Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2
GOALS from Shaun Pearson, Paddy McLaughlin, Scott Kerr, Craig Disley and Lenell John Lewis helped to seal an emphatic victory for the Mariners as they ran out 5-2 victors vs Dartford at Blundell Park tonight.
Paul Hurst made one change to the side that drew with Chester on Saturday, Scott Nielson replacing the suspended Joe Colbeck.
The Mariners boss went for a 4-4-2 formation for the second consecutive game. James McKeown started in goal, across the back were Bignot, Pearson, Doig and Goodall. Making up the Midfield were Nielson, Kerr, Jones and McLaughlin, while John-Lewis partnered Ross Hannah in attack.
Craig Disley and Aswad Thomas returned to the squad on the bench for Town, they were joined by Liam Hearn, Andy Cook and Clayton McDonald.
Town could have gone ahead after five minutes when Ross Hannah got in behind the defence and whipped in a great ball toward John-Lewis, but the forward was beaten to the ball as the 'Keeper cleared the danger.
The Mariners should have done better with an 8th minute free kick, but Goodall's delivery was far too heavy, and the ball went straight at the keeper.
Dartford had a chance themselves on 10 minutes, but Hayes wasted his cross, hitting it straight at McKeown when there were men in the box.
Town should have gone ahead again after 12 minutes, Lenell John-Lewis rising highest to head down Goodall's cross, but he could only direct it wide of the mark.
Another chance for Town came when John-Lewis collected a good pass from the midfield on the edge of the box, he did well to turn past the defender and hit it towards goal, but the shot lacked power and was easy for Alan Julian in the Dartford goal.
Tyrone Sterling picked up a knock for the visitors just after the quarter-hour mark, and was duly replaced by Lee Noble.
Town were nearly infront again on 20 minutes. At first an undercooked pass from Doig saw the home side surrender possession but McLaughlin did well to get it back, he then teed up John-Lewis, who struck a venomous shot from just outside the area. Unfortunately for Town though, the shot was off target.
Good play by Nielson and McLaughlin on the left hand side opened up the visitors defence again just a minute later, John-Lewis though, shot straight at the keeper.
Against the run of play the visitors opened the scoring after a defensive error from Town. Lee Noble played the ball inside the full back and threaded through to HARRIS who slotted home to give Dartford a surprise lead.
Town looked a little shaken after the goal, but still responded well, Paddy McLaughlin hitting a shot just wide 2 minutes later.
The Mariners settled back into the game and eventually found their equaliser on the half hour. At first they could have been 2-0 down were it not for a fantastic save by James McKeown. He then hit the ball the length of the pitch and, after some scrappy defending, the ball fell to PADDY MCLAUGHLIN who rifled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards and level the scores.
Town came back into the game more in the next few minutes and won a corner with 37 gone. The home side turned the game on its head as McLaughlin whipped in a corner from the right hand side. That found the head of SHAUN PEARSON who nodded home to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the game.
Bignot did well under pressure from the visiting defence on 40 minutes, he eventually threaded the ball through to John-Lewis in the box, but too many touches meant the striker was closed down and could only slice his shot wide.
Another corner on 42 minutes for Town lead to their third goal, the defence clearing the initial effort, but JOHN-LEWIS was there to head home the rebound from close range.
Ross Hannah was unlucky not to have added a fourth for Town in first half stoppage, he couldn't quite connect when the ball fell to him and sliced wide from 20 yards.
Neilson then linked up well with McLaughlin to open the defence up again, but his tame shot went straight at the keeper, in what was the last action of the half.
Neither side made changes at the start of the second half.
Town could have added a fourth after some heavy pressure won them a corner on 47 minutes. The ball was played short to Kerr who had beaten the keeper without any shred of a doubt, but his effort was brilliantly blocked on the line by the Dartford defence.
Richie Jones had a chance to increase the Mariners lead on 51 minutes after going on a brilliant run through the heart of the visiting defence. His shot proved too much for Julian in the Dartford goal and he spilled the shot, but John-Lewis couldn't get good enough connection on the rebound to direct it goalwards.
Dartford scored their second in controversial circumstances on 54 minutes, winning a debateable free kick 25 yards out. As Town were lining up the wall, NOBLE took the shot quickly and scored, leaving McKeown with no chance.
Matt Fry headed wide for Dartford on 61 minutes after finding an opening in the Town side that had seemingly taken its foot off the gas.
Town made their first change of the game on 67 minutes as home debutant Richie Jones made way for Craig Disley.
The game went quiet over the next ten minutes or so with neither side creating much in the way of threat, though Town still dominated the possession.
Liam Hearn came on for the last 15 minutes for Town, replacing Ross Hannah.
Town won a corner on 77 minutes as a blistering shot from Hearn was blocked, the defence headed the danger away however and the scores stayed at 3-2.
Cornhill and Ibemere came on for Dartford in the last ten minutes as the visitors tried to salvage something from the game.
Disley whipped in a cross on 82 minutes that was cleared by the defence, that went as far as Kerr whose shot was well saved by the keeper.
The resultant corner saw the ball fall kindly to KERR who hit the ball low and hard to the keeper's left, leaving him with no chance and all but sealing the points for Town. There was some debate as to who got the final touch on the ball, and the PA announcer credited DOIG with the goal.
At 4-2 with 5 minutes remaining Town made another substitution, Aswad Thomas coming on for Neilson.
There were 3 minutes of added time at the end of the game, which Town played out with little urgency. They had dominated the majority of the game and the visitors had posed little threat throughout, both their goals coming from nowhere.
There was still time for a fifth for the Mariners as Aswad Thomas struck a shot that came back off the upright and DISLEY was there to tap in the rebound.
The referee signalled the end of the game soon after and confirmed a comfortable win for the Mariners.
The fans stayed behind to give the team a well deserved applause, no doubt encouraged by the quality of tonight’s performance.
The Mariners return to action this Saturday at Blundell Park as they welcome Tamworth, kick off 3pm