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Match Reports

📝Match Report: Stevenage 2-1 Grimsby Town

Late Town fightback not enough as Stevenage hold on for first win

12 October 2019

Lee Blease
Ahkeem Rose

Grimsby Town fell to a second consecutive league defeat as Stevenage survived a late fightback to pick up their first win of the season.

The Mariners went behind on 17 minutes when Kurtis Guthrie opened the scoring and the hosts doubled their lead just before half-time when Charlie Carter made it 2-0.

Town got themselves back into the contest when substitute Ahkeem Rose halved the deficit with 10 minutes to go and after that, they pushed forward in search of an equaliser but it was not to come as Stevenage held firm.

Three changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI after the home defeat by Mansfield in their previous league game, with Elliott Hewitt, Elliott Whitehouse and Matt Green all returning in place of Liam Gibson, Max Wright and Moses Ogbu.

James McKeown started in goal, with Hewitt, Harry Davis, Luke Waterfall and Luke Hendrie forming the defence.

Whitehouse, Jake Hessenthaler, Ethan Robson and Jordan Cook were the midfielders, with Green joined by James Hanson in attack.

Gibson and Ogbu were both given places on the bench, where they were joined by Sam Russell, Mattie Pollock, Rose, Harry Cardwell and Charles Vernam.

Stevenage came into the game as the only League Two side yet to register a league win so far this season, although they did beat Wycombe Wanderers in the Trophy in midweek.

They did boast an excellent record in head-to-heads with Town though, winning all three of the games between the two teams at Broadhall Way.

The home side made the early running, with Waterfall doing well to head clear after a cross from Carter on the right.

A break by Green produced Town's first attack of note on eight minutes but he was unable to shoot, before a cross from Green soon afterwards led to Hanson heading at home keeper Paul Farman.

But Stevenage had created most of the early problems and they took the lead on 17 minutes, when a cross from Luther James-Wildin fell for GUTHRIE and with his back to goal, he managed to flick the ball past McKeown.

More danger came soon afterwards but McKeown did well to race out of his penalty area and make a good tackle, before a shot from Carter was tipped away by McKeown for a corner.

At the other end, a foul on Whitehouse gave Town a free kick but Waterfall could not connect with Robson's delivery and the ball went out for a goal kick.

A Mariners corner on 26 minutes was flicked on by Hanson at the near post but the ball was cleared before it could reach Whitehouse.

Another opportunity for the home side came just after the half-hour when Michael Timlin found Jason Cowley but Davis did well to deny the striker and win the ball inside the box.

A Town free kick was cleared for a throw-in as the visitors looked for an equaliser with half-time approaching.

But the hosts were continuing to create chances and they won a corner on 40 minutes, although they were unable to profit from it.

A cross from Robson three minutes later found Hanson but his header was saved by Farman.

Stevenage doubled their advantage a minute before the break as the ball was crossed for CARTER, who turned and found the net from the edge of the box.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and with no further opportunities for either side, the hosts took a commanding lead into the interval.

Ogbu replaced Cook before the restart and the striker's first impact was with a run down the left which saw him beat two players, although his cross was too far ahead of Whitehouse.

A shot by Green was blocked, before the striker had another opportunity after a good ball by Ogbu, although this time his effort went wide.

A Stevenage corner was dealt with at one end, then a Grimsby free kick at the other proved to be the start of a short period of pressure but the Mariners were unable to pose a threat to Farman's goal.

McKeown made a good stop to keep out a close-range header by Guthrie, then another header went over the bar as the home side looked for a third goal which would put the result beyond doubt.

Kelland Watts saw an effort blocked for Stevenage, before Whitehouse sent a shot over the bar from close range as Town went close to halving the deficit.

A home corner on 62 minutes was headed away by Hanson but the ball was not fully cleared and McKeown had to make another save, this time from James-Wilding.

Jamie Fielding replaced James-Wilding, before a Town corner found its way through to Ogbu and he put the ball back into the box for Davis but a defender got it away for another flag-kick.

Rose came on in place of Whitehouse on 66 minutes, with Joel Byrom replacing Cowley for the hosts soon afterwards.

Stevenage's third and final substitution came on 74 minutes and saw Emmanuel Sonupe come on for Carter, while Town's last change was to introduce Vernam in place of Green.

A free kick from Robson was cleared back to him but his follow-up cross beat everybody and went out for a goal kick.

But the next time the Mariners attacked, they were back in the game as ROSE ran down the left, cut inside and sent a rocket of a shot past Farman and into the net from a narrow angle.

Town were almost level when Rose's pace took him past a defender on the left and he crossed for Vernam but his shot was deflected away for a corner.

The Mariners were now creating plenty of chances, with Ogbu winning a corner on 85 minutes. It led to another one but Robson's ball was adjudged to have gone out of play before Waterfall put it into the net.

Another corner came on 89 minutes and Hessenthaler's ball was headed away as far as Rose, whose overhead kick went wide.

Town were given an additional five minutes to rescue a point and they kept attacking, with Rose denied by a block by Farman.

But they were unable to find a crucial second goal and Stevenage held on to claim all three points for the first time this season.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when Leyton Orient are the visitors to Blundell Park.

Stevenage: Paul Farman, Chris Stokes, Ben Nugent, Scott Cuthbert (C), Luther Wildin, Tyler Denton, Charlie Carter, Kelland Watts, Michael Timlin, Jason Cowley, Kurtis Guthrie.

Subs: Sacha Bastien, Adam El-Abd, Jamie Fielding, Joel Byrom, Emmanuel Sonupe, Ben Kennedy, Craig Mackail-Smith.

Town: James McKeown (C), Elliott Hewitt, Luke Hendrie, Luke Waterfall, Harry Davis, Jake Hessenthaler, Elliott Whitehouse, Ethan Robson, James Hanson, Matt Green, Jordan Cook.

Subs: Sam Russell, Liam Gibson, Matthew Pollock, Harry Cardwell, Moses Ogbu, Ahkeem Rose, Charles Vernam.

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 3,220 

Possession: Stevenage: 41% - 59% Town

Corners: Stevenage: 8-8 Town  

Next Up: Leyton Orient (H)

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