Torquay United 1 - 1 Grimsby Town
AN OMAR Bogle penalty earned a draw for Grimsby Town at Torquay United and extended their unbeaten run to 11 games.
The Mariners started positively at Plainmoor but went behind against the run of play when Tyrone Marsh opened the scoring for the hosts seven minutes before half-time.
Town hit back 12 minutes from time when Bogle scored from the spot after being fouled by keeper Fabian Spiess.
After that, Shaun Pearson and substitute Jack Mackreth both went close but Town were unable to force a winner.
Grimsby boss Paul Hurst stuck with the same XI that finished the 7-0 demolition of Halifax in midweek, meaning Marcus Marshall kept his place after coming on for the injured Andy Monkhouse against the Shaymen.
James McKeown started in goal, with Richard Tait, Pearson, Toto Nsiala and Connor Townsend in defence.
Nathan Arnold, Craig Disley, Craig Clay and Marshall were the midfielders, with Bogle and Padraig Amond continuing in attack after contributing six of Tuesday’s seven goals between them.
Jon-Paul Pittman made a return to the bench after injury and was joined there by Scott Brown, Mackreth, Danny East and Ben Tomlinson.
Torquay were looking for the win that could take them out of the relegation zone, depending on other results, while the Mariners were looking to make up further ground on the teams at the top of the table.
A foul on Marshall brought the first yellow card for Durrell Berry on three minutes after Town had made a lively start to the game but the resulting free kick from McKeown did not lead to any danger for the home defence.
Marshall then got past Berry but was unable to make it count, running the ball out for a goal kick.
The same two were involved again at the other end on eight minutes, with Berry sending a ball across the Town box that was cut out by Marshall.
Arnold had a long-range shot saved by home keeper Spiess a minute later, before Townsend sped down the left to work an opening for Clay, who could not control the ball inside the penalty area.
Bogle went close after a run from the right soon afterwards but he was thwarted by Spiess, who saved the striker’s shot.
Disley then headed wide after the ball had been returned into the Torquay box following another run by Bogle as the Mariners continued to make the early running.
Torquay had an opportunity through Courtney Richards on the quarter-hour but his powerful drive was pushed away from goal by McKeown.
At the other end, a Townsend cross from the left took a deflection off a home defender on its way through to Amond, who put his header over the bar.
Alex Fisher saw a shot saved by McKeown after a quick break by Torquay on 20 minutes, then a foul on Bogle brought about a Town free kick, which eventually led to another for a handball.
Torquay had come into the game after Grimsby’s good start and they had the chance to send another free kick into the Town box on 25 minutes when Richards was fouled by Amond, although it caused no problems.
Townsend was the next to be penalised but again, the Mariners were able to deal with the resulting free kick.
A Town free kick soon afterwards was taken quickly and eventually led to the first corner of the game. Arnold took it but his ball from the flag evaded Nsiala and went out of play for a goal kick.
Bogle won a second corner a minute after the half-hour but Bogle could not get enough contact on the ball from Arnold to trouble Spiess, who collected it comfortably.
Another attack by the Mariners came down the left soon afterwards but Marshall’s cross did not find a team-mate.
Town kept going forward and after playing a one-two with Townsend, Marshall sent a cross over that was just too far ahead of Amond, sliding in at the far post.
Disley was the next to shoot but his effort was blocked for a corner, which was eventually cleared after Marshall got a touch to Arnold’s delivery.
Defender Angus MacDonald had to hook the ball off the line from Grimsby’s next attack, with the visitors pushing for an opening goal.
But when that first goal came on 38 minutes, it went against the run of play. Town failed to deal with a ball into their box after a throw-in and after it went up in the air, MARSH got to it first and beat McKeown.
The hosts were buoyed by the goal and they went looking for another one when Fisher sent a ball into the box but he could not find Marsh and it went out for a goal kick.
A foul on Bogle gave Town a free kick in a central position but the ball was cleared after Arnold had sent it into the penalty area.
James Hurst was off-target with a shot from outside the box for the home side, then after the game moved into two minutes of stoppage time, Nsiala had to concede a corner, which led to Townsend having to clear off the line.
That proved to be the last notable action of the first half, which ended with Town a goal behind.
No changes were made before the restart and it was Torquay who made the better start to the second half, having finished the opening period the stronger.
Marsh had the home side’s first opportunity of the half after a good build-up but he could not capitalise.
Townsend became the first Town player to be yellow-carded after being spoken to by the referee following an off-the-ball push.
Nsiala followed him into the referee’s notebook just after the hour for a foul and the resulting free kick had to be touched behind for a corner by Townsend.
Town made the first change soon afterwards, with Marshall making way for Mackreth.
Torquay’s Hurst was booked for a foul on Tait, before the right-back was also shown a yellow card after leading with his arm.
Town’s first attack of note in the second half came with 15 minutes left and saw Mackreth have a cross turned behind by Angus MacDonald for a corner. Pittman replaced Amond before it was taken, then when the ball came across, it was headed back across goal by Nsiala but Disley could only turn it wide from close range.
The Mariners were handed a route back into the game on 78 minutes, when Bogle was brought down by keeper Spiess, who was booked. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and BOGLE stepped up to put the ball into the net from 12 yards and level the scores.
Shepherd Murombedzi replaced Hurst for the hosts with nine minutes to go and with Town now looking to grab a second goal.
Mackreth had a header blocked on the line by Torquay player-manager Kevin Nicholson, before Spiess got to the rebound from Pittman, at the expense of a corner.
The flag-kick also almost led to a goal, with Pearson the man to be denied by a clearance off the line.
Arnold won another corner on 86 minutes as Town continued to push forward but Spiess punched the ball clear from it.
A Townsend cross was cleared after it had been headed back across goal, before Torquay’s second change saw Ashley Yeoman come on for Fisher.
Five added minutes were signalled by the fourth official and Torquay looked to create an opportunity with a cross which was headed away for a throw-in by Nsiala.
A spell of Town pressure then came, ending with Pittman dragging a shot across goal and out of play for a goal kick.
Torquay were given a free kick in the final seconds of the game for a foul by Tait but the ball was headed up into the air by Disley and when it was put back into the box, a foul on Townsend relieved the pressure on the Grimsby defence.
That proved to be the last action of the game, meaning both sides had to settle for a point.
Town are next in action when they travel to Harrogate Town in the FA Cup on Saturday.