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Match Reports

📝Match Report: Grimsby Town 1-0 Carlisle United

Late winner sees the Mariners claim all three points

22 April 2019

Lee Blease
Reece Hall-Johnson

Grimsby Town returned to winning ways as a late goal gave them victory over play-off-chasing Carlisle United at Blundell Park.

The Mariners, without a win in 10 games before this Easter Monday clash, created the better opportunities throughout although as the clock ticked down, it was looking like both sides would have to settle for a point apiece.

But as the game moved into added time, substiute Joe Grayson met a cross a the far post to volley into the net and ensure the home fans would be going home happy.

Four changes were made to the Town starting XI after the Good Friday defeat at Colchester, with Alex Whitmore, Sebastian Ring, Harry Clifton and Ahkeem Rose all coming into the team.

Whitmore replaced the suspended Danny Collins, while Grayson, Martyn Woolford and Harry Cardwell were the others to miss out.

James McKeown started in goal, with Reece Hall-Johnson, Harry Davis, Whitmore and Ring forming a back four.

Luke Hendrie moved forward into a midfield role alongside Clifton and Jake Hessenthaler, with Charles Vernam, Kristian Dennis and Rose in attack.

Grayson and Woolford were both named on the bench, where they were joined by Sam Russell, Rumarn Burrell, Jock Curran, Mattie Pollock and Brandon McPherson.

Carlisle came into the game sitting just one point and one place outside the League Two play-off zone and still in with a real chance of getting into the end-of-season promotion shake-up.

Steven Pressley's side would look to the likes of striker Hallam Hope to fire them to a result which could see them finish the Easter Bank Holiday back inside the top seven.

The Mariners made a promising start, with a low shot from Vernam deflected out for a corner on five minutes which the visitors failed to fully deal with and after the ball was worked back, Rose fired wide from 20 yards.

A cross from Clifton was punched clear by visiting keeper Adam Collin for a throw-in on 12 minutes after a break by Rose through the middle as Town continued to look bright in attack.

Hall-Johnson was brought down on the right edge of the Carlisle penalty area soon afterwards but Clifton's low free-kick was cleared.

The midway point of the half passed without either keeper being called into any serious action and with Carlisle yet to threaten as Town had created the better openings so far.

The away side were forced into an early change after midfielder Kelvin Etuhu went down injured and was unable to continue.  George Glendon came on in his place.

The first shot of note from the visitors came from Hope on the half-hour but the 20-yard strike caused no problems as McKeown was able to watch it sail over the bar.

A foul by Ring on winger Nathan Thomas gave Carlisle a free kick on the right but Thomas' ball into the box went through to McKeown.

Rose set off on a run down the left on 32 minutes but good covering by centre-back Gary Liddle stopped him on the edge of the box.

A shot by Callum O'Hare was blocked by Davis after Thomas had cut in from the right, with the away side now starting to step things up and look more dangerous.

Carlisle won a corner on the right on 43 minutes but again, McKeown was not troubled from it as defender Antthony Gerrard headed it out for a goal kick at the near post under pressure from Davis.

Town had been quieter in attack as the half went on but as it moved into two added minutes, a dangerous-looking cross from Vernam beat everybody and drifted wide of the far post.

That meant the game remained goalless at the break and both teams would be looking to force a breakthrough in the second half.

No further changes were made before the restart and the first attack of note came three minutes in when Vernam made good progress down the right before a cross from Hall-Johnson was caught by keeper Collin.

A foul by Hessenthaler on O'Hare gave the away side a free-kick midway inside the Town half but the ball into the box from the right was headed away by Rose.  The ball was worked back down the right but O'Hare's low cross was cut out by McKeown.

Thomas was booked after a foul on Ring, before Carlisle's first real chance of the half saw Thomas drive into the box before hitting a shot which was well-saved by McKeown, who palmed the ball away from goal and it was then cleared for a throw-in.

An away corner was dealt with by the Town defence, then midfielder Mike Jones became the next to be shown a yellow card after fouling Clifton near the halfway line.

What was possibly Grimsby's best chance of the game so far came just after the hour, with Vernam's left-footed volley from the edge of the box bouncing up for Collin to tip it over the bar for a corner.

Woolford was sent on in place of Ring before the flag-kick, which led to a Carlisle break that was stopped when Thomas was fouled midway inside the Town half. 

Mark Cullen replaced Stefan Scougall for the visitors, before a Town attack through Vernam on the left ended when his cross proved just too high for Hall-Johnson to connect with at the far post.

At the other end, a shot by O'Hare went just past the far post, then a foul on Rose on the left gave Town an opportunity to put pressure on the Carlisle goal, although the chance was not taken as Clifton's free-kick was cleared.

Another Town free-kick, this time from the right flank, went out for a goal kick as nobody could get to Clifton's far-post delivery.

Dennis went down injured after twisting to connect with a shot but as his effort was saved by Collin, the offside flag had gone up against the striker.

Jason Kennedy came on for Hope in the purple of Carlisle with nine minutes to go, before Grayson replaced Dennis for Town, with the striker still feeling the effects of his injury.

A low cross from Hall-Johnson was put behind for a corner after a break down the right and from it, Grayson's ball to the far post was half-cleared before Hessenthaler fired just over the bar from 20 yards.

But as the game moved into seven minutes of added time, the Mariners finally made their breakthrough as a great cross from Vernam on the right was met by GRAYSON at the far post with a cushioned volley into the net.

Carlisle attacked in search of a leveller but the Mariners comfortably saw out the remainder of the game and were at last able to celebrate a victory for the first time since late February.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Notts County.

Grimsby Town

1 James McKeown (C) 
2 Reece Hall-Johnson 
3 Sebastian Ring 
24 Harry Davis 
25 Alex Whitmore 
7 Jake Hessenthaler 
18 Charles Vernam 
27 Luke Hendrie 
15 Harry Clifton 
21 Ahkeem Rose 
8 Kristian Dennis


23 Sam Russell 
14 Joe Grayson 
31 Matthew Pollock 
30 Jock Curran 
32 Brandon McPherson 
16 Martyn Woolford 
29 Rumarn Burrell

Carlisle Utd

30 Adam Collin GK
4 Gary Liddle DF
2 Gary Miller DF
5 Anthony Gerrard (C) DF
6 Tom Parkes DF
17 Callum O'Hare MF
8 Michael Jones MF
21 Kelvin Etuhu 28' MF
9 Hallam Hope FW
16 Nathan Thomas FW
22 Stefan Scougall


29 Louis Gray 
23 Jarrad Branthwaite 
12 Macaulay Gillesphey 
11 George Glendon 
7 Jason Kennedy 
15 Regan Slater 
13 Mark Cullen

Attendance: 3647 (295)

Referee: Paul Marsden

Next Up: Notts County (A)

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