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Match Reports

Match Report: Grimsby Town 0-1 Luton Town

League-leaders claim narrow win at Blundell Park

27 January 2018

Paul Burgess
Charles Vernam in action v Luton Town

Grimsby Town fell to a fourth consecutive home defeat as League Two leaders Luton Town claimed a narrow win at Blundell Park.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the first half when midfielder Jordan Cook was sent off for two bookable offences but Town were unable to make their numerical advantage count.

Instead, a single goal three minutes after half-time did the damage, with striker James Collins reacting quickest to head home after a free kick from Luke Berry was superbly tipped onto the bar by Town keeper Ben Killip.

The Mariners looked for a response and although they had chances, they were unable to find an equaliser as Luton held on to go nine points clear of Notts County at the top of the league.

Killip came back into the Town side in place of the injured Jake Kean in what was the only change to the starting XI following last week's away draw with Colchester.

Manager Russell Slade again opted for a five-man defence of Ben Davies, Nathan Clarke, Karleigh Osborne, Danny Collins and Paul Dixon, with Davies and Dixon pushing forward to support midfield trio James Berrett, Luke Summerfield and Mitch Rose.

Jamille Matt and Charles Vernam were again preferred as the strikers, meaning new signing Mallik Wilks had to be content with a place on the bench after completing a loan move from Leeds United yesterday.

Goalkeeping coach Andy Warrington was also named among the substitutes, along with Siriki Dembele, Diallang Jaiyesimi, Martyn Woolford, Zak Mills and Scott Vernon.

Luton made the journey north looking to take another step towards promotion to League One by stretching their lead at the top of the table, with second-placed Notts County in FA Cup action.

A ball forward from Dixon found Matt on three minutes but after the striker controlled it, visiting keeper Marek Stech raced off his line to deny him.

Seconds later, the Mariners had another chance through Summerfield but his shot from outside the box bounced back off the crossbar.

A foul on Matt on 10 minutes gave Town an opportunity to build an attack from a free kick inside the Luton half but the ball from Davies was cleared.

The hosts had started positively and another attacking move saw Vernam and Summerfield involved before a low cross from Davies was held by Stech.

Luton won a corner on the right on 18 minutes and from it, they were twice unlucky not to take the lead.  First, an effort from Berry was kept out, then a powerful shot from Harry Cornick looked destined for the top corner, only to hit a Luton player and go out of play.  The referee initially signalled for another corner, before changing his mind after taking advice.

A foul on Rose brought the first booking of the game for Cook, then a low shot from Summerfield soon afterwards went just past the far post.

A low cross frrom Jack Stacey at the other end was eventually cleared, before Vernam took advantage of casual play in the Luton midfield to get foward and hit a shot that was held by Stech.

Matt let fly from 30 yards just before the half-hour after turning away from his man but the striker could only watch as the ball flew wide.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 33 minutes when Cook was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Collins near the dugouts.

Summerfield was lucky to escape a yellow card for a trip that gave Luton a free kick in a promising position three minutes later, although Alan Sheehan's shot hit the Town wall.

Grimsby's next attack saw Vernam make progress through the middle before shooting from 25 yards, although the ball flew wide of the target.

Davies was shown the yellow card for a foul on Dan Potts five minutes before the break, ,then a cross from the right-back was met by the head of Matt before the ball was cleared.

A foul on Vernam as the game moved into two added minutes gave the Mariers a free kick near the left edge of the penalty area and Summerfield's low ball was cut out for a corner at the near post.  That turned into another flag-kick on the opposite flank but Town were unable to turn it into a goalscoring opportunity.

And with no further chances for either side, the game remained goalless at the interval, with Luton a man down but the Mariners unable to take advantage of that situaton.

Mills replaced Davies on the Town right before the restart and he was straight into the action, finding Matt with a good pass.  The striker took the ball wide though, before shooting at keeper Stech.

Lutons opening attack of the half saw Cornick get to the byline and send a low ball across the six-yard line, although nobody could connect with it.

A foul by Summerfield gave the visitors a free kick in a dangerous position on 48 minutes and from it, they took the lead.  Berry's shot was brilliantly pushed onto the bar by Killip but COLLINS reacted the quickest to head the rebound into the net.

Town's response saw them win a corner on the right but Summerfield's delivery was headed clear.

A free kick from Summerfield soon afterwards was deflected away for another corner but again, the danger from the flag was dealt with by the away side.

Another Grimsby corner came on 57 minutes but ths time, a touch took the ball back to Stech before Clarke could meet it at the far post.

Town's second substitution saw Dembele replace Rose on the hour and seven minutes later, the Mariners had a chance when Clarke met a cross fom the left, only to see his header caught by Stech.

A Luton free kick from Berry on the left was headed clear by Osborne, before a cross from the left at the other end was also dealt with as both teams pushed for the game's second goal.

Lawson D'Ath replaced Andrew Shinnie for the visitors with 15 minutes to go, before another Town attack led to a corner on the right, which was headed onto the top of the bar by Osborne.

Wilks was sent on for his Grimsby debut in place of Dixon on 76 minutes, then Dembele was boked for diving after going down near the edge of the Luton box.

Wilks had a chance when Mills played the ball through for him but instead of shooting, he looked to pass inside and the ball was cut out.

Jaames Justin replaced Collins for Luton with eight minutes to go, as the visitors looked to defend their narrow advantage.

They were almost presented with a second goal when an attempted clearance by Killip ricocheted up into the air but good covering by Clarke meant Cornick did not get a shooting chance.

Four added minutes were played, with the Mariners on the attack as they looked to snatch a late equaliser.

But they were unable to find a way through and Luton held on to claim all three points.

Town are next in action on Tuesday, when they make the long trip to face Yeovil Town.


Town

30 Ben Killip 
2 Ben Davies 
3 Paul Dixon 
6 Danny Collins 
14 Karleigh Osborne 
5 Nathan Clarke (C) 
8 Mitch Rose 
7 James Berrett 
19 Luke Summerfield 
29 Jamille Matt 
34 Charles Vernam

Subs

35 Andy Warrington 
12 Zak Mills 
27 Siriki Dembele 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
25 Martyn Woolford 
21 Scott Vernon 
18 Mallik Wilks

Luton Town

1 Marek Stech 
7 Jack Stacey 
3 Dan Potts 
5 Johnny Mullins 
44 Alan Sheehan (C) 
16 Glen Rea 
10 Jordan Cook 
11 Andrew Shinnie 
18 Luke Berry 
19 James Collins 
14 Harry Cornick

Subs

James Shea 
39 Akin Famewo 
2 James Justin 
24 Lawson D'Ath 
8 Olly Lee 
17 Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu 
38 Elliot Lee


Attendance: 4159 (522)


Referee: Michael Salisbury


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