Ryan Petterson's view on the Stanley game.
Grimsby Town picked up their first home win since September as they beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 in front of a bumper crowd of 5,782 this afternoon.
Tom Bolarinwa opened the scoring with a superb solo goal just after the hour-mark, and Ashley Chambers secured all three points with his first goal for the club with just three minutes left to play.
Grimsby Town manager Marcus Bignot made four changes to the side that lost to Doncaster before Christmas, giving on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson his first appearance for the club.
Ben Davies returned to the fold at right-back, with skipper Shaun Pearson and Danny Collins starting as the centre-halves, and Danny Andrew at left-back.
The midfield consisted of Bolarinwa on the right, Luke Summerfield and Brandon Comley in the middle, and Chambers coming back in on the left.
Top scorer Omar Bogle returned from his thigh injury as he partnered with Scott Vernon up top.
James McKeown, Josh Gowling, Craig Disley, Dominic Vose, Kayden Jackson, Andrew Boyce, and Dan Jones made up Town’s bench.
The game got off to a scrappy start and the first real shot didn’t come until the eighth minute as Accrington’s Matty Pearson hit a long-ranged effort into the Pontoon stand.
Accrington had a couple of half-chances through Jordan Clark but Henderson stood strong and made two good saves to keep them out.
Town struggled to get into the visitors’ half and create something going forward in the early embers of the game.
The away side came close again in the 22nd minute as Romuald Boco got past Collins and drove one towards the bottom-right corner but Henderson was there again to make another great save.
Town had a chance at the other end just minutes later as Vernon got his head on the end of Andrew’s free-kick but it went just over, to the delight of keeper Aaron Chapman who looked beaten.
But the Mariners were ahead in the 32nd minute as Bolarinwa strode through the middle, dribbling past several players along his way, before calmly side-footing it past Chapman to the bottom-right corner to make it 1-0.
And Town almost got a second just before the break as Davies swung in a good cross to the back post but the visitors managed to clear their lines.
John Coleman’s men had the first chance of the second half in the 47th minute as Billy Kee got the ball after a scramble and stabbed at it but Collins cleared it away.
Bolarinwa almost got a second for Town as he skipped past left-back Mark Hughes and hit a looping shot across goal but Chapman managed to catch it.
Town weren’t only alert going forward but they were also strong at the back. Davies made a great challenge to stop Clark on the hour mark as Accrington looked to get their goal through a quick long ball.
The game opened up more as the visitors searched for a way back into it and Town looked for a second to seal the win.
Bolarinwa was the outlet again for Town as he broke free from his marker and curled a great ball into Vernon, who headed it towards the top left corner, but Chapman was the visitors’ lifeline as he made a good save to keep it out.
Comley continued to use his energy well in the middle; breaking up play, starting attacks, and getting back to defend.
Accrington almost caught Town off-guard in the 76th minute as McCarten found space on the right of the box. The attacker drilled one low and it looked to be going in before Henderson made an excellent save with his feet to deny him.
Bignot made his first substitute of the game in the 81st minute, bringing on Disley for Comley.
And the manager made another change just two minutes later as Jackson replaced Bolarinwa, who looked to have suffered a knock.
Accrington desperately searched for an equaliser as striker Terry Gornell replaced defender Omar Beckles in the 86th minute.
But Town doubled their lead as Chambers broke free and beat Chapman in the 87th minute with his weaker left foot to get his first goal for the club and make it 2-0.
Bignot made his final change of the game in the 90th minute, bringing on Boyce for Davies.
The visitors had the chance to get a consolation goal just seconds later as Gornell fired from close-range but Henderson made another good stop to ensure a clean sheet.
Referee Ross Joyce blew the final whistle shortly after.
Tom Bolarinwa was named Man of the Match.
Town boss Bignot was delighted with the three points and was full of praise for the team, especially Man of the Match Bolarinwa.
“Tom (Bolarinwa) scoring that goal probably summed up the performance. Tom, at times, looked a world-beater and then at other times it was frustration. But credit to him and all the players.”
Bignot was also pleased with goalkeeper Dean Henderson on his Town debut.
“I look at keepers’ concentration levels because he (Dean Henderson) didn’t have particularly much to do but there was a key moment second-half; they had a shot and his reaction with his legs was super.
“I thought we were unfortunate in the last couple of games to be done by two really good free-kicks so I knew we were due a clean sheet.”
The victory has lifted the Mariners up to 12th and they now turn their attention to the home game against eighth-placed Blackpool on Saturday.