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Match Reports

Match Report: Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Grimsby Town

Town beaten for first time in five games

27 October 2018

Grimsby Town were beaten for the first time in five games as two goals in seven second-half minutes gave Crewe Alexandra a victory at Gresty Road.

The Mariners worked hard throughout and created the better chances in the first half, with home keeper Ben Garratt keeping his side in the game with a string of saves.

After the break, Grimsby continued to attack in search of an opening goal but when the deadlock was broken, it was the home side who took the lead through Corey Whelan.

And as Town looked to respond, they were hit again as Shaun Miller's header made it 2-0, securing the three points and sending the visitors to a first defeat in October after three wins and a draw. 

Town were unchanged again following Tuesday's home victory over Colchester United, with goalkeeper James McKeown behind a defence of Reece Hall-Johnson, Alex Whitmore, Danny Collins and Luke Hendrie.

Harry Clifton, Mitch Rose and Elliot Embleton were the central midfielders, with JJ Hooper, Wes Thomas and Charles Vernam named in attack.

The bench remained the same for the third game in a row, with Sam Russell, John Welsh, Jake Hessenthaler, Akin Famewo, Ahkeem Rose, Jordan Cook and Ben Pringle all listed as substitutes.

Crewe sat one point and two places above the Mariners in the League Two table at kick-off and would look to strikers Miller and Jordan Bowery to create problems for the away defence.

The home side had the first chance of the game when Callum Ainley got forward down the right and sent over a cross that proved just too far ahead of Miller.

A handball gave Town an opportunity to create danger with a free kick but Embleton's delivery went straight through to keeper Garratt.

Hendrie saw an effort saved, before a looping cross-shot from Miller at the other end was caught by McKeown after a Crewe corner.

Hooper sent an effort flying wide of the target from distance on 13 minutes, before another shot by Miller also went wide at the other end soon afterwards.

Town won a corner through Thomas on 16 minutes but were unable to take anything from it as Embleton's ball was cleared.

Another corner came after a shot by Vernam was blocked, before a low shot from Hooper was stopped by Garratt.

A cross from Ainley was just behind Charlie Kirk on 27 minutes, before a snap-shot from Kirk was saved by McKeown on the half-hour and the keeper was also equal to the rebound from James Jones.

Embleton sent a shot over the bar from 25 yards, then a chance for the Mariners came when Thomas got away from defender Nicky Hunt after receiving the ball from Hendrie but he could not beat Garratt, who made a block for a corner.

Rose then sent a long-range effort wide as the Mariners continued to attack with half-time approaching, before Garratt saved the hosts again, this time keeping Hooper out after he had been put through by Thomas.

That proved to be the last action of the first half, with the score remaining goalless at the interval.

No changes were mae before the restart and McKeown was the first goalkeeper to be called into action in the second half, getting down to stop a shot from Ainley.

Soon afterwards, Vernam forced a good save from Garratt with a low effort which was pushed away for a corner.  It eventually led to Clifton trying his luck from distance but sending the ball over the bar.

Vernam was denied by Garratt on 52 minutes and againfour minutes later, when his shot was pushed out for a corner.  Embleton's ball into the box beat everybody.

At the other end, Bowery got in behind the Town defence to create a shooting chance but McKeown saved well with his feet.

Cook replaced Hooper in the first substitution of the game just after the hour.

But when the opening goal came on 70 minutes, it was the hosts who took the lead as Town conceded for the first time this month.  A diagonal ball over the top by Kirk went to WHELAN in space behind the Mariners defence and he beat McKeown with a strike across goal.

Pringle came on for Embleton with 15 minutes to go but two minutes later, the result was put beyond doubt when the hosts doubled their advantage.  This time, it was MILLER who got himself on the scoresheet, heading home after a cross from Ryan Wintle.

Hessenthaler replaced Clifton immediately after the goal but Crewe were now on top, buoyed by their two quick goals.

The hosts made a change of their own with six minutes left, as Bowery went off to be replaced by Chris Porter.

McKeown made a good save as the clock ticked into the final minute, tipping a strike from Ainley onto the bar.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the game but the Mariners were unable to force their way back into the contest as Crewe closed out their win.

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

Crewe Alexandra

1 Ben Garratt 
30 Corey Whelan 
3 Harry Pickering 
5 George Ray (C) 
29 Nicky Hunt 
8 James Jones 
11 Callum Ainley 
15 Ryan Wintle 
20 Charlie Kirk 
9 Shaun Miller 
10 Jordan Bowery


13 Dave Richards B
33 Kevin O'Connor 
6 Michael Raynes 
21 Oliver Finney 
16 Tommy Lowery 
14 Alex Nicholls 
7 Chris Porter


1 James McKeown 
27 Luke Hendrie 
2 Reece Hall-Johnson 
6 Danny Collins (C) 
25 Alex Whitmore 
15 Harry Clifton 
9 JJ Hooper 
8 Mitch Rose 
22 Elliot Embleton 
39 Wes Thomas


23 Sam Russell 
12 Akin Famewo 
11 Jordan Cook 
7 Jake Hessenthaler 
30 Ben Pringle 
4 John Welsh 
21 Ahkeem Rose

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 3725 (469)

Next Up: Cambridge United (A)

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