly and the hosts took the lead with just two minutes on the clock, as Mauro Vilhete headed home from a corner.

 

The Mariners grew into the game and were much-improved after half-time, with Craig Disley bringing them level.

 

But as Town looked to force a winning goal, they were caught out when Jake Hyde struck to seal all three points for the hosts.

 

Four changes were made to the Grimsby side that lost at Cambridge on Saturday, with Paul Bignot, Aswad Thomas, Scott Neilson and Oumare Tounkara all coming back into the starting XI.

 

They replaced Sam Hatton, Jamal Fyfield, Paddy McLaughlin and Andy Cook from the FA Trophy team of the weekend.

 

James McKeown started in goal, with Bignot, Chris Doig, Clayton McDonald and Thomas in defence.

 

Alex Rodman, Disley, Scott Kerr and Scott Neilson were the midfielders, with Lenell John-Lewis partnering Tounkara in attack.

 

The Grimsby subs were Cook, Fyfield, Ross Hannah, Andi Thanoj and Joe Colbeck.

 

Both teams were looking to climb into the play-off positions with a victory and Town got off to a nightmare start when the hosts took the lead within two minutes of the kick-off.

 

Thomas was forced to concede an early corner and from it, Luisma Villa’s delivery was headed down by VILHETE and the ball bounced up and into the net.

 

Things could have got worse for the Mariners on five minutes, when Thomas lost the ball and Daniel Lopez ran clear but hit his shot against the post.

 

A Town free kick played into the box by Kerr was flicked away for a corner two minutes later but the Mariners were unable to profit from it.

 

Another Barnet corner was dealt with by the Town defence, while a flag-kick at the other end also did not lead to a chance in front of goal.

 

Keanu Marsh-Brown beat the offside trap to run into space for the home side on the quarter-hour but they were unable to take advantage, as his low cross was stopped by McKeown.

 

Thomas went down injured and eventually had to be replaced by Fyfield on 20 minutes.

 

A Town corner came two minutes later but Kerr’s ball was cleared.  The ball was returned into the danger zone though and Fyfield headed over the bar.

 

Another away attack saw Tounkara play a ball through for Rodman and he went down after pushing it past home keeper Nicky Jupp but the penalty appeals were waved away by the referee.

 

John-Lewis was adjudged to have committed a foul on 26 minutes and the resulting Barnet free kick led to a corner, which was half-cleared by Bignot.

 

After a period of Barnet possession, a Grimsby break saw Fyfield run into space but his cross went out of play for a goal kick.

 

Town then had a spell with the ball and a shot by John-Lewis was deflected out for a corner but again, they were unable to create anything from it and Barnet broke through Marsh-Brown.  He too failed to make an impact though, as the ball was pushed through to McKeown.

 

A foul on Rodman midway inside the Barnet half gave the Mariners a free kick but Kerr’s delivery was headed clear.

 

Fyfield and then Bignot both put crosses in as Town continued to attack but from the second one, John-Lewis was caught offside.

 

Neilson had a shot blocked after Tounkara had cut in following a pass by McDonald, then a cross from Fyfield was headed away.

 

Another Neilson shot was deflected away for a corner as the Grimsby pressure continued and after that was also put behind, Kerr’s latest driven delivery was dealt with by the hosts.

 

A Kerr free kick from inside the Barnet half on 45 minutes led to John-Lewis getting into the box and winning another corner.

 

Three minutes of stoppage time were signalled and a Town free kick from near the corner flag was cleared to launch a Barnet break, although Marsh-Brown was thwarted by Fyfield.

 

A Barnet corner was put behind for another one and from it, defender David Stephens failed to connect with the ball at the far post.

 

That proved to be the last opportunity of the half, meaning the home side retained their narrow one-goal advantage at the interval.

 

No further substitutions were made before the restart and Town had the first attack, with a Tounkara shot from a narrow angle being saved by Jupp.

 

John-Lewis went down inside the box after a cross from Rodman soon afterwards but the penalty appeals from the travelling fans did nothing to convince the referee to point to the spot and play continued.

 

Another shot from Tounkara curled just wide of the target as Town continued to apply pressure on the Barnet goal, before Rodman cleared the bar with an effort from just outside the area.

 

At the other end, a home corner came after a Marsh-Brown shot was deflected away.  It was cleared and a Town corner soon afterwards saw them come the closest yet to equalising, as a McDonald header was cleared off the line and scrambled away from danger.

 

Kerr was fouled on the edge of the Barnet box on 56 minutes to give the Mariners a free kick in a promising position but Fyfield’s shot hit the defensive wall.

 

The Town pressure eventually told two minutes the hour though, as a cross from Neilson was met by the head of DISLEY, who looped the ball over the keeper to level the scores.

 

The home side looked to reply through Lopez a minute later but his left-footed shot went wide of the mark.

 

Charlie Adams replaced Lopez in Barnet’s first substitution of the game on 64 minutes, before Elliot Johnson came on for goalscorer Vilhete.

 

A foul on Neilson gave Grimsby a free kick on the right, near the edge of the home penalty area.  Neilson took it but could only hit his shot into the Barnet wall.

 

A free kick at the other end given for a trip by Disley provided a shooting opportunity but the effort was comfortable for McKeown.

 

Neilson and Tounkara worked an opening for John-Lewis on 75 minutes but the move broke down when the striker was flagged offside.

 

Hannah came on for Tounkara two minutes later and Town won a corner soon afterwards, which led to McDonald heading across goal and out for a goal kick.

 

Town had looked the more likely to get the next goal but when it came, the hosts re-established their lead against the run of play.  Andy Yiadom crossed and striker HYDE got to it first to beat McKeown and make it 2-1.

 

A Grimsby free kick for a foul on Rodman gave them the chance to hit back but Hannah’s shot from it was too high and cleared Jupp’s crossbar.

 

Hyde had a chance to make the game safe for Barnet with five minutes to go but his shot was saved by McKeown.

 

Cook replaced Neilson as Town looked to the big striker as an extra attacker in a bid to salvage a point.

 

A volley by Hannah went just past the post as the game moved into five minutes of added time.

 

John-Lewis then won a free kick just outside the Barnet box but Hannah’s shot went into the wall and another opportunity was gone.

 

Rodman then went down inside the box but the referee allowed play to go on.

 

And with Town unable to force another chance, they were left to reflect on another loss.

 

The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when Cambridge United are the visitors to Blundell Park for the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final.

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