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Match Reports

Match Report:Grimsby Town 0-2 Morecambe

Mariners beaten for the third game in a row

6 January 2018

Lee Blease

Grimsby Town suffered a third consecutive defeat as struggling Morecambe won comfortably at Blundell Park.

After losses at Crewe and at home to Accrington either side of the new year celebrations, the Mariners and their supporters were looking for a reaction against their west coast opponents.

Instead though, it was Morecambe who got themselves in front when veteran attacker Kevin Ellison broke the deadlock with a header on 10 minutes.

And although Town had more of the ball, the visitors doubled their advantage shortly before the interval when New Zealander Steven Old reacted quickest after Ellison's header from a corner had come back off the bar.

The hosts stuck to their task in the second half but were unable to test visiting goalkeeper Barry Roche as Morecambe took the points.

After making wholesale changes for the New Year's Day defeat at Crewe, Town boss Russell Slade reverted to a more familiar line-up for the visit of the Shrimps.

Goalkeeper Jake Kean went straight into the starting XI after completing a loan move from Sheffield Wednesday yesterday, while Martyn Woolford was preferred to Diallang Jaiyesimi in another of the six changes.

Kean would be protected by a back four of Zak Mills, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Ben Davies, with Siriki Dembele, Mitch Rose, Luke Summerfield and Woolford selected in midfield and Sam Jones and Jamille Matt both returning to the line-up in attack.

The Grimsby substitutes were Ben Killip, Karleigh Osborne, Scott Vernon, James Berrett, Paul Dixon and Jaiyesimi.

Morecambe came into the game hovering five points and two places above the League Two relegation zone and with just six league wins to their name so far this season. 

They were also the lowest scorers in the division but would look to the likes of Ellison and strike-partner Vadaine Oliver to put that statistic right.

An early opportunity for Town to create some danger came when a free kick for a foul on Rose was taken quickly by Summerfield, who found Dembele inside the Morecambe penalty area.  The winger then played a low ball across the box but could not pick out a team-mate.

Summerfield let fly from distance after another free kick from a similar position was played quickly to him on eight minutes but his shot flew over the bar.

But when the first goal came two minutes later, it was the visitors who struck from their first real opening.  The ball was played across from the left by Luke Conlan and it bounced nicely for the unmarked ELLISON, who had the simple task of looping a header over Kean and into the net.

A free kick taken by midfielder Michael Rose went straight through to Kean as the away side looked to keep the pressure on their hosts, before Jones looked to set up an attack in the other direction but saw his through-ball for Woolford blocked.

A dangerous run through the middle from Oliver led to Morecambe's next chance, with Kean forced to get down and make a stop after the former Notts County striker hit a low effort from 20 yards.

Rose missed the target with a shot from a long way out on 23 minutes after getting the ball from Dembele on the left, before Summerfield dragged a low effort wide of the far post as the Mariners looked to haul themselves level.

As they had been in their previous home game against Accrington, Town were missing a spark and although they had more of the ball than thair visitors, they had not done enough in the opening half-hour to threaten the Morecambe goal.

Ellison tried his luck with a shot on the turn that curled wide of Kean's target on 32 minutes, before an effort from Rose at the other end was blocked after good work by Matt on the right.

Summerfield was booked for a foul on Oliver near the edge of the centre circle and the resulting free kick was headed away for a Morecambe corner, which was put behind for another one.  This time, Rose's delivery was headed away by Matt and the ball was brought clear by Jones, who was brought down by Callum Lang on the halfway line. 

Lang was booked for that challenge, as was midfielder Alex Kenyon for a mistimed sliding tackle on Summerfield soon afterwards.  Summerfield's free kick was headed off-target by Jones.

Another Morecambe corner came four minutes before the break and this time, it produced the game's second goal.  The delivery from the left was headed against the bar by Ellison and after Kean could not get to the rebound, defender OLD reacted first to put the ball into the net from close range.

Town were being restricted to speculative long-range efforts, with Woolford the latest to fire off-target from 25 yards as visiting keeper Barry Roche watched the ball go into the 53 travelling suporters in the Osmond Stand.

The Mariners had aa corner of their own on 43 minutes but Summerfield's low delivery to the 18-yard line was easily cut out and cleared, with sections of the home support now beginning to make their frustration known.

Two added minutes was signalled by the fourth official as a Summerfield free kick from the right beat everybody and went out for a goal kick.

And with no further chances before the half-time whistle, it was the lowly Shrimps who were looking comfortable with a two-goal advantage at the interval.

No changes were made by either manager ahead of the restart and it was Morecambe who were straight on the attack, with a low cross from Ellison cut out for a corner, which was cleared by Matt.

A cross from Mills was headed out for a corner at the other end but Collins' header from it was cleared off the line.

A foul on Rose gave Town a free kick in a promising position slightly right of centre on 55 minutes but Summerfield's shot from it was just too high to trouble Roche.

Town kept attacking and two minutes later, Dembele went close but the keeper got to his curling effort and managed to tip it around the post.

The first substitutions came on the hour, with Hooper replacing Jones up front for the Mariners and Aaron Wildig coming on in place of Lang for Morecambe.

Oliver had the visitors' next chane after picking the ball up in midfield and running through the middle, although hi shot was blocked by Kean in the Grimsby goal.

A trip on Ellison gave the away side another opportunity to create some danger.  After the free kick was initially played short, the ball was eventualy worked into the box and a header from Ellison had to be headed off the line for a corner.

Town were still looking for a way back into the game and a shot from Davies took a deflecton and went out for a corner, before an effort from Dembele was blocked for a throw-in.

A driving run into the box from Mills on the right was then stopped by a good challenge which got the ball clear for another throw-in, before Ellison had a chance to kill off the game as a contest at the other end after being found by Oliver but saw his drive from the left side of the penalty area well saved by Kean.

Ellison looked to have another chance after being played in by Wildig but this time, the offside flag came to Grimsby's rescue.

Vernon replaced Matt with 15 minutes to go and the game now looking like it was slipping away from the Mariners, who were still yet to test Roche.

Jaiyesimi came on for Rose on 83 minutes, before Dembele narrowly missed the target with a shot from the edge of the box that was just too high.

Ellison was replaced by Garry Thompson just before the match moved into three minutes of added time, with the goalscorer receiving a generous round of applause from the Town fans in the Main Stand as he walked off the pitch.

No further goalmouth action came in the additional time, with the full-time whistle ending another disappointing afternoon for Town.

The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when they host Newport County at Blundell Park.


33 Jake Kean 
12 Zak Mills 
2 Ben Davies 
5 Nathan Clarke (C) 
6 Danny Collins 
8 Mitch Rose 
27 Siriki Dembele 
19 Luke Summerfield 
25 Martyn Woolford 
29 Jamille Matt 
10 Sam Jones


30 Ben Killip 
3 Paul Dixon 
14 Karleigh Osborne 
7 James Berrett 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
9 JJ Hooper 
21 Scott Vernon


1 Barry Roche 
5 Steven Old 
22 Max Müller 
16 Sam Lavelle 
2 Aaron McGowan 
14 Luke Conlan 
4 Alex Kenyon 
24 Michael Rose (C) 
29 Callum Lang 
9 Vadaine Oliver 
11 Kevin Ellison 


20 Niall Maher 
3 Patrick Brough 
17 Mitchell Lund 
7 Garry Thompson 
15 Aaron Wildig 
10 Adam Campbell 
28 Adam McGurk

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 3,104 (53 away)

Next Up: Newport County (H)

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