Grimsby Town 1-2 Leyton Orient
GRIMSBY Town were beaten for the third league game in a row as Leyton Orient took all three points at Blundell Park.
The Mariners were the better side for much of the contest against the east London side but were punished for two mistakes in the second half.
In windy conditions, Town looked the more likely to open the scoring in the first half but they were unable to make a breakthrough.
And they were made to pay when midfielder Liam Kelly put Orient ahead just before the hour after goalkeeper James McKeown failed to hold onto a low cross.
Things then got worse for Town when former Mariner Ollie Palmer – on as a substitute – took advantage of a slip in the home defence to go through unchallenged and make the points safe.
Substitute Dominic Vose pulled a goal back for the hosts in stoppage time to keep up their record of scoring in every game so far but they ran out of time to complete the comeback.
Grimsby boss Paul Hurst made two changes from the team that lost at Colchester in midweek, with Shaun Pearson coming in for Andrew Boyce and Craig Disley replacing Tom Bolarinwa.
McKeown started in goal, with Ben Davies, Pearson, Josh Gowling and Danny Andrew forming the defence.
James Berrett, Disley, Luke Summerfield and Ashley Chambers were the midfielders, with Omar Bogle and Kayden Jackson continuing as the front two.
Boyce and Bolarinwa were both named on the bench, along with Dominic Vose, Rhys Browne, Zak Mills, Scott Vernon and Andy Warrington.
The visitors came to Cleethorpes looking to make it two wins out of two following a 3-0 success against Stevenage in midweek.
They would look to the likes of attacker Gavin Massey, who had already hit the net three times this season, to score the goals.
There was also a familiar name to home fans in the Orient squad in the shape of former Town loanee Palmer, although he started the afternoon on the bench.
After a quiet opening three minutes, Town had the first chance when a ball forward from Berrett found Bogle, who took it into the Orient penalty area but was blocked by keeper Cisak.
Soon afterwards, a shot by Berrett was saved by the keeper and put out for a Mariners corner, which led to Disley heading across goal and wide from the near post.
Dean Cox dragged a low effort harmlessly wide from 25 yards as the visitors attacked for the first time on seven minutes but Town were on top in the early stages and they almost had another opportunity through Jackson, only for the striker to be crowded out as he cut in from the left.
Jackson had another opportunity to push the ball forward and run towards the penalty area on 16 minutes but Cisak was alert to the danger and rushed off his line to beat the striker to it.
Bogle tried his luck with a speculative effort from 30 yards a minute later, although he could not keep his shot down and the ball went high over the bar.
Disley then looked to be fouled on the edge of the Orient penalty area as the 20-minute mark approached but referee Graham Salisbury instead spotted an infringement by the Mariners captain and gave the free kick the other way.
Massey was looking to be the biggest threat for the away side and he launched a counter-attack through the middle on 22 minutes but could not find striker Jordan Bowery when he played the ball into the Town box.
At the other end, a cross from Davies on the right was put behind for a Grimsby corner but the ball from the flag was headed away by Liam Kelly.
Soon afterwards, there was a major let-off for the Mariners when a cross from Bowery looked not to be causing any problems for the home defence but Gowling’s sliced attempted clearance rebounded off Pearson and spun back, going just over McKeown’s bar for a corner.
Town had bossed the opening quarter of the game but the visitors were now starting to come into the contest more and they won a free kick in an attacking position on the left, although it was headed clear by Disley.
An excellent right-footed shot from Bogle from the edge of the box had to be tipped away for a corner just before the half-hour but the hosts could not build on the opportunity as Andrew’s left-wing delivery was cleared.
A foul by Summerfield then gave the away side a chance to get the ball upfield and they soon had a corner of their own but the ball from the flag was caught by McKeown.
Defender Yvan Erichot became the first of the game to be shown a yellow card for a foul on Chambers on halfway but the Mariners were unable to cause any damage from the resulting free kick.
Jackson and Davies did well to win a corner on the right but Pearson was beaten to Davies’ ball from the flag, before Berrett missed the target with a long-range shot soon afterwards.
Town were still the better side and they almost took the lead three minutes before the break when Andrew’s low cross from the left was met by Jackson but he could not divert the ball into the net as it missed the target at the near post.
Summerfield forced Cisak into a save with a low effort from 20 yards, before Bogle won a corner after he had been found by Andrew.
Two minutes of added time were signalled, with Town looking to cap a good first-half display with a goal.
But they were ultimately unable to make the breakthrough and the game remained goalless at the break.
No changes were made before the restart and there was almost an early opening for the home side when the ball was played to Jackson on the right but keeper Cisak got to his cross first.
Jackson then won a corner when his low cross was blocked by the keeper but they were unable to profit from the flag-kick.
Another chance came when a cross from Chambers on the left found Berrett but the midfielder could not keep his header down.
Jackson won a free kick to the left of the Orient penalty area on 51 minutes and from it, Andrew looked for Bogle with a low ball but the striker’s shot was blocked.
Chambers shot wide soon afterwards, before the away side’s first real attack of the half saw Massey flash a ball across goal which was put out for a corner. Cox’s delivery from the left was dealt with by Summerfield.
Town had been the better side but they fell behind on 58 minutes when McKeown dived and looked to be about to collect a cross from Bowery on the right, only for it to slip out of his grasp. KELLY was in the right place to tap it into the net from close range in front of the travelling supporters from east London.
After the goal, Orient went in search of a second and they almost had a chance after Gowling let the ball bounce and Bowery took it on but Pearson was there to stop the attack.
Two corners came in quick succession for the away side, the second of which led to defender Tom Parkes heading wide.
Town then had an opportunity to create some danger when keeper Cisak was penalised for handling the ball outside his penalty area. Davies sent it in towards Pearson and the ball was half-cleared as far as Berrett, who sent a weak shot wide.
A foul by Davies on Sandro Semedo gave the visitors a free kick midway inside the Grimsby half but they were unable to make it count, with goalscorer Kelly eventually firing off-target.
At the other end, Town won a corner on the right and Davies’ delivery was headed down by Pearson for Bogle, who turned and fired wide.
Grimsby’s first substitution saw Vose replace Berrett on the right of midfield with 20 minutes left to play.
Another corner was then won by Chambers on the right but this time, it was Semedo who cleared the danger after Bogle failed to control the ball. Town kept possession and the move eventually ended with Pearson volleying wide.
Palmer was sent on in place of Cox for Orient, as they looked for a second goal which would put to an end the Mariners’ hopes of getting anything from the game.
And the move worked for the visitors, as the substitute struck soon after coming on to make the result safe. A mistake in the Town defence saw Pearson lose the ball and PALMER took full advantage, moving forward unchallenged before calmly slotting it past McKeown and into the bottom corner of the net.
Vernon was sent on for Jackson immediately after the goal as the Mariners looked for something different in an attempt to get back into the game with 13 minutes to go.
Town kept attacking and an Andrew free kick was dealt with, as was a corner from the left which had been headed on by Bogle.
Gowling was forced to concede a corner to stop Palmer grabbing his second of the game but from the flag, midfielder Nigel Atangana diverted the ball wide of the near post.
Four added minutes were signalled and Chambers almost pulled a goal back when the ball came to him at the far post but he was denied by Cisak.
The Mariners did have time to get themselves on the scoresheet though, as VOSE saw a shot loop up with the aid of a deflection to beat Cisak and nestle in the corner of the net.
Andrew picked up a late booking for a foul but Kelly sent the resulting free kick into the Osmond Stand in what proved to be the last attack by either side.
Town had again given a good account of themselves but are quickly finding to their cost that mistakes are likely to be punished at Football League level.