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Match Report: Grimsby Town 2-3 Wycombe Wanderers

Town denied after fighting back from two goals down

26 August 2017

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Lee Blease
JJ opens his account for Town against Wycombe

Grimsby Town fought back from two goals down but went on to lose a third league game in a row as Wycombe Wanderers won at Blundell Park.

In an entertaining contest, the visitors took the lead through Adebayo Akinfenwa just before the half-hour, then doubled their advantage when Joe Jacobson scored from the penalty spot.

Town pulled one back when Mitch Rose converted the game's second penalty before Danny Collins, who had been booked when conceding the spot-kick in the first half, was sent off for getting a second yellow card.

The fightback looked to be complete when JJ Hooper rifled in his first goal for the Mariners from long range.

But Akinfenwa had he final say as he grabbed his second goal of the game to ensure the home side's efforts would be in vain.

One change was made to the Town side after the midweek cup defeat by Derby County, with Zak Mills coming in for the suspended Ben Davies.

James McKeown began in goal, with Mills, Nathan Clarke, Collins and Paul Dixon forming the defence.

Tom Bolarrinwa, Rose, James Berrett, Sam Kelly and Siriki Dembele were the midfielders, with Hooper again deployed as a lone frontman.

The substtutes were Ben Killip, Harry Cardwell, Karleigh Osborne, Luke Summerfield, Harry Clifton, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Chris Clements.

Wycombe included big striker Aknfenwa in their starting XI, while his strike partner Craig Mackail-Smith would also be out to cause problems for the Grimsby defence.

An early Town free kick caused no problems as Bolarinwa was caught offside, before a shot from Hooper on the turn was blocked after Kelly had battled well to win a throw-in on the left.

A nice touch from Hooper on the halfway line sent Dembele clear on six minutes but the winger was unable to cause any real danger as the Wycombe defence recovered.

A foul by Dembele on Mackail-Smith gave Wycombe a free kick near the centre circle on 12 minutes but the ball from it was headed clear by Hooper.

And after the Mariners had been the better side in the opening 10 minutes, Wycombe's spell of pressure continued with a left-wing corner, which was also cleared.

Hooper did well at the other end soon afterwards to hold the ball up on the right and find Dembele in the middle, who won a corner.  Kelly's delivery was headed away by Akinfenwa.

The game was beeing played at a fast pace and Hooper won another corner for the hosts on 15 minutes, although Akinfenwa was again in the right place to clear.

Dembele had a chance to burst into the box after a pass from Hooper a minute later but this time, the winger overran it.

Visiting keeper Scott Brown had to comee right to the edge of his area to get his defence out of trouble after a slip looked likely to let Hooper in as Town continued to attack.  Appeals came from the home fans that Brown was outside the box when he handled the ball but referee Mark Heywood, who wwas in a good position, allowed play to go on.

A foul on Berrett gave the hosts a free kick in a promising position on the right on 25 minutes but Kelly's ball was flicked away for a corner before Clarke could connect with a header.  The delivery from the flag was then headed away by Paris Cowan-Hall.

Town fell behind on 28 minutes when the ball was adjuged to have been kept in on the Wycombe right and after Mackail-Smith sent it into the box, it bounced up for AKINFENWA to take a touch and fire home.

Another scare came when the ball was flashed across the Grimsby six-yard box but nobody in the blue of Wycombe could get to it.

At the other end, a good cross came in from Mills on the right but it led to a similar result, as no attacker could meet it.

Collins had to concede a corner on 35 minutes as the game continued to move from end to end and a header from it led to the ball ricocheting around the Town box until Dembele was finally able to bring it clear.

A foul by Hooper gave left-back Jacobson a free kick to take from the right but he could only float the ball into the arms of McKeown.

Town had the ball in the net soon afterwards through Kelly but the whistle had already gone after the offside flag went up against Mills.

Rose was shown the first yellow card of the game on 42 minutes for a foul and from the resulting free kick, the visitors were given the chance to double their advantage when a hanball by Collins was spotted and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.  Collins was booked and JACOBSON stepped up to send McKeown the wrong way from 12 yards to make it 2-0.

A foul by Mackail-Smith on Dixon gave Town an opportunity to get the ball into the danger area but the free kick was headed clear by Michael Harriman.

Then a run from Mills was almost rewarded but Brown saved from the right-back to ensure the only damage would be a corner.

Another Wycombe corner came two minutes into stoppage time but Akinfenwa's header from it dropped wide and the Mariners' deficit remained at two goals at the interval.

Jaiyesimi replaced Kelly for Town before the restart and a foul by Cowan-Hall on Clarke on the halfway line gave them a chance to get the ball into the box from the resulting free kick.  Hooper received it and tried to create an opening but was unable to do so and a goal kick was the result.

Bolarinwa won a free kick after a tangle with Jacobson and after Berrett's delivery from the right, the referee spotted Collins being pulled back by defender Anthony Stewart and pointed for the second penalty of the afternoon.  This time, it was in favour of the hosts and ROSE stepped up to slot it into the corner to halve the deficit and bring the Mariners right back into the contest.

Town were now resurgent, with Dembele having an opportunity and then Mills sending a cross over from the right, which keeper Brown got to first.

A weak attempt by Cowan-Hall at the other end was comfortable for McKeown to stop, before the Mariners were reduced to 10 men for the fifth game in a row, as this time, Collins was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence after a poor challenge on Mackail-Smith.  The resulting free kik was pushed away by McKeown and Town eventually cleared.

Osborne was sent on in place of Bolarinwa as Town boss Russell Slade looked for defensive cover to plug the gap left by Collins.

Marcus Bean replaced Matt Bloomfield for the visitors on 63 minutes, before the Mariners drew themselves level in spectacular style two minutes later.  HOOPER picked the ball up 35 yards out and advanced slightly before picking his spot and powering a shot past Brown and into the net for 2-2.

The pace and skill of Jaiyesimi took him into the Wycombe half before he was fouled on 69 minutes but the resulting free kick did not lead to a chance in front of goal.

Former Mariner Dayle Southwell was given a chance to impress on his return to his old club as he replaced Mackail-Smith for Wycombe on 73 minutes, with Nick Freeman also coming on for Cowan-Hall at the same time.

An the visitors had their lead back soon afterwards, when Harriman was given the space to cross from the right and the ball was met at the far post by AKINFENWA, who nodded it into the net.

Cardwell came on in place of Dembele for the last 12 minutes as Town looked to come from behind once again.

Jaiyesimi showed more pace an trickery to create an opening and shoot from 20 yards, wwith his effort blocked for a corner.

Soon afterwards, Bean was booked for a foul wich gave the Mariners a free kick right of centre.  Dixon's shot was blocked by the Wycombe wall.

Town kept attacking and they won another corner, which was headed away from danger by Akinfenwa.

Adam El-Abd was the latest to be shown a yellow car after pulling Cardwell back as the striker looked to make his way towards the Wycombe box on 89 minutes.

Four added minutes were signalled by the fourth official as the Mariners kept looking to rescue a point.

But they were unable to force a leveller and instead, it was Wycombe who took the points.

Town are next in action on Tuesday, when Doncaster Rovers visit Blundell Park in the Checkatrade Trophy.


1. James McKeown 
12. Zak Mills 
6. Danny Collins 
3. Paul Dixon 
5. Nathan Clarke (C) 
8. Mitch Rose 
7. James Berrett 
11. Sam Kelly
18. Tom Bolarinwa 
9. JJ Hooper
27. Siriki Dembele 


30. Ben Killip 
14. Karleigh Osborne 
22. Chris Clements 
15. Harry Clifton 
20. Diallang Jaiyesimi 
19. Luke Summerfield 
17. Harry Cardwell 


1. Scott Brown 
3. Joe Jacobson 
6. Adam El-Abd (C) 
16. Michael Harriman
5. Anthony Stewart 
10. Matt Bloomfield 
4. Dominic Gape 
17. Luke O'Nien 
20. Adebayo Akinfenwa 
25. Craig Mackail-Smith 
12. Paris Cowan-Hall 


13. Barry Richardson 
2. Sido Jombati 
24. Jack Williams 
8. Marcus Bean 
22. Nick Freeman 
15. Dayle Southwell 

Attendance: 4,016 (187)

Referee: Mark Heywood

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