Grimsby Town 4-2 Yeovil Town
GRIMSBY Town made it two home wins out of two under Russell Slade as they comfortably beat Yeovil Town at Blundell Park.
The Mariners took the lead with an early Sam Jones penalty and went on to double their advantage through Chris Clements in what was a low-key first half.
Yeovil had not looked dangerous over the first 45 minutes but they briefly threatened a comeback when Alex Lawless pulled a goal back just after the break.
But Town quickly restored their two-goal cushion when Scott Vernon made it 3-1, before Jamey Osborne added a fourth.
Francois Zoko grabbed a second consolation goal for the visitors but it was not to be their day as Grimsby saw out the rest of the game to collect all three points.
Three changes were made to the Town side after the Easter Monday defeat at Cheltenham, with Craig Disley, James Berrett and Vernon all coming into the XI as Ben Davies and the suspended Gavin Gunning dropped out.
James McKeown started in goal, with Zak Mills, Shaun Person, Danny Collins and Danny Andrew forming the defence.
Disley took up a position in front of the back four, with Osborne, Berrett and Clements making up a central midfield trio as Vernon partnered Sam Jones in attack.
Davies and Dyson were both named among the substitutes, as were Dominic Vose, Tom Bolarinwa, Andrew Boyce, Dan Jones and Brandon Comley.
Yeovil made the long trip north with their Football League future not quite mathematically assured with three games to go but knowing they would be safe if Newport dropped any points, regardless of the result of this game.
The Glovers’ side included former Mariners striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, who led the line alongside Francois Zoko.
Yeovil controlled possession during the opening few minutes but the Mariners had the first attack of note and with it, they were given the chance to open the scoring.
Osborne ran onto a ball from Jones and after he was brought down by visiting keeper Jonny Maddison inside the box, referee Eddie Ilderton pointed to the penalty spot. JONES stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 1-0 after seven minutes.
Yeovil’s Zoko won the first corner of the game on 13 minutes after his run was stopped by a good challenge from Collins. The flag-kick was punched clear by McKeown.
A foul by Jones on Ryan Dickson gave the away side a free kick on the left four minutes later but the delivery caused no problems for the Town defence as the ball was comfortably caught by McKeown.
At the other end, Osborne had a run through the middle but when he eventually shot from 25 yards, the effort lacked the power needed to beat Maddison.
Vernon then shot wide of the mark after getting the ball from Jones near the edge of the Yeovil penalty area.
Another good chance looked to have come soon afterwards when Vernon picked Jones out inside the box.
The striker looked to turn the ball goalwards but the offside flag went up against him as Maddison made a save.
Yeovil were yet to seriously threaten as the half-hour mark approached, with the Mariners looking very comfortable in their lead in what was a low-tempo game.
A cross from Andrew was headed away for a throw-in, before another throw from Mills was hacked clear by Ben Whitfield.
Osborne was fouled on the halfway line on 35 minutes and the free kick eventually led to the game’s second goal. Andrew’s cross-field ball was kept in by Mills and it eventually broke for CLEMENTS, who took it on his chest before firing past Maddison from 25 yards.
The visitors responded by winning a corner when a cross from Otis Khan was headed out by Pearson, with Disley then heading the ball from the flag away from danger.
Akpa Akpro headed wide at the near post from a right-wing cross as McKeown was still not called into serious action with 40 minutes on the clock.
At the other end, a snap-shot from Jones bounced into Maddison’s arms, before Vernon was beaten by defender Nathan Smith soon afterwards as the hosts looked to attack again.
An offside decision was given as Andrew swung a free kick into the Yeovil box from the right, before an Akpa Akpro shot for the away side drifted wide of the target.
One additional minute was signalled to be played at the end of the half and with no further chances created by either side before the referee’s whistle blew, the Mariners went into the dressing rooms at the interval with a commanding advantage.
Bevis Mugabi replaced Whitfield for Yeovil before the restart and an early Akpa Akpro shot was blocked after he had cut into the penalty area from the left.
Soon afterwards though, the away side were back in the contest as they pulled a goal back. A cross was knocked down by Zoko for LAWLESS and he drilled a low effort past McKeown and into the net to make it 2-1.
The game stopped for defender Alex Lacey to receive treatment after he went down with an injury, although he was eventually passed fit to continue.
Yeovil were looking much brighter since the restart and they won a corner on the right on 53 minutes, although the delivery was headed clear by Disley.
Jones battled well to make progress down the right on 58 minutes before his low cross was cut out for a corner. And the flag-kick led to the Mariners restoring their two-goal cushion when Andrew’s ball came to VERNON at the far post and he headed it into the net.
Disley headed a Yeovil corner clear to launch another Grimsby attack on the hour but nobody in black and white was in the right place to meet Berrett’s chipped cross from the left.
Liam Shephard was brought down by Osborne to give the visitors a free kick on the right but from it, the Mariners turned defence into attack and grabbed a fourth goal. The free kick was cleared by Pearson and the ball came to OSBORNE, who ran forward with it and cut in from the left before slotting past Maddison.
With the points now safe, Town went in search of more goals and Osborne set up a chance for Andrew on the edge of the box, although his shot cleared the Pontoon Stand.
Shayon Harrison replaced Shephard in Yeovil’s second substitution on 68 minutes, before another Grimsby attack saw Jones shoot wide after Vernon’s touch had sent him clear.
That proved to be Vernon’s last contribution as he was replaced by Dyson for the last 20 minutes of the game.
A shot from Harrison was blocked for a corner after a good down the right by Zoko and from the flag, the away side were on the scoresheet again. The Mariners failed to clear the ball and after it broke to ZOKO, he rifled a powerful effort into the top corner for 4-2.
Vose came on for Berrett with 14 minutes left to play, before a Khan free kick was punched clear by McKeown.
Vose won a corner on the right a minute after coming on and from it, a far-post header by Collins was blocked before Maddison eventually claimed the ball.
Town almost had a fifth goal when an excellent move involving Vose and Jones eventually led to Dyson shooting from inside the box but a good save from Maddison meant the only damage was a corner.
Osborne came off to a standing ovation on 88 minutes, with Bolarinwa sent on in his place in what was Town’s third and final substitution.
Six added minutes were signalled to be played at the end of the game and a shot from Dyson in the fourth of them was saved by Maddison as the Mariners kept looking to add to their score.
A shot from Vose was blocked, before the Scunthorpe loanee found his way into the box from the left and went down but a goal kick was signalled.
That proved to be the last action of note as the Mariners saw the game out to claim a comfortable win.
Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Barnet.