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Grimsby Town 3-0 Notts County

25 July 2015

GRIMSBY Town took another Football League scalp as they comfortably beat Notts County at Blundell Park to extend their pre-season winning run to seven games.

The Mariners hit the front with just one minute on the clock as Jon-Paul Pittman opened the scoring.

And they went on to dominate the game against the League 2 side, who rarely threatened the home goal.

Marcus Marshall got Town’s second goal, before Padraig Amond made it 3-0 after half-time to make sure of the win.

The Town side showed four changes from the XI that started the game against Huddersfield Town on Tuesday, with Shaun Pearson returning in place of Toto Nsiala and Marshall starting on the right wing instead of Jack Mackreth.

The strikers were also rotated, as Amond and Pittman started the game after impressing against Brigg Town on Wednesday, where Pittman bagged a hat-trick and Amond also netted.

Andy Warrington continued in goal in the absence of James McKeown, while the defence was made up of Richard Tait, Pearson, Josh Gowling and Daniel East.

Marshall was joined in midfield by Craig Disley, Craig Clay and Andy Monkhouse, with Pittman and Amond forming the strike partnership.

The visitors included former Manchester United and Leeds United striker Alan Smith, who took up a position in defence, while ex-Sunderland attacker Jon Stead also started the game.

The Mariners made a lightning start to the game, as they were ahead within a minute of the kick-off. PITTMAN was the man to open the scoring, seeing his shot go into the net off the post after an initial effort had rebounded back to him.

Notts’ reply saw Kyle DeSilva hit a drive from inside the box which Warrington got fingertips to as it went over the bar for a corner, which saw Scott Bennett fail to connect with a header.

Another away corner from the left on eight minutes was cleared as far as Clay, who was fouled as he looked to bring the ball out of defence.

 Town had their first corner two minutes later after a sliced clearance and it quickly led to another, as Monkhouse’s short ball was chipped to the far post by Clay and headed behind.

Jimmy Spencer then tried to work an opening at the other end but could only send his cross from the left out for a goal kick.

Amond won another Mariners corner on 15 minutes but the delivery from the left was comfortably caught by visiting keeper Scott Loach.

Pittman spun on the edge of the box after collecting the ball from a free kick from halfway four minutes later but he could only watch his cross-shot clear the bar.

Seconds later, Tait lost the ball after a poor pass from Marshall and DeSilva took it forward but hit a weak shot that led to a comfortable stop for Warrington in the home goal.

Good play down the right by Amond and Pittman led to space opening up for MARSHALL and after getting into the box, he finished emphatically past Loach. Town were still the better side though and they doubled their advantage on 26 minutes.

Notts could have pulled one back two minutes after the half-hour when Julien Jenner got in behind the Grimsby defence but after taking a touch, he could only drag a low shot past Warrington’s far post.

Warrington was called into action on 36 minutes and he did brilliantly to keep the score at 2-0, blocking Gil Swerts at point-blank range.

Marshall had a chance to make it 3-0 at the other end when he did well to craft an opening on the edge of the box but shooting wide of the far post.

East had the next chance for Town, cutting in from the left but firing just wide from 20 yards as the hosts continued to dominate.

A Jenner corner from the Notts left was headed clear by Pittman five minutes before the break, then Amond’s curling shot was pushed out for a corner at the other end.

And with no further chances created by either side before the half-time whistle, Grimsby’s two-goal lead remained intact at the interval.

Town boss Paul Hurst made three substitutions before the restart, with Nsiala coming on for Tait, Mackreth replacing Marshall and Josh Venney coming on in place of Disley.

Clay had the first shot of the second half, hitting a low, long-range effort wide three minutes in.

A long pass from Gowling was chased down by Pittman and after he squared for AMOND, the unmarked striker coolly slotted past Loach. It did not take long for the Mariners to add to their score, as they had a third goal on 50 minutes.

And it was nearly 4-0 three minutes later, as Mackreth went on a run down the right before cutting in and firing just past the far post.

That proved to be the signal for a triple Notts substitution, with former Premier League star Smith one of those to make way.

East missed the target with a wild free kick from 30 yards as Town went in search of more goals.

Mackreth’s flag-kick was punched clear. Amond went close with a shot from 20 yards that had to be tipped away for a corner after a good early ball from Venney.

Nathan Arnold and Harry Clifton came on for Amond and Monkhouse with a little over 25 minutes to go, as Town looked comfortable against their opponents from a division higher.

Notts had posed little threat all afternoon and with 20 minutes still to play, looked a beaten side.

The delivery from the left went harmlessly for a goal kick near the opposite flank. But they did win a corner on 72 minutes, as Gowling had to head a cross behind.

Stead was replaced soon afterwards after failing to impose himself on the game, with Adam Campbell coming on in his place.

Town were unlucky not to add to their tally after an excellent passage of play around the visitors’ penalty area led to Arnold seeing a shot deflected out for a corner.

Another corner followed on 79 minutes but Loach got to it ahead of Pearson and the referee’s whistle blew for a foul against the centre-back in any case.

Town’s objective was now to keep a clean sheet, as well as looking to add to their score where possible.

And they managed to play out the rest of the match without any problems at the back to record another impressive victory.

Grimsby’s next pre-season test comes on Tuesday, when Peterborough United are the visitors to Blundell Park.


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