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Guest Reporter - Blackpool

1 January 2017

Guest reporter Ryan Petterson's view of the 0-0 draw.

Grimsby Town ended their year with a goalless draw at home to Blackpool in front of 5,637 fans this afternoon.

The game was fairly even and both sides will be happy with the result but Town would have picked up all three points at the death if Danny Collins could have found the back of the net when Zak Mills’s free-kick landed to him, but the defender couldn’t get his foot to it.

Town boss Marcus Bignot made two changes to his side that beat Accrington Stanley on Monday, but he stuck with Dean Henderson in goal.

Mills returned to the fold at right-back, while Collins and captain Shaun Pearson were the centre-halves, with Danny Andrew at left-back.

The five-man midfield featured Tom Bolarinwa on the right, Brandon Comley and Luke Summerfield in the middle, with Dominic Vose returning on the left, and Ashley Chambers just behind the striker.

Top scorer Omar Bogle started on his own up front.

James McKeown, Ben Davies, Josh Gowling, Craig Disley, Kayden Jackson, Scott Vernon, and Dan Jones made up Town’s bench.

A minute’s round of applause was held before kick-off in memory of all those who lost their lives in 2016.

The game got off to a scrappy start with neither side having any real chances on goal in the opening 10 minutes and possession regularly being swapped in the middle of the park.
The first clear-cut opportunity came in the 20th minute as Mark Cullen broke free for the visitors and was one-on-one with Henderson but the keeper pulled off a great save to get down to his left and parry it wide.

Town manager Bignot was forced to make an early substitute as Chambers suffered a knock and came off for Jackson in the 24th minute.

The Mariners almost drew first blood just before the half-hour mark as Bogle chested it down to Summerfield, who carried it to the edge of the area and drilled one low but Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe managed to get down and cradle it.

Andrew looked to have put Town ahead directly from his excellent free-kick in the 34th minute as the ball continued to curl away from Slocombe but it drifted just inches wide of the right post.

And Town had another good chance just two minutes later as Vose dribbled past several Blackpool players before playing a neat through ball to Bogle, who couldn’t beat Slocombe and bump his tally for the season up to 17.

Referee Darren England awarded the first booking of the game to Bright Osayi-Samuel for an alleged dive in the box four minutes before half-time.

Andrew again came close again for Town in the 42nd minute as he drifted over to the right and hit one low towards the right post and it beat Slocombe but it was just wide and went out for a goal kick.

Bignot made his second change of the game at half-time as Summerfield, who looked to have picked up an injury, was replaced by Disley.

Blackpool had the first chance of the second period as Kyle Vassell found space and hit one from long-range but Henderson was alert and leapt to keep it out of the top-right corner with another great save.

But Town had their chance next as Andrew and Disley conjured up some great link-up play before the ball landed to Vose, whose powerful, long-ranged effort flew narrowly wide of the right post.

Vose always looked dangerous on his Town return as he ran at defenders, played some intricate passes, and tested Slocombe when he could.

But Blackpool almost punished Town for their loss of possession in the middle on 73 minutes as Brad Potts broke free and was one-on-one with Henderson but he blazed his shot into the Pontoon end.

And the Tangerines had another good chance five minutes later as Vassell swung a ball in from the left and Cullen got on the end of it but there was no real conviction in his header as it flew wide.

Town fought back, though, as Vose switched a great ball from the left to Bogle, who turned and brought it down but defender Andy Taylor got in the way and let it roll to Slocombe.

Blackpool made two changes in the 81st minute as Jack Payne came off for Michael Cain, and Osayi-Samuel was replaced by Danny Philliskirk. 

The away side made their final change three minutes later as Cullen exited the field of play for Jamille Matt.

Town almost grabbed a 90th minute winner as Mills delivered a great free-kick into the area and Collins stretched but just couldn’t reach it to tap it in at the back post, and it finished 0-0.

Dean Henderson was chosen as the Man of the Match.

After the game, boss Bignot told us he was happy with his side’s performance.

“We’ve come a long way in terms of organisation and where we want to get to. I’m sure everyone can see how we want to evolve.

“There can be a lot of positives to be taken out; two clean sheets in a row, and two games unbeaten now.”

And with the club signing striker Adi Yussuf today, Bignot said he’ll be looking to strengthen the squad further in January.

“We’ll be busy hopefully. We’ll be trying to bring players in to help us evolve because certainly there’s a structure there to build upon.”

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