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Match Report: Grimsby Town 0-0 Crawley Town

Missed penalty costs Mariners maximum points

14 October 2017

Grimsby Town played out a goalless draw for a second consecutive home game as they shared the spoils with Crawley Town at Blundell Park.

After a stalemate with local rivals Lincoln City was followed up with a win away at Port Vale last week, the Mariners went into this game looking for another positive result.

And they came the closest of the two sides to securing maximum points after being awarded a second-half penalty but Sam Jones put the spot-kick wide of the target.

Town boss Russell Slade stuck with the same XI that began the victory at Vale Park last Saturday.

That meant goalkeeper James McKeown was once again protected by a defence of Ben Davies, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Paul Dixon.

Siriki Dembele, James Berrett, Luke Summerfield and Martyn Woolford were the midfielders, with Jones and Scott Vernon again selected together in attack.

The Grimsby substitutes were Ben Killip, Sam Kelly, Diallang Jaiyesimi, JJ Hooper, Mitch Rose, Jamille Matt and Zak Mills.

Crawley arrived in Cleethorpes looking to make it three away wins in a row, although Harry Kewell's side had not been as good at home, leaving them 18th in the table at kick-off.

Striker Ibrahima Meite would be out to cause problems for the Mariners' defence, supported by the likes of Enzio Boldewijn and Dennon Lewis.

The visitors had the first chance of the afternoon on three minutes when Lewis cut in from the right wing and fired a low shot from 20 yards that went just wide.

At the other end, Town's first opportunity to put pressure on the Crawley goal came when Dembele won a corner on the right on seven minutes.  Woolford's ball from the flag was punched clear by visiting keeper Glenn Morris.

A Billy Clifford free-kick was headed at McKeown by centre-back Joe McNerney at one end, then a cross from Dixon on the left was comfortably caught by Morris at the other as both sides looked to get the ball forward as quickly as possible, albeit without creating any real chances in the opening quarter of an hour.

Jones hit a deflected effort from the edge of the box that went through to Morris, then good play by Dembele saw him run through the middle, only to be stopped by a good challenge from Josh Lelan as he looked to shoot from 18 yards.

Persistent play by Vernon led to a corner on the right but the Mariners were unable to turn it into a chance in front of goal and Crawley eventually managed to get the ball clear.

Dixon then conceded a cheap corner at the other end after McKeown was unable to keep the left-back's heavy back-pass in play.  Crawley were also unable to cause any problems from the flag-kick though.

A deep cross from Davies on 25 minutes was headed out for another corner before it could reach Vernon but Woolford's delivery was headed clear by defender Mark Connolly.

Dembele was adjudged to have been fouled by Clifford on the left soon afterwards but Summerfield's ball to the far post from the resulting free-kick was out of play before Collins got to it with a header.

The half-hour passed without any changes on the scoreboard, although Town were starting to get on top and they created a chance when Vernon linked up with Jones on the edge of the penalty area, before Morris raced off his line to block the former Gateshead attacker.

A foul on Berrett on 34 minutes gave the hosts a free-kick inside the Crawley half but Dixon's ball from it was comfortably headed clear.

The away side had a corner two minutes later after Dixon blocked a cross from Lewis but the ball from the flag was hammered clear by Clarke.

Crawley captain Jimmy Smith was shown the first yellow card of the game for a shirt-pull on 40 minutes, before a let-off for the Mariners came when the ball was played across the six-yard box and Clarke could only touch it back towards McKeown, who reacted quickly to get it clear of immediate danger.

A Crawley corner soon afterwards saw McKeown make a comfortable catch from a Lelan header.

One additional minute was signalled to be played at the end of the half and with no further incidents of note before the half-time whistle, the game remained goalless at the interval.

No changes were made before the restart and an early free-kick from Clifford on the Crawley left was headed clear of danger.

Another free-kick came for a foul on Enzio Boldwijn on the same side and this time, Clifford went for goal but Berrett managed to head the ball away for a corner at the near post.  The ball from the flag was missed by McKeown but it was hacked clear.

The visitors had made a good start to the second half and Town had to wait until five minutes in for their first attack of note, with Woolford hitting a low shot from inside the box that Morris got down to stop.

A burst into the box from Jones led to him having a shot on 52 minutes but again, Morris got down to make a comfortable stop.

At the other end, an attempted shot from Meite was blocked before Lewis fired over the bar after the away side launched a counter-attack.

Town were given the perfect opportunity to open the scoring on 57 minutes after a good ball from Dembele sent Jones away down the right.  He showed skill and strength to get into the box before being bundled over and referee Gavin Ward pointed to the spot.  Jones got up to take the penalty but could only watch it go wide of the target.

At the other end, Davies had to come to the rescue after a defensive mix-up let Meite in down the Crawley left.  The striker cut into open space to get into the penalty area but the right-back was in the right place to block the shot.

Clifford put the resulting corner onto the roof of McKeown's net and it turned out to be the midfielder's lastt involvement in the game as he was replaced by Panutche Camara.

Summerfield cleared the Pontoon Stand with a shot from 25 yards after the ball came to him when a low cross was half-cleared, before substitute Camara headed just wide at the other end.

Dannie Bulman hit a 25-yard shot straght at McKeown after a cross-shot by Camara was half-cleared, before a free kick fom the Crawley right was eventually scrambled away for a corner after a shot from close range had come back off the post.  It led to another flag-kick, which was eventually brought clear by Vernon.

Vernon was replaced by Matt in Grimby's first substitution of the game, before Davies won a corner on the right on 73 minutes.  Woolford's ball to the far post was volleyed in the direction of Dembele but the referee' whistle blew for a foul in favour of the visitors before he could shoot.

Connolly was spoken to after a foul gave the Mariners a free-kick inside the Crawley half.  Davies ball from it was a good one but Clarke's header went wide of the near post.

Meite was replaced by Iryan Tajbakhsh up front for the away side with 15 minutes to go, before Bulman was booked for a foul on Dembele.

Boldewijn won a corner fot Crawley as the clock ticked into the last 10 minutes and Tajbakhsh's ball was headed as far as Connolly on the right, who won another corner.  This time, Collins headed clear before Cedric Evina ran the ball out for a goal kick.

A foul by Dembele on Camara gave the visitors a free kick in a dangerous position with three minutes to go but Lewis' ball was flicked wide by Boldewijn.

Town were on the attack as three minutes of added time was signalled, with a cross-shot from Dembele stopped by Morris after a long throw from Clarke had been diverted to the keeper.

Another foul by Dembele saw him spoken to by the referee before Lewis' free-kick was kept in play by McNerney at the far post but he was unable to make anything of it.

That proved to be the last action of note as neither team was unable to force a breakthrough goal and both had to settle for a point.

Town are next in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Cheltenham Town.


1 James McKeown 
2 Ben Davies 
3 Paul Dixon 
5 Nathan Clarke (C) 
6 Danny Collins 
7 James Berrett 
27 Siriki Dembele 
19 Luke Summerfield 
25 Martyn Woolford 
21 Scott Vernon 70' 
10 Sam Jones 78'


30 Ben Killip 
12 Zak Mills 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
11 Sam Kelly 
8 Mitch Rose 
9 JJ Hooper 78' 
29 Jamille Matt 70' 

Crawley Town

1 Glenn Morris 
22 Josh Lelan 
19 Cedric Evina 
6 Mark Connolly 
5 Joe McNerney 
8 Jimmy Smith (C) 
7 Enzio Boldewijn 
21 Dannie Bulman 
18 Billy Clifford 
24 Dennon Lewis 
26 Ibrahim Meite


12 Yusuf Mersin 
3 Josh Doherty 
29 Nathan Okoye 
17 Kaby 
4 Josh Payne 
20 Aryan Taj 
28 Panutche Camara

Attendance:: 4,007 (70)

Referee:Gavin Ward

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