Grimsby Town 5 Stevenage 2
OMAR Bogle hit a hat-trick as Grimsby Town picked up their second win of the season by beating Stevenage at Blundell Park.
In the first-ever meeting between the two clubs, the striker gave the Mariners an early lead before Luke Summerfield doubled their advantage.
The away side pulled a goal back through Fraser Franks in first-half stoppage time but any hopes of a comeback were put to bed when two goals in two minutes just after the interval saw Dominic Vose restore Town’s two-goal advantage before Bogle struck again.
Substitute Jobi McAnuff tapped home from close range to make it 4-2 but Stevenage never threatened to haul themselves back into the contest and after Bogle scored his third of the game in stoppage time, the Mariners were left to celebrate a welcome victory after three consecutive league defeats.
One change was made to the Town side that lost against Leyton Orient last week, with Vose coming in for James Berrett.
James McKeown started in goal, with Ben Davies, Shaun Pearson, Josh Gowling and Danny Andrew making up the defence.
Vose, Craig Disley, Summerfield and Ashley Chambers were the midfielders and Bogle was joined in attack by Kayden Jackson.
The Grimsby substitutes were Zak Mills, Harry Clifton, Josh Venney, Tom Bolarinwa, Andrew Boyce, Scott Vernon and Andy Warrington.
Stevenage made the journey north looking to bounce back after a midweek cup defeat by Premier League Stoke City, although their previous league game had resulted in a 2-1 victory against Luton Town.
Manager Darren Sarll would look to the likes of former Scunthorpe United striker Matt Godden and his strike-partner Ben Kennedy to provide the ammunition for another positive result.
Town began the match on the front foot, although an early attack ended when a cross from Bogle on the right sailed out for a goal kick and another forward move saw a cross from Chambers caught by visiting keeper Jamie Jones.
Bogle did well to win the ball in the air on seven minutes and hold it up for Vose, who was unable to seriously test Jones with a deflected shot that the keeper came off his line to collect.
Vose was involved again soon afterwards, crashing a volley over the bar from 20 yards as Town continued to attack.
At the other end, Stevenage won the first corner of the game after Andrew headed a cross behind but from the flag, the ball broke for defender Luke Wilkinson on the edge of the penalty area and his mis-hit shot went well off-target.
Another corner came when Summerfield got back to challenge Tom Pett after a break by Kennedy but again, the away side failed to cause any significant danger from the flag.
Town had been the better of the two sides in the early stages and they took the lead on the quarter-hour. Chambers found BOGLE on the edge of the box and he turned away from Wilkinson before firing past Jones.
A push by Andrew on Godden on the right gave Stevenage a chance to respond with a free kick but Connor Hunte’s delivery was headed away by the Town left-back. The visitors kept possession and the pressure continued with two long throws by midfielder Charlie Lee, the first of which was punched clear by McKeown and the second was headed away by Gowling.
Another long throw led to a better chance for the away side when the ball broke for defender Franks on the edge of the box but his snap-shot was well held by McKeown, who dived to his right.
A handball by Hunte gave Davies an opportunity to get the ball into the Stevenage box from a free kick on the right but his delivery proved too close to Jones, who caught the ball.
A stoppage came when Michael Tonge and Lee collided with each other but both of the Stevenage midfielders were fit to continue after receiving treatment.
Summerfield hit a wild first-time shot which went high into the air before spinning out for a throw-in, then a foul on Lee gave the away side an opportunity to start an attack from the halfway line. Dean Wells looked to have spotted McKeown off his line and tried an audacious shot but the effort lacked direction and drifted wide.
Chambers curled a left-footed shot wide of the far post after the ball broke for him on the edge of the Stevenage penalty area on 35 minutes.
A foul by Lee on Vose then gave Town a free kick around 30 yards from goal but Davies could only hit the Stevenage defensive wall from it.
The Mariners doubled their advantage with their next real attack, which came on 40 minutes. Bogle took the ball on the edge of the box and laid it off for the onrushing SUMMERFIELD, who struck a low, first-time shot past Jones and into the net.
And it was nearly 3-0 two minutes later, when a run through the middle by Jackson gave him the options of Bogle to the left or Chambers to the right as he approached the penalty area. The Barnsley loanee decided to pass to Chambers but his shot went just wide of the far post.
The visitors now had it all to do to get back into the game and they made the first substitution of the game on 43 minutes, sending McAnuff on in place of Hunte.
Kennedy cut in from the right and had a shot blocked, before a push by Jackson gave Stevenage a free kick which they were unable to take advantage of as the ball was headed clear.
Five added minutes were signalled to be played at the end of the half and in the second of them, the away side halved their deficit. A free kick from McAnuff on the left was met by FRANKS at the far post and his header found the net to make it 2-1.
Town looked to regain their two-goal cushion before half-time but a Stevenage corner gave them an opportunity to put more pressure on the Mariners’ goal. McAnuff took it but his delivery from the right was claimed by McKeown in what turned out to be the last action of the half.
Grimsby would have been disappointed to concede a goal so close to the interval but they retained their advantage going into the dressing rooms, albeit with plenty still to do if they were to ensure maximum points.
No further changes were made by either management team before the restart and after an early Davies free kick from halfway was headed clear, Stevenage looked to take the initiative and they won a corner on the right, which was headed over the bar by Wilkinson.
But when the next goal came on 49 minutes, it was the Mariners who restored their two-goal lead. After a good possession move, Chambers played the ball to VOSE on the edge of the box and he curled a shot beyond jones and into the net.
And things got even better for the hosts just a minute later as they scored a fourth goal. This time, it was BOGLE who grabbed his second of the game, getting the ball inside the penalty area and coolly finishing with a low shot.
Lee was replaced by Andrew Fox for the visitors straight afterwards and they were forced into a third and final substitution on 55 minutes after Tonge went down with another injury, with Dale Gorman the latest to come on.
Jackson flashed an effort over the bar from 20 yards as Town looked for more goals, before a good spell of Stevenage possession ended without reward.
Grimsby’s next opportunity came when Summerfield crossed from the right but the ball proved just too high for Disley to be able to direct a header towards goal.
At this stage, the result looked to be beyond doubt but Stevenage got themselves a second goal and perhaps, a glimmer of hope, on 66 minutes. As in previous games, it was a mistake in the Town defence which led to the goal as Pearson attempted to let the ball run out for a goal kick and Pett nipped in to pull it back for McANUFF to tap in from close range.
Two Town corners ultimately came to nothing, before a foul by Davies gave the away side an opportunity to cause problems with a free kick in a dangerous position. McAnuff chipped it into the box but Pearson headed clear and after the referee spotted an infringement, a free kick was given to the hosts.
Andrew was shown the yellow card after a foul just inside the Stevenage half with 18 minutes to go, before keeper Jones beat Bogle to a long ball forward from Pearson.
Kennedy was the next to be booked after appearing to lead with his elbow in a foul on Pearson.
Bogle was inches away from completing his hat-trick on 76 minutes, when he received the ball 20 yards out and hit a curling shot that beat Jones but bounced back off the crossbar.
Town’s first change came soon afterwards, with Vernon replacing Jackson up front, before a shot from Bogle was blocked and another one from Disley cleared the top of the Pontoon Stand.
Chambers was the next to go close, hitting a shot from the edge of the box that was well held by Jones after more good work by Bogle.
Vose was replaced by Bolarinwa for the closing stages of the game and the substitute impressed with a driving run down the right, cutting into the box and getting the ball back before firing into the side-netting.
Bogle was denied a hat-trick by a good save from Jones as four added minutes were signalled.
And Town were still looking for a fifth goal as the minutes ticked down, winning a corner on the right which eventually led to a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. From it, BOGLE finally had his treble, chipping the ball over the wall and into the top corner of the net at the near post.
It was the perfect ending to an excellent afternoon for the Mariners, who now head to Walsall for their first group match in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.