Woking 0 Grimsby Town 1LENNELL John-Lewis scored his first goal for Grimsby Town as the Mariners earned all three points and completed a league double over Woking.
In a game where both sides created chances, one goal proved enough for Town, who kept up their unbeaten streak since the FA Trophy final and gained more momentum ahead of the play-offs.
John-Lewis could have opened his account in the first half when he hit a volley that was saved by home keeper Aaron Howe.
The hosts also had opportunities of their own on both sides of the half-time interval but they could not find a way past Greg Fleming, making a rare start in the Town goal.
And the result, coupled with scores elsewhere, means the Mariners can still finish fourth in the league if results go their way in the final round of fixtures on Saturday.
Seven changes were made to the Grimsby side that drew with Luton on Friday, with keeper Fleming in goal as James McKeown sat the game out with a toe injury.
The others coming into the XI were Sam Hatton, Tom Naylor, Marcus Marshall, Derek Niven, Jamie Devitt and Ross Hannah.
Fleming started behind a defence of Hatton, Simon Ford, Naylor and Bradley Wood as Ian Miller and Aswad Thomas dropped out of the back four.
Marshall and Devitt began on the wings, while Andi Thanoj started alongside Niven in the centre of midfield and Hannah was joined up front by John-Lewis.
The Grimsby substitutes were Thomas, Miller, Frankie Artus, Dayle Southwell and Cleveland Taylor.
Woking were looking to provide a repeat of their attacking display from Saturday, when they put five first half goals past Macclesfield Town.
But the Cards let four in at the other end in the second half of that game and Town would be hoping they could take advantage of the Surrey side’s defensive frailties.
Woking created the first chance of the game inside two minutes but striker Billy Knott could not make it count as his shot bobbled and missed the target.
Devitt was fouled by defender Brett Johnson to give Town a free kick but Hatton’s delivery from his own half caused no problems for the home defence.
Kevin Betsy beat Marshall as Woking looked to attack on 13 minutes but Knott could only send his cross out of play.
The hosts managed to force the game’s first corner a minute later and from it, Jack Parkinson’s header got a deflection off Naylor and went over the bar for another corner, which led to Parkinson heading over.
Another attacking move from Woking on 18 minutes involved Betsy and Knott, with the latter hitting a shot that was stopped by Fleming.
A foul by Wood gave the home side a free kick two minutes later but Hatton was there to head clear at the far post.
Devitt tried a shot from long range but a deflection took the sting out of it, then Jayden Stockley was blocked as he looked to shoot at the other end.
Marshall lost out to Betsy on 23 minutes but Ford got across to challenge and halt the threat .
Grimsby’s best chance so far came with a move involving Wood and Marshall, who sent a cross over that Thanoj could only divert through to home keeper Howe.
Betsy was involved again soon afterwards, making a run into the Town box that was ended by a challenge from Niven. The referee ruled the tackle was a fair one and waved play on, leading to Fleming saving from Stockley, who was flagged offside anyway.
A volley by John-Lewis then called keeper Howe into action and Devitt’s rebound was blocked as the Mariners looked to make an impression in front of goal.
Ford picked up an injury and had to be replaced just before the half-hour, with Miller sent on in his place.
Town had another chance moments later, when Hannah got the ball in the Woking box but he was denied by Howe in the home goal.
Gavin McCallum then hit a shot wide for the hosts but the Mariners were coming into the game more and Hannah almost got on the end of a ball into the box from Wood but could not get the touch to take it past Howe.
Another Town attack came on 40 minutes and saw Devitt cross but the ball evaded John-Lewis and flew out for a goal kick.
Knott then went close for Woking again but he again missed the target and the scores remained level.
Devitt was booked for kicking the ball away in frustration after a throw-in went against him as the game moved towards one minute of added time.
No further chances came for either side in the extra minute, meaning the game remained goalless at the interval.
Both management teams opted against making changes ahead of the restart and a foul on Thanoj six minutes in gave Town a chance to attack from halfway. Hatton’s delivery was half-cleared and a shot from Marshall was deflected out for a corner, which Miller sent out for a goal kick.
Another corner came after Marshall made a run down the right and crossed on 53 minutes. A short corner routine led to Marshall being caught by Knott, who was booked for the foul.
Town won another corner when a shot from Thanoj was deflected behind and from it, John-Lewis flicked a header across goal but Naylor could only send the ball out for a goal kick.
A Grimsby free kick from 35 yards saw Devitt have a shot blocked by the Woking wall, before Knott hit the post with a shot at the other end after Marshall was booked for a foul.
Miller had to head over his own bar for a Woking corner on 63 minutes but Betsy’s kick was eventually cleared by Naylor after Hatton got a head to the ball.
Lee Sawyer hit a shot wide two minutes later, before a chip by Knott was caught by Fleming at his near post.
A run by Devitt took him into the Woking box in Town’s next attack but the winger could not create a chance, instead running the ball out of play.
A foul by Miller gave the home side a free kick in a dangerous position on 70 minutes but the ball was cleared after Knott touched the ball to Betsy and he sent a cross into the box.
Hannah was replaced by Southwell for the last 19 minutes of the contest and four minutes later, the Mariners were ahead. Southwell found Devitt on the right and his cross was headed in by JOHN-LEWIS for his first goal for the club.
The cross proved to be Devitt’s last contribution as he was replaced by Artus.
A Woking corner on 77 minutes led to Fleming tipping a header from Stockley over his bar and from the flag, an overhead kick was cleared by Miller.
The home side thought they had scored an equaliser when Parkinson nodded past Fleming but their joy was short-lived as the offside flag meant the goal was chalked off and Town remained in front.
The Mariners almost doubled their advantage with ten minutes to go, as an Artus corner was headed towards goal by Miller. Keeper Howe managed to get to the ball though, denying the defender and keeping his side’s deficit at one goal.
Southwell had another chance to make it 2-0 when he found himself one-on-one with keeper Howe but his touch was heavy, letting the stopper in to prevent a shot.
Woking were still looking to get something out of the game as it moved into its final five minutes and they won a corner, which was dealt with by Fleming, punching the ball clear.
A free kick to the hosts gave Knott a chance to shoot on 89 minutes but his effort flew over the bar.
The home side were still on the attack as the game moved into four added minutes and Fleming had to make a block, before the rebound was cleared off the line by Wood.
Town had been reduced to ten men after John-Lewis picked up an injury and could not continue and that became nine as Wood also had to leave the pitch injured.
The Mariners were having to withstand late pressure from Woking and Fleming had to make another good save to keep out a curling shot from John Nutter.
The home side kept piling forward in search of an equaliser but Town held firm to record another three points and keep up their good run of form with one game left before the play-offs.
The Mariners complete their regular season programme on Saturday, when Newport county are the visitors to Blundell Park.