REPORT: Cambridge United 0-1 Grimsby Town
TOWN picked up a terrific three points by winning 1- 0 at Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon at the Abbey Stadium.
A first half goal from James Berrett was the difference on the day, as Town picked up a victory against a side that were on an unbeaten run going into the encounter.
Town boss Paul Hurst made one change to last week's goalless draw with Exeter City, with the injured Ben Davies making way for Luke Summerfield.
As a result, Town lined up with a 4-3-3 formation, with James McKeown starting between the posts behind a back four of Zak Mills, Josh Gowling, Danny Collins and Danny Andrew, a midfield three of Brandon Comley, Luke Summerfield and James Berrett, with Kayden Jackson and Dominic Vose playing either side of Omar Bogle.
The game began at a frantic tempo, and it was the Mariners had the first real chance of the game when Zak Mills was found out wide and did well to cut the ball back towards Luke Summerfield, with the midfielder's shot being blocked well.
After that, Town began to take control and cause the home side some real problems, with Vose and Berrett in particular linking up well with Bogle and looking threatening.
Vose had the next opportunity of the game when he played a nice one-two with Omar Bogle, but his resulting shot was deflected just over the bar.
Town had their first real scare midway through the first half, after the side failed to clear the ball from a corner and McKeown had to get down low to prevent an unmarked Luke Berry from giving Cambridge the lead.
Despite that, Town were always looking a threat going forward, and they were finally rewarded on 23 minutes when they took the lead. First, Bogle did well to bring down an aerial ball and play in Vose out wide, who skipped past his man and crossed into the box for James Berrett to nod past Gregory and send the travelling Mariners fans into rapture.
There was only one team that were looking like scoring for the majority of the half, and the Mariners had several chances to double their lead before the break.
First, Bogle was found out on the right hand side and he managed to cut inside into the box but was unable to get his shot on target from a tight angle.
Town's top scorer had another opportunity in the minute when Andrew was found out on the left and crossed towards him, but he scooped his effort over the bar with the ball slightly behind him.
Bogle was the man of the hour once again and he came as close as you can possibly come to doubling Town's lead when Berrett was brought down around 20 yards out and the Town striker had a chance to take a free-kick. The resulting effort was a terrific one, crashing against the top of the crossbar with Cambridge keeper Gregory beaten all ends up.
However, as the half drew to a close, Town's good work was so very nearly undone when crossed towards, and he crased his header against the post before the ball rebounded back to, who hit an air shot when it looked easier to score before the Mariners managed to cler and snuff out the danger.
The second half began with the visitors responding, and it took a terrific last ditch block from Gowling minutes into the restart to stop a Harrison Dunk shot from reaching the target.
The momentum was all with the U's in the second period, and they came close again when a Luke Berry shot whistled just fractions wide of James McKeown's post.
Town boss Paul Hurst made his first two changes of the game on 68 minutes when captain Craig Disley and Tom Bolarwina coming on to replace Kayden Jackson and Brandon Comley.
It was Bolarinwa that made an impact straight away when he was found out wide but in the box, but he blasted wide from a narrow angle.
He was in the action again moments later, cutting inside and curling a shot towards goal that Cambridge keeper Gregory had to palm away and Town were unable to pick up the rebound.
The game suddenly began to become very open, with Cambridge pushing for an equaliser and Town going for a second, which made for an exciting last quarter of the game.
The Mariners had a golden opportunity to double their lead on 76 minutes when a very lax backpass from Leon Legge found Bogle, who took the ball around the goalkeeper before defender Mark Roberts was able to recover and get the ball away with a sliding tackle.
It was Town's turn to live dangerously in the very next attack, when McKeown flapped at a corner but no U's player was able to react quickly enough and the ball was cleared.
As the game drew to its conclusion, Cambridge had another opportunity when Mingoia crossed for Legge, who laid the ball off to McGurk but he hit the ball over the bar.
Despite Cambridge pushing for an equaliser throughout the half, Town dealt with the pressure well, with James McKeown not really forced into a serious save, and they managed to hold on to claim the away win.
The Mariners next host Cheltenham Town at Blundell Park on Saturday afternoon, as they come up against the side they were promoted from the National League alongside them last season for the first time in the EFL.
Town: McKeown, Mills, Gowling (c), Collins, Andrew, Berrett, Comley (Disley, 68), Summerfield, Vose (Tuton, 90) Jackson (Bolarinwa, 68), Bogle
Unused subtitutes: Henderson, Pearson, Browne, Vernon
Cambridge United: Gregory, Taylor (Clark, 46), Dunne (Newton, 58), Roberts, Legge (c), Mingoia, Berry, Williamson (Pigott, 64), Dunk, McGurk, Halliday
Unused substitutes: Iron, Coulson, Long, Gosling, Clark
Attendance: 5121 (1,131 away)
Referee: Mr. C Breakspear