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Match Reports

REPORT:Grimsby Town 2-1 Barnsley

15 July 2017

Paul Burgess
Brandon celebrates with Danny Collins after scoring against Barnsley

Grimsby Town made it five victories out of five in pre-season so far with a win against Barnsley in their first home friendly of the summer. 

Second-half goals from Siriki Dembele and trialist Brandon Robinson ensured the Mariners preserved their 100 per cent record after Lloyd Isgrove had given the visitors the lead before the break. 

Before the game, it was announced that goalkeeper Ben Killip had signed for Town after impressing while on trial but it was James McKeown who got the nod from boss Russell Slade to start between the sticks against the Tykes. 

He lined up behind a defence of Zak Mills, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and trialist Paul Dixon, with Dembele, James Berrett, Kamal Ait El Haj, Sam Kelly, Scott Vernon and Sam Jones making up the rest of the starting XI. 

The visitors made the brighter start and Collins was required to make a good clearance from a dangerous-looking cross on nine minutes, before a Barnsley header flashed just wide soon afterwards. 

It didn’t take much longer for the Mariners to make an impact of their own though, as a corner from Berrett on the left fell for Dembele and he volleyed just wide of the target. 

A corner at the other end was cleared by Ait El Haj, before slack play at the back by the hosts almost let Barnsley in, although a first-time shot from 20 yards went wide of the far post. 

Town had a good chance to take the lead two minutes after the half-hour when Ait El Haj played a good ball over the top for Jones, although the former Gateshead attacker could only shoot over the bar from 12 yards. 

Instead, it was Barnsley who opened the scoring on 38 minutes, when a mistake in the Grimsby defence led to the ball coming back off the post for ISGROVE, who had the simple task of slotting home from close range. 

No substitutions were made by the Mariners at the interval and they were back on level terms within 35 seconds of the restart as a long kick forward by McKeown was headed on for DEMBELE, who kept his composure and produced a good finish from inside the box. 

Dembele, who would go on to pick up the man of the match award, then showed good persistence to win the ball and set up an attack which could have led to a second goal, only for Kelly’s shot from the edge of the box to be deflected out for a corner. 

As the entertaining opening to the second half continued, Barnsley were almost back in front with 48 minutes on the clock after some good skills by Andy Yiadom saw him find a way into the box. McKeown was equal to his shot though, diving to push the ball away for a corner. 

Jones saw a shot saved from 25 yards, before both teams made a number of changes on the hour mark, as Robinson, Ben Davies and Jamey Osborne replaced Dixon, Vernon and Dembele for Town. 

Berrett and Ait El Haj were the next to make way for Luke Summerfield and Tom Bolarinwa and as Barnsley also made wholesale changes, it was the Mariners who were asking most of the questions in attack. 

A Collins header from a corner by Davies was saved, before Kelly and Jones were replaced by Harry Cardwell and Adi Yussuf. 

Town were finishing the game the stronger and they made their breakthrough with four minutes to go, when a corner was flicked on and found its way through to ROBINSON, who smashed it into the net from close range for what turned out to be the winner. 

Max Wright replaced Mills for the closing stages of the game as the Mariners closed out their win against the Championship side. 

They will now head to Devon to continue their pre-season preparations with games against Bideford on Tuesday and Tavistock on Thursday, before returning to Linconshire for an away fixture at Boston United on Saturday.

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