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Match Report: Cheltenham Town 2-3 Grimsby Town

Town secure back-to-back away wins with goals from Siriki Dembele (2) and Danny Collins

17 October 2017

Grimsby Town earned a second consecutive away win and made it five games unbeaten as they beat Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road.

Two Siriki Dembele goals came either side of one from Danny Collins to secure the points and cap a fine team performance.

Dembele's first of the evening opened the scoring on 13 minutes, before the hosts equalised through former Town loanee Harry Pell.

But two goals in two minutes just before half-time ultimately proved decisive, with Collins striking before Dembele made it 3-1.

Cheltenham pulled a goal back through Carl Winchester with five minutes to go to set up a nervy finale but the Mariners held on for the win.

Town were unchanged after Saturday's goalless home draw with Crawley Town, with James McKeown in goal behind a defence of Ben Davies, Nathan Clarke, Collins and Paul Dixon.

Dembele, James Berrett, Luke Summerfield and Martyn Woolford lined up across the midfield, with Sam Jones and Scott Vernon in attack.

Karleigh Osborne came back onto the bench as Mitch Rose dropped out of the squad, with Ben Killip, Sam Kelly, Diallang Jaiyesimi, JJ Hooper, Jamille Matt and Zak Mills also named as substitutes.

Cheltenham were looking to bounce back after losing to Port Vale at the weekend, although that defeat came after three successive victories for Gary Johnson's side.

Town started well, with Dembele having an early shot saved by home keeper Scott Flinders, before a long-range effort from Dixon was also stopped.

Cheltenham's Kevin Dawson fired over the bar, before Flinders was called into action again to deny Woolford.

A Town corner on 11 minutes led to Clarke heading wide, although the Mariners were getting on top and they opened the scoring with their next attack.  Dixon, Woolford and Vernon linked up down the left and after Dixon's cross fell for DEMBELE, the winger finished into the bottom corner.

Cheltenham's response saw Pell have a shot blocked from outside the box, before the midfielder found the space to let fly with another effort on 21 minutes, which McKeown pushed away for a corner.

And when the hosts got their equalising goal on 26 minutes, it was the former Mariners loanee who got his name on the scoresheet.  A Cheltenham corner was not fully dealt with and the ball came back into the box from Mohamed Eisa for PELL to head into the net at the far post.

Jerell Sellars was off-target with a shot from the edge of the box two minutes later as the home side looked to complete the turnaround.

But Town were still looking to create opportunities of their own and they almost had one when Woolford cut in from the left and Dembele aimed to play a one-two with Vernon but the ball ran away and the chance was gone.

A stoppage came when Pell went down with an injury just after the half-hour but after receiving lengthy treatment, he was passed fit to continue.

Vernon went close to putting his side back ahead when he met a cross from Davies but Flinders made a good save and the ball went out for a corner.  That turned into another flag-kick and after Cheltenham failed to clear their lines, Town attacked again through Woolford but after he crossed, Vernon's shot was blocked.

The game was moving from end to end and the hosts were the next to go close, with Danny Wright heading just wide after a cross from Dawson.

Good defending from Clarke denied Eisa on 40 minutes, at the expense of a corner, which eventually led to a Grimsby free kick for a foul on Clarke.

Soon afterwards, a corner came at the other end and it led to the game's third goal.  Woolford's ball into the box was met by COLLINS and after Cheltenham failed to clear, the defender was there again to put the ball into the net.

And the Mariners were not finished there, as Jones clipped a ball for DEMBELE to run into the box and make it 3-1 on 43 minutes, hitting a right-footed shot that Flinders got a touch to but could not keep out.

Five added minutes were signalled to be played at the end of the half and with no further chances created by either side, Town took a commanding lead into the dressing rooms at the interval.

Pell was replaced by Nigel Atangana for Cheltenham before the restart, as the Mariners stuck with the same XI that began the first half.

A shot from Eisa rolled away for a goal kick after Town had put together a good passage of play at the other end involving Woolford, Vernon and Dembele.

The Mariners were then forced to make their first substitution, with Mills coming on place of Dixon after the left-back picked up an injury.

A shot from Wright was deflected for a corner, which was headed away by Collins, but the hosts kept possession and another shot was deflected away from goal for a corner.

The Cheltenham pressure continued with another corner but this time, the ball was cleared from danger.

A foul by Berrett led to a home free kick on the right but Sellars' ball from it was cleared by Woolford.

Woolford was then involved at the other end as his one-two with Vernon led to a corner but Town were unable to profit from the flag as a header went off-target.

McKeown got to a cross ahead of Wright to stop the striker, then the Mariners won another corner after a shot from Jones was beaten away by Flinders.  Woolford's ball from the flag was punched away by the keeper.

Finland international Daniel O'Shaughnessy replaced Sellars for Cheltenham on the hour, before a home corner led to another one when the ball was put behind by Collins.  Again, it was Collins who got to the ball from the flag, ahead of Jamie Grimes.

A corner from Berrett was cleared on 67 minutes, then Cheltenham's next attack led to Joe Morrell firing over the bar.

Freddie Hinds replaced Jordan Cranston for Cheltenham and the home side could have been back within one goal when Eisa had a chance from the edge of the box, although his shot narrowly mised the target.

Matt was sent on in place of Dembele for the last 14 minutes of the game, then there was an opportunity to put the result beyond doubt two minutes later but Woolford was denied by keeper Flinders after being put through one-on-one by Vernon.

A foul by Collins gave Cheltenham a free kick in a central position on the edge of the Grimsby penalty area with nine minutes to go but Eisa could only send the ball over the bar from it.

The third and final Town change saw Kelly come on for Woolford, before a foul on Eisa brought another home free kick, which was dealt with by the away defence.

Hinds was shown the first yellow card of the night for a foul on Summerfield, before Cheltenham halved their deficit when WINCHESTER hit a shot on the turn that beat the unsighted McKeown and made it 3-2.

That goal ensured it would be a nervous last few minutes for the Mariners and their 179 travelling supporters and the pressure continued when a foul by Davies earned him a booking and gave the hosts a free kick.  Fortunately for Town, it came to nothing as a shot from Eisa was saved.

Cheltenham were pouring forward in search of what had looked like an unlikely equaliser, with another home corner leading to a header from Atangana hitting the post.

A signal of four added minutes gave the home supporters additional hope but Town held firm despite coming under relentless pressure, to collect the three points and seal a first away win at Cheltenham since 2006.

The Mariners are next in on Saturday, when they travel to Morecambe.

Cheltenham Town

24 Scott Flinders
11 Carl Winchester 
3 Jordan Cranston 
28 Taylor Moore 
2 Jamie Grimes (C) 
25 Joe Morrell 
8 Kevin Dawson 
7 Harry Pell 
17 Jerell Sellars 
9 Daniel Wright 
20 Mohamed Eisa


1 Jonathan Flatt 
15 William Boyle 
29 Alex Davey 
14 Daniel O'Shaughnessy 
6 Nigel Atangana 
21 Brian Graham 
27 Freddy Hinds


1 James McKeown 
2 Ben Davies  
3 Paul Dixon 50' 
6 Danny Collins  
5 Nathan Clarke (C) 
19 Luke Summerfield  
27 Siriki Dembele 76' 
7 James Berrett 
25 Martyn Woolford 83' 
10 Sam Jones 
21 Scott Vernon


0 Ben Killip 
12 Zak Mills 50' 
14 Karleigh Osborne 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
11 Sam Kelly 83' 
9 JJ Hooper 
29 Jamille Matt 76'

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 2,469 (179)

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