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Woking 1-2 Grimsby Town

7 March 2015

GRIMSBY Town won their fourth game on the spin as they collected all three points against Woking at Kingfield Stadium.

The Mariners kept their promotion charge going with another impressive victory against Garry Hill’s side, who sit two places below the play-off positions.

Ollie Palmer marked his return to the starting line-up with the opening goal just before half-time, then Jon-Paul Pittman added a second after the break to make the points safe.

Midfielder John Goddard pulled one back for Woking with seven minutes to go but the visitors saw the game out to move up to third in the Conference table and within five points of league leaders Bristol Rovers.

One change was made to the Town XI after the victory over Braintree, with the fit-again Palmer coming in for Lenell John-Lewis.

James McKeown started in goal, with Carl Magnay, Toto Nsiala, Shaun Pearson and Gregor Robertson forming the defence.

Jack Mackreth, Craig Disley, Craig Clay and Nathan Arnold were the midfielders, with Pittman selected alongside Palmer in attack.

There was also a change on the Grimsby bench, where Paul Bignot joined Scott Brown, Ross Hannah, Daniel Parslow and Christian Jolley.

For Woking, Aswad Thomas missed the chance of a quick reunion with his former club as he was ruled out through injury.

Instead, the Cards would look to the likes of 18-goal striker Scott Rendell and veteran winger Kevin Betsy to swing things their way and keep their play-off hopes going.

An early Woking free kick was dealt with by the Town defence, while the away side’s first attack saw Disley send a cross in from the right which was caught by keeper Jake Cole.

The Mariners won the first corner on eight minutes but Arnold’s ball was cleared at the near post.

Palmer turned and shot to register the first shot on target two minutes later but his deflected effort was comfortable for Cole.

A free kick soon afterwards led to a half-chance for Disley at the far post but he could not keep the ball down.

Cole punched Arnold’s delivery clear but the referee’s whistle had already gone for a foul in favour of the hosts. Town were doing most of the attacking and they won a second corner on 14 minutes.

The winger controlled it and took it into the penalty area but could only shoot wide of the target. Arnold had a chance to put the Mariners ahead after a long ball was flicked on by Pittman.

A foul on Palmer gave Town a free kick in a central position with 20 minutes gone but Arnold hit the home wall with his shot from it.

Woking then began to come into the game and a dummy by Betsy on the edge of the Town box gave midfielder Josh Payne a chance to shoot, although Disley got in the way to deflect it away for a corner.

Another opportunity for the home side came on the half-hour, when a flick-on by Yemi Odubade allowed midfielder John Goddard to shoot but again, McKeown was not troubled as he fired over the bar.

Mackreth hit a shot across the face of Cole’s goal at the other end, before Palmer’s strength took him into the box soon afterwards before the ball went out for a goal kick.

Arnold won another corner 10 minutes before the break, which led to Nsiala glancing a header over the bar.

Odubade missed the target with a half-volley on the turn after getting the ball from Betsy as Woking launched another attack.

Then, a free kick from Payne cleared everybody and Clay let it run out of play for a Grimsby throw-in.

Town took the lead with their next attack, when a shot from Disley was pushed onto the post by Cole and when the ball came back out, PALMER was there to convert the rebound.

At the other end, a Rendell header from a cross by Chris Arthur was comfortably taken by McKeown.

Town then went on the attack again and Pittman hit a shot that flew over the bar.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and with no further chances for either side, Town retained their advantage at the interval.

No changes were made by either side before the restart and a Woking corner four minutes in was claimed by McKeown after the home side had the first attack of the half.

The keeper claimed the ball again to end the hosts’ next attack, after a ball from Payne had been flicked on by Rendell.

Then, a through-ball by Clay sent Pittman chasing but keeper Cole got to it first.

Arnold’s ball fell for Disley but he could not cause any problems for Cole. Town won a corner on 56 minutes when Brian Saah had to put the ball out to stop Mackreth.

A long ball forward from Joey Jones a minute later found Odubade but he could not bring the scores level, as he missed the target with his shot.

A mix-up in the home defence gave Town a throw in a dangerous position two minutes after the hour but Clay’s cross from it went out for a goal kick.

Grimsby doubled their advantage on 64 minutes, when a quickly-taken free kick by Magnay was played to Mackreth and after the Woking defence had switched off, the winger’s cross was headed into the net by PITTMAN.

Hannah replaced Pittman with 20 minutes to go, before Giuseppe Sole and Charles Banya replaced Odubade and Betsy for Woking soon afterwards.

A home free kick midway inside the Town half gave Sole an immediate chance to make an impact and after he smashed a shot, McKeown struggled to fully deal with it but Rendell could not profit from the rebound.

A foul by Clay on Sole gave Woking another free kick in a dangerous position on 78 minutes but this time, Payne took it and saw his shot fly wide.

Parslow came on for Palmer as Town switched to a 4-3-3 formation, with Mackreth and Arnold either side of Hannah and Parslow slotting into a defensive midfield position behind Clay and Disley.

Rendell headed wide with 10 minutes to go, before the home side pulled a goal back on 83 minutes when a cross was headed back across goal by Rendell for GODDARD to tap into the net and halve the deficit.

Clay hit an ambitious effort with a minute to go and Cole could only send it out for a corner but Town took it short and the ball was eventually cleared.

Four added minutes were signalled by the fourth official, with Town now holding on as they looked to see the game out and secure the win.

But with the hosts unable to create any further opportunities, the Mariners were able to do just that as the referee’s final whistle gave them the chance to celebrate another vital victory.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Chester.

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