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Match Reports

📝Match Report: Morecambe 0-2 Grimsby Town

Town make perfect start to the season with opening day victory

3 August 2019

Elliott Whitehouse scored on his long-awaited Grimsby Town debut to get the Mariners' season off to the perfect start and send them on their way to an opening day victory at Morecambe.

In a game of few chances on the Lancashire coast, Town had the better of the opportunities and struck the decisive blow on 68 minutes through the midfielder, who missed the whole of last season through injury.

Roared on by more than 1,000 travelling supporters, the Mariners then held firm to keep a clean sheet and substitute Max Wright added extra gloss as he grabbed his first league goal to make it 2-0 with seconds of the game remaining.

Town started with new captain James McKeown in goal, behind a defence of Luke Hendrie, Harry Davis, Ludvig Ohman and Elliott Hewitt.

Harry Clifton, Jake Hessenthaler and Whitehouse were the midfielders, with Matt Green, James Hanson and Ahkeem Rose in attack.

The Grimsby substitutes were Sam Russell, Mattie Pollock, Sebastian Ring, Jordan Cook, Wright, Moses Ogbu and Charles Vernam.

A Mariners free kick on three minutes led to a corner as Green's volley was blocked after Hanson had headed across goal. From it, a shot from Whitehouse was blocked.

A free kick at the other end did not lead to any major problems, before a Morecambe chance was not taken as a shot was blocked.

Rose won a corner on 10 minutes but Hewitt's cross was cleared after the ball had been played short by Hessenthaler.

Adam Buxton spotted McKeown off his line and attempted to catch him out from a free kick soon afterwards but the keeper was able to get back and deal with his low shot.

The game had started at a fast pace, with several free kicks for both sides, and the next went to the Mariners but Hewitt's shot was caught by home keeper Barry Roche.

Another free kick on 22 minutes for a foul on Hanson on the right led to Rose going down inside the penalty area but after the referee waved play on, Town kept possession and a shot from Hanson was saved.

The hosts created a chance on the half-hour but midfielder John O'Sullivan was flagged offside as he shot over the bar from close range.

At the other end, Hanson headed on from a corner and the ball broke for Ohman but his shot was blocked on the line for another flag-kick. This time, the ball was headed on for Davis but he could only find the roof of the net.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half, with Alex Kenyon firing off-target for the home side in the first of them.

No further chances came for either side before the half-time whistle, meaning the scoreline remained goalless at the interval.

No changes were made before the restart and Green won a corner for Town three minutes in but the Mariners were unable to turn it into a chance in front of goal, as a handball appeal from Hewitt's cross was waved away.

A home penalty claim at the other end was also ignored, before Clifton did well against Morecambe attacker Rhys Oates to get the ball away for a corner, which was cleared by Ohman.

A corner at the other end came when a shot from Clifton was blocked but after it was taken short, the home side cleared and launched a break.

Defender Steven Old became the first to be shown the yellow card for a foul on Rose on 56 minutes.

Green was then booked after an altercation with keeper Roche, with Kenyon becoming the third to be carded in quick succession.

Rose narrowly failed to divert a ball from Green towards goal on 62 minutes after a good move by the Mariners, before Ohman recovered well after his attempted clearance looked to have presented an opportunity for striker Shaun Miller.

A foul on Clifton gave Town a free kick on the right and this time, they made the breakthrough as Hessenthaler drilled the ball into the box and Ohman beat the offside trap to control it and find WHITEHOUSE, who finished from close range to mark his league debut with a goal.

Lewis Alessandra was booked for a foul on Hewitt and after the resulting free kick was cleared, Clifton became the latest to be booked for pulling his man back to stop a Morecambe break.

Clifton was involved again soon afterwards, making a good block from a shot by substitute Cole Stockton, who had replaced Oates in the home attack.

Veteran attacker Kevin Ellison and Andrew Tutte were then sent on in place of Kenyon and Alessandra with 15 minutes to go as Morecambe completed their substitutions.

Hessenthaler went down injured with 10 minutes to go but was passed fit to continue, before Town's first change saw Wright replace Rose.

Town were given a free kick inside their own penalty area when Whitehouse was brought down as a Morecambe free kick was sent into the box.

The visitors were almost given a second goal when an attempted clearance by Roche spun up and fell towards Green but he was unable to react quickly enough and the ball went out for a corner.

Town and their 1,073 travelling fans were forced to endure six minutes of added time at the end of the game, with Pollock replacing Green as the away side looked to an extra defender to shore up the three points.

And after Morecambe failed to profit from a late free kick with keeper Roche joining the attack, the Mariners broke quickly and WRIGHT ran through before passing the ball into the empty net to make it 2-0 and seal the win.

Thoughts now turn to Town's first home game of the season, with Bradford City the visitors to Blundell Park on Saturday.

Town: McKeown (C), Hewitt, Öhman, Davis, Hendrie, Hessenthaler, Clifton, Whitehouse, Green, Hanson, Rose.

Subs - Russell, Pollock, Ring, Cook, Wright, Ogbu, Vernam.

Referee: Darren Handley 

Attendance: 2872 (1073 away)

Next Up: Bradford City (H)

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