Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Match Report: Grimsby Town 1-0 Colchester Utd

Battling display earns all three points for the Mariners

23 October 2018

Carl Leslie
Wes Thomas

Grimsby Town kept their unbeaten run going with an excellent victory over Colchester United at Blundell Park.

A Wes Thomas goal, coupled with a fourth consecutive clean sheet, meant the Mariners claimed all three points.

After Saturday's draw with high-flying Exeter, Town passed another test against one of League Two's form teams, taking the lead just after the hour and holding their advantage with a determined display.

The hosts were unchanged for the fourth game in a row, 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 again formed a midfield trio, with Charles Vernam and JJ Hooper deployed either side of striker Thomas.

The Grimsby bench was also the same as it had been on Saturday, with John Welsh, Jake Hessenthaler, Jordan Cook, Akin Famewo, Ahkeem Rose, Sam Russell and Ben Pringle all ready for action if required.

Colchester sat fifth in the table at kick-off and would provide another stern test of the Mariners' unbeaten run which stretched back to the beginning of the month.

Their main threat was likely to be top scorer Luke Norris, while former Town loanee Harry Pell was named in the starting XI with substitute Brandon Comley another to have spent time at Blundell Park in recent years.

The hosts made an encouraging start to the game, with Vernam almost profiting after a shot from Thomas had been blocked, although he was denied from close range by Colchester keeper Rene Gilmartin.

Vernam was involved again on 11 minutes, making a run into the box before fizzing a drive across goal and over the bar from a narrow angle.

At the other end, a shot frrom Frank Nouble was blocked for a throw-in after a free kick had been delivered to the edge of the box from the halfway line.

A foul by Embleton gave away another free kick soon afterwards, this time on the away left, although the ball from it was headed clear by Collins at the far post.

Hall-Johnson did well to keep possession and eventually win a free kick for a foul on the right edge of the Colchester penalty area on 18 minutes.  Norris was booked before Embleton's driven delivery into the box was cleared.

Norris may feel he should have put his side ahead two minutes later after Hall-Johnson gave the ball away to him on the edge of the penalty area.  McKeown was alert to the danger though and raced off his line to block the striker's shot.

More good play by Vernam took him into the box but his efforts did not lead to Gilmartin being tested, as Hooper's touch could not get the ball as far as Thomas.

A Colchester corner led to defender Frankie Kent heading over the bar, before Nouble made progress down the left after appearing to catch Hall-Johnson with an arm, although his eventual low centre was dealt with by the Town defence.

Kent headed wide from a long throw, before Embleton and Vernam combined to create a chance for the Sunderland loanee but he was unable to make it count.

A foul by Rose on Norris gave the visitors a free kick in a central position five minutes before the break.  The striker's low shot got through the Town wall but McKeown dived to make a stop.

A fierce 30-yard drive from Pell went wide of the far post, then a long throw from Rose at the other end was cleared as far as Hall-Johnson, whose cross went high and wide.

One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no further opportunities for either side, the scoresheet remained blank at the interval.

No changes were made to either side before the restart and Colchester were first to threaten in the second half as Pell's low shot was deflected out for a corner.  It was played short and eventually led to another after a low cross was blocked.

Kane Vincent-Young was booked for pulling Thomas back on the Grimsby right and after it was initially played short, Embleton's cross caused problems before the ball came back to him and his follow-up cross was eventually dealt with.

Nouble was lookng threatening down the away left and he set off on a run on 56 minutes, beating Hall-Johnson and Rose but eventually running the ball out for a goal kick.

Colchester had a great chance to open the scoring just before the hour when Vincent-Young got down the left and chipped a cross for Courtney Senior but he could only head against the bar.

Hessenthaler replaced Hooper in the first substitution of the night, before an ambitious first-time shot by Norris drifted harmlessly wide after a long kick forward by keeper Gilmartin.

The deadlock was broken on 65 minutes and it was the Mariners who took the lead.  A misplaced pass was taken advantage of by THOMAS, who beat his man inside the box before slotting past Gilmartin into the far corrner of the net.

Colchester's response was to make a double substitution, with Mikael Mandron replacing Ryan Jackson and Brennan Dickenson coming on for Norris.

Vincent-Young powered a shot well over the bar from distance after a free kick had been blocked at the edge of the box.

A header from Senior on 73 minutes then beat the dive of McKeown but dropped just wide of the target.

The third and final Colchester change saw Diaz Wright come on for Tom Lapslie, before Hall-Johnson did well to chase his own ball, win a challenge with Wright and start an attack down the right which ended when Thomas' shot was blocked.

Colchester were pushing the Mariners back thoug as the clock ticked down and a shot from Nouble was deflected out for a corner on 84 minutes, which led to Kent shooting wide.

Welsh replaced Clifton for the last five minutes as Town looked to hold onto their lead, before Pell had a shot blocked and Dickenson smashed the reboun over the bar and onto the roof of the Osmond Stand.

Embleton was replaced by Famewo in the last change of the night, before the game moved into five minutes of added time.

And with Colchester unable to find a way through, the Mariners were left to celebrate a third win in four games.

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


Town

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

Subs

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

Colchester Utd

25 Rene Gilmartin 
6 Frankie Kent 
5 Luke Prosser (C) 
18 Tom Eastman 
2 Ryan Jackson 
22 Kane Vincent-Young 
8 Harry Pell
4 Tom Lapslie 
9 Luke Norris 
45 Frank Nouble 
7 Courtney Senior

Subs

1 Dillon Barnes 
14 Brandon Comley 
11 Brennan Dickenson 
16 Diaz Wright 
39 Aaron Collins 
23 Ryan Gondoh 
19 Mikael Mandron


Referee: Graham Salisbury


Attendance: 3,662 (127)


Next Up: Crewe Alexandra (A)


Advertisement block