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Match Report: Grimsby Town 1-0 Crewe Alexandra

Mitch Rose's header gives Town their first home win of the season

2 September 2017

Paul Burgess
Mitch Rose heads home

Grimsby Town secured their second win of the season, and their first at home, as they beat Crewe Alexandra at Blundell Park.

A Mitch Rose header nine minutes before half-time ultimately proved enough to claim all three points and put an end to a run of three consecutive league defeats since the opening day success at Chesterfield.

Town produced their best home performance of the campaign so far and could have had more goals against a Crewe side who offered little attacking threat for the majority of the game, although they also had opportunities as the clock ticked down.  

New signing Martyn Woolford came straight into the starting XI as one of three changes to the Grimsby side that lost to Wycombe in their last league game.

He replaced Tom Bolarinwa, while Karleigh Osborne came in for the suspended Danny Collins and Scott Vernon made his return from injury as Sam Kelly dropped to the bench.

James McKeown started in goal, with Zak Mills, Nathan Clarke, Osborne and Paul Dixon forming the defence.

Siriki Dembele, James Berrett, Rose and Woolford were the midfielders, with JJ Hooper selected as Vernon's strike-partner.

Kelly was joined among the substitutes by Ben Killip, Ben Davies, Harry Cardwell, Luke Summerfield, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Jamille Matt, who would be looking to make his first appearance after signing on loan from Blackpool earlier in the week.

Crewe arrived in Cleethorpes looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season, having won two and drawn two of their four matches so far.

The Railwaymen had also enjoyed an excellent recent record against the Mariners, winning each of the previous four encounters between the two clubs and five of the last nine.

An early free kick for the visitors came in a dangerous position, given for a foul by Clarke after Woolford had lost posession on the left.  George Cooper's shot cleared McKeown's crossbar.

Dembele won a corner at the other end after Hooper had helped Woolford's crossfield ball on to the winger on four minutes.  Woolford's delivery frrom the right was headed over the bar by Vernon.

McKeown was called into action for the first time on seven minutes when Chris Porter shot from the edge of the penalty area after being found by Callum Ainley.  The low effort was comfortable for the keeper, who got down to make a stop.

A corner for the away side soon afterwards was cleared by Hooper, before Cooper was shown the first yellow card of the afternoon after referee Chris Sarginson ruled he had dived after he appeared to be brought down on the edge of the Town box.

A lengthy stoppage came when Crewe midfielder Conor Grant went down with what looked to be a serious injury after a collision near the halfway line.  After around eight minutes of treatment on the field, the Everton loanee was eventually carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Zoumana Bakayogo.

Town were playing some good football in the early stages and Woolford managed to create an opening for Hooper to make progress into the penalty area on 22 minutes, although the striker's low ball back across goal did not find a team-mate.

A cross from Mills on the right was cleared after Vernon had won the initial header, with the striker going down holding his head before eventually getting back to his feet.

Michael Raynes was booked after he caught Berrett with a forearm, although the Mariners were unable to create any danger from the resulting free kick.

Soon afterwards, Rose had two opportunities to shoot in quick succession after good play by Dembele, with the midfielder's second effort blocked by Brad Walker as it looked to be goalbound.

Then, only excellent defending by Perry Ng stopped the Mariners from taking the lead as his interception prevented Woolford from having a tap-in after Hooper's low ball across goal, with a corner the result.

The away side's luck was not to last though, as Grimsby went ahead from the flag-kick on 36 minutes.  Dembele sent over a great ball from the left and it was met by ROSE, who powered a header into the net at the far post.

A free kick from Cooper on the Crewe right was cleared for a throw-in as the visitors tried to find a way to trouble the Town defence.

They had another opportunity as the half moved into six minutes of added time, although Dagnall could only find McKeown as he shot from 18 yards after creating an opening for himself.

A cross from Ng on th right was also comfortably stopped by the keeper, before a shot from Woolford flew off-target at the other end.

No furrther chances came for either side before the half-time whistle, meaning the Mariners held a deserved one-goal advantage at the interval.

No changes were made before the restart an the visitors could have been level within two minutes when a free kick frrom keeper Ben Garratt near the halfway line found its way through to Eddie Nolan but the left-back could only shoot high and wide at the near post.

Dembele was shown a yellow card for a foul on Cooper, then Dagnall was caught offside as he ran onto a through-ball from Ainley.

Town were also doing their fair hare of attacking in the opening stages of the second half, winning a corner after Vernon was challenged by Bakayogo.  That soon turned into another corner, although the ball from it was caught by Garratt.

Another chance came soon afterwards, with Hooper beating the Crewe offside trap but firing into the side-netting at the near post.

Dixon had to head off the line after Town failed to clear their lines and Dagnall nipped in to chip the ball over McKeown, with the left-back in the right place to ensure Town's lead remained intact.

Rose was the next to be booked after a late challenge on Nolan on 58 minutes, before a cross from Mills on the right almost led to a second goal as the ball looped over Garratt and hit the top of the crossbar before going out for a goal kick.

A shot from Dembele was blocked just after the hour at one end, before Clarke beat Dagnall to the ball to clear the danger at the other.

Dagnall had another opportunity on 66 minutes as he ran towards the box before hitting a shot, although a heavy deflection off Clarke took it through to McKeown.

Owen Dale replaced Ainley for Crewe as they made their second substitution of the game a minute later, before Matt was sent on for his first action in the black and white of the Mariners in place of Vernon and Jaiyesimi replaced Woolford at the same time.

A free kick from Walker on halfway was floated straight into McKeown's arms, before a chipped cros from Dembele was headed over the bar by Hooper at the other end.

Matt showed good strength to win a corner on the right on 75 minutes an fom it, the Mariners should perhaps have doubled their advantage.  Berrett's delivery was met by Clarke but the centre-back was off-target with his header, which went over the bar.

Davies came on for Dembele with a little more than 10 minutes left on the clock, before Jordan Bowery replaced Cooper for Crewe.

The away side went close to getting an equaliser with eight minutes left when Porter took advantage of a slip by Mills to race clear into the box.  He looked set to score but McKeown came off his line to block his first effort, before a follow-up attempt was blocked by Osborne.

A Davies corner was headed clear, before good hold-up play by Matt led to Hooper having a shot blocked.  The ball came out to Jaiyesimi but he could only shoot at keeper Garratt.

Davies conceded a corner on 89 minutes as Crewe poured forward in search of an equaliser but the flag-kick came to nothing.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the game and the Mariners were able to close out their win and collect a welcome three points.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Mansfield Town. 


1. James McKeown 
12. Zak Mills 
3. Paul Dixon 
14. Karleigh Osborne 
5. Nathan Clarke (C) 
8. Mitch Rose 36' 
27. Siriki Dembele 
7. James Berrett 
25. Martyn Woolford 
21. Scott Vernon 
9. JJ Hooper 


30 Ben Killip 
2 Ben Davies 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
11 Sam Kelly 
19 Luke Summerfield 
17 Harry Cardwell 
29 Jamille Matt

Crewe Alexandra.

Ben Garratt 
14 Callum Ainley 
11 George Cooper 
12 Eddie Nolan 
6 Michael Raynes 
2 Perry Ng 
4 Brad Walker 
15 Ryan Wintle 
28 Conor Grant 
9 Chris Dagnall (C)
7 Chris Porter


13.Dave Richards 
3. Zoumana Bakayogo 
27. Sam Stubbs 
18. Harry Pickering 
10. Jordan Bowery 
19. Owen Dale 
20. Charlie Kirk

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 4,066 (221)

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