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Match Report: Grimsby Town 1-2 Morecambe

Embleton strike not enough as Mariners suffer sixth straight defeat

29 September 2018

Grimsby Town's first goal in six league games was not enough to give them a much-needed victory as they were beaten by Morecambe at Blundell Park.

Elliot Embleton gave the Mariners the lead with his first goal for the club on nine minutes and Wes Thomas was inches away from doubling their advantage when he hit the underside of the bar five minutes into the second half.

But a four-minute spell just after the hour saw the game turn on its head, as Rhys Oates levelled the scores before Liam Mandeville put Morecambe ahead with the goal which ultimately secured all three points for the Lancashire side.

Two changes were made to the Town starting XI after last week's reverse at Stevenage, with Jordan Cook and Embleton coming into the side in place of Harry Clifton and Mitch Rose.

James McKeown began in goal, with Luke Hendrie, Alex Whitmore, Danny Collins and Harry Davis forming the defence.

Martyn Woolford, John Welsh, Embleton and Jake Hessenthaler were the midfielders, as Cook linked up with Wes Thomas in attack.

Clifton and Rose were both named on the bench, along with Reece Hall-Johnson, JJ Hooper, Charles Vernam, Ben Pringle and Sam Russell.

Morecambe began the day a point and a place ahead of the Mariners, with both struggling at the wrong end of League Two.

Manager Jim Bentley named former Town defender Zak Mills in his starting line-up, while attacker Oates spent time on loan at Blundell Park earlier in his career.

The visitors had the first chance of the game on three minutes when a through-ball found striker Ajay Leitch-Smith in space on the edge of the box, although McKeown came off his line to block the shot.

Town's first attack of note brought their first goal in six games.  With nine minutes on the clock, good work by Cook saw him turn into space and find EMBLETON, who advanced and curled a shot past keeper Barry Roche from the edge of the penalty area.

Collins was shown the first yellow card of the game after a rash challenge on Leitch-Smith and the resulting free kick led to a corner on the left.  It was headed back to the taker and the away side worked an opportunity which led to McKeown making a good save after a shot from a narrow angle.

Aaron Wildig fired off-target at the end of another good attacking move by Morecambe, before Town looked to create an opportunity of their own but Hessenthaler's through-ball was too far ahead of Embleton.

Embleton won a corner on 22 minutes when his cross-shot was blocked by Mills but the Sunderland loanee's flag-kick was headed away for a throw-in.

Hessenthaler escaped a booking after a late challenge on Andrew Tutte, before Thomas collided with the onrushing Roche as he looked to get on the end of a long ball from Hessenthaler but no action was taken as the ball went out for a Grimsby throw.

Two shots from the visitors were blocked in quick succession on the edge of the Town box, then Tutte was denied by McKeown, who pushed the ball over his bar for a corner, which was cleared.

Thomas then won a corner at the other end after his path into the penalty area was blocked by Sam Lavelle.  Embleton's delivery was headed back across goal at the far post before being cleared for a throw-in.

A half-volley from Hessenthaler was comfortably caught by Roche, before Town's next chance saw Embleton shoot just over the bar from 20 yards.

At the other end, a drive from Vadaine Oliver flew over the bar from a similar distance after the Mariners had lost possession in their own half.

Embleton was involved again on 39 minutes, trying his luck with another effort from just outside the box which cleared the bar.

A Town corner came on the right after Hendrie's attempted cross was blocked and Hessenthaler's ball was met by Collins but his header did not have the power or direction to cause a problem for the Morecambe defence.

One added minute was signalled to be played at the end of the half and it passed without incident, meaning Grimsby's lead remained intact at the interval.

No changes were made before the restart and Town's first chance of the second half saw Woolford shoot straight at Roche.

Thomas then fired wide from the edge of the box after cutting in from the left, before an effort by Leitch-Smith at the other end was blocked for a corner.

The Mariners were inches away from doubling their advantage on 50 minutes when a low cross from Embleton on the left was flicked by Thomas at the near post but the ball came back off the bar.

A foul by Cook on defender Steven Old earned him a yellow card, before Town were forced into making the first substitution of the afternoon when Davis went down with an injury and was replaced by Hall-Johnson.

Soon afterwards, the away side got themselves back on level terms with a fine solo goal.  The Mariners were on the attack but gave possession away and the ball was played to OATES, who made his way through the home defence and into the box before picking his spot and placing a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

And within four minutes, the turnaround was complete when Morecambe took the lead in fortuitous circumstances.  A chipped cross from MANDEVILLE evaded the head of Leitch-Smith but the ball was not cleared and it bounced off the far post and into the net.

Town went in serch of an equaliser and a shot from Woolford was saved by Roche.

A double substitution on 68 minutes saw Rose and Pringle come on in place of Woolford and Welsh as the hosts looked to rescue a result after a nightmare four-minute spell saw the game turn on its head.

A volley from Pringle was deflected through to Roche after the ball had bounced around in the Morecambe box on 73 minutes.

But the visitors were now looking a confident side as they knocked the ball around well, patiently building up attacks as they searched for a third goal which would put the result beyond doubt.

Oliver was replaced by Jason Oswell with 10 minutes to go, before Jordan Cranston came on for Mandeville three minutes later.

A cross from Pringle on the right was comfortably collected by Roche, before Hendrie won a corner on the left but Whitmore's header from it went over the bar.

The final substitution saw Joe Piggott replace Oates, before Mills won a corner as Morecambe attcked again in search of a third goal. 

Six added minutes would be played at the end of the game, giving the Mariners renewed hope of getting something out of it.

But they were unable to force a way through and again, the home supporters were left disappointed as results elsewhere took Town into the league's bottom two.

They will now look to Tuesday's trip to Carlisle United as their next opportunity to halt their losing run.


1 James McKeown 
24 Harry Davis 
27 Luke Hendrie 
25 Alex Whitmore 
6 Danny Collins 
16 Martyn Woolford 
22 Elliot Embleton 9' 
4 John Welsh (C) 
7 Jake Hessenthaler 
11 Jordan Cook 
39 Wes Thomas


23 Sam Russell 
2 Reece Hall-Johnson 
15 Harry Clifton 
30 Ben Pringle 
8 Mitch Rose 
9 JJ Hooper 
18 Charles Vernam


1 Barry Roche (C) 
2 Zak Mills 
3 Luke Conlan 
16 Sam Lavelle 
5 Steven Old 
15 Aaron Wildig 
17 Liam Mandeville 
6 Andrew Tutte 
28 A-Jay Leitch-Smith 
18 Rhys Oates 
9 Vadaine Oliver


21 Mark Halstead 
27 Jordan Cranston 
14 Josef Yarney 
25 Ben Hedley 
20 Lamin Jagne 
12 Jason Oswell 
24 Joe Piggott

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 3,972 (57)

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