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Match report: Grimsby Town 6-0 Dover Athletic

Mariners go top of National League after emphatic home win

2 October 2021

A first-half goal blitz sent Grimsby Town on their way to an emphatic victory over Dover Athletic which took them to the top of the National League.

The Mariners scored five without reply in a superb 20-minute spell and went on to add a sixth after the break as the division's bottom club endured a tough afternoon in the heavy rain at Blundell Park.

Dover had actually made a bright start to the game and were further buoyed when John McAtee missed the chance to put Town ahead as his penalty was saved by keeper Adam Parkes.

But after Luke Waterfall opened the scoring on 26 minutes, McAtee doubled the hosts' advantage before Ryan Taylor made it 3-0 from the second penalty of the game.

Will Bapaga capped a fine display with his first goal for the Mariners, before Taylor grabbed his second of the game in first-half stoppage time and Waterfall also completed a double for himself when he made it 6-0 with 20 minutes left to play.

Three changes were made to the Town starting XI following the midweek defeat at Bromley, with Ryan Sears coming in for the suspended Michee Efete as Alex Hunt and Taylor replaced Giles Coke and Erico Sousa.

James McKeown started behind a defence of Sears, Waterfall, Ryley Towler and Adam Crookes, while Bapaga, Ben Fox, Hunt and Harry Clifton made up the midfield and McAtee supported Taylor in attack.

Despite picking up an injury in midweek, Sousa was deemed fit enough to take a place on the bench, where he was joined by Coke, Lenell John-Lewis, Seb Revan and Shaun Pearson.

Dover arrived in Cleethorpes still looking for their first win of the season and sitting bottom of the National League table on minus nine points after starting with a 12-point deduction for failing to fulfil fixtures last term.

They were also beaten by Bromley last time out, in a Kent derby last Saturday.

The visitors made a bright start to the game, with Thomas Bramble making his way into the Town penalty area but seeing the move break down when he looked to find a team-mate instead of shooting.

A free kick midway inside the Mariners' half gave Dover another opportunity to build pressure but the initial delivery was headed clear, before Fox made a good block from the rebound.

Towler had to concede the game's first corner on seven minutes after a Ben Williamson got down the left and sent a low ball across. From the flag, Khale Da Costa's ball was met by striker Matthew Bentley but his flick went over the bar.

Town were yet to get into their stride in the early stages and had to wait until the 14th minute for their first opportunity, which came when Hunt hit a first-time shot from 20 yards that was deflected wide for a corner.

Dover's Harry Ransom was handed the first booking of the afternoon when he brought Taylor down near the halfway line, although the home fans were calling for the red card to be shown as the striker looked to have a clear run through to goal.

Hunt did well soon afterwards to bring the ball clear after Da Costa had pulled it back across the Town box. The Sheffield Wednesday loanee turned defence into attack with a great run to the halfway line before finding McAtee and the move eventually led to Clifton shooting against the side-netting.

The Mariners were given an opportunity to take the lead on 23 minutes when Bapaga was brought down inside the Dover penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. McAtee could not capitalise though, as his penalty was saved by keeper Parkes.

Town kept attacking though and they did not have to wait much longer to open the scoring. A shot from Bapaga was deflected for a corner and Hunt's delivery from the flag was met by WATERFALL, who guided a header past Parkes and into the net.

Dover's response to falling behind was good, as a header flew just wide of McKeown's near post.

But the hosts had the upper hand now and McAtee went close with a fierce drive from 25 yards which whistled over the bar.

And just after the half-hour, the Mariners doubled their advantage through a superb solo effort from McATEE, who took the ball into the penalty area, rounded Parkes and calmly slotted home.

Town were now firmly in control and they added a third goal on 33 minutes after being given their second penalty of the match. Again, Bapaga was brought down inside the box but this time, TAYLOR stepped up to beat Parkes and find the bottom corner of the net in front of the packed Pontoon Stand.

Fox sent a low shot wide of the far post from 20 yards as the home side went in search of more goals before the break.

A free kick from Hunt was cleared after Waterfall had headed the ball on, before great play between Hunt and McAtee almost created an opening.

Town kept looking for a fourth goal before half-time and it came as the game moved into added time as this time, BAPAGA created space to shoot and slotted past Parkes.

Incredibly, there was still time for more as the Mariners made it a five-goal first-half haul. This time, McAtee played the role of creator as he ran down the left wing before playing an inch-perfect low cross for TAYLOR to slide into the net.

After a bright start by Dover, they had been on the wrong end of a goal blitz by the Mariners, who were deservedly cheered off the field when the half-time whistle blew.

Yannis Drais replaced Da Costa for the visitors before the restart, with the result now well beyond their reach.

Dover won a free kick on the left six minutes in but Sam Wood's ball from it was headed clear by Waterfall. The away side worked it back and won a corner but this time, Fox was in the right place to deal witth the delivery from the flag.

A foul on Bapaga gave Town a free kick but Hunt's ball was cleared after it had been headed on by Waterfall.

Another Dover corner came on 58 minutes but was comfortably cleared, before a foul on McAtee gave the Mariners a free kick in a central poition at the other end. Hunt stepped up to take it but narrowly missed the target with his shot.

Sears side-footed wide after more good play by Bapaga, before Henry Woods sent a low effort wide for Dover.

John-Lewis replaced Taylor and Sousa came on for McAtee as Town boss Paul Hurst made a double-substitution on 65 minutes, while Aaron Cosgrave came on in place of Bentley for Dover at the same time.

A Dover corner two minutes later eventually saw the ball find its way through to McKeown, before Sousa set off on a run down the right which saw him win a corner. From it, the Mariners had a sixth goal as Hunt's pin-piont delivery found WATERFALL, who headed down into the bottom corner of the net for 6-0.

A foul on Sousa earned Bramble a yellow card but the resulting free kick proved just too high for Clifton to connect with a header.

John-Lewis was flagged offside after a nice through-ball from Bapaga and the yellow card was out again as Woods was booked for a foul near the halfway line.

Sousa created a chane for a seventh goal with a run which saw him cut into the box from the right. The winger opted to shoot and blasted the ball jut over the bar instead of pulling it back for Bapaga near the penalty spot.

Coke replaced Fox in the third and final Grimsby substitution with seven minutes to go but the midfielder had to receive treatment moments later after staying down following a clash of heads.

Town were still looking to add to their score and a run from Bapaga took him into the box, although he was forced wide and could not find the net from a narrow angle.

Dover, to their credit, had continued to play the game the right way throughout the contest and despite the scoreline, came out of it with plenty of credit as they looked for a late consolation goal.

But it was not to come for them, as the Mariners saw out the remainder of the contest to ensure a clean sheet to go with their six goals on what was an excellent afternoon's work.

And with Dagenham and Redbridge falling to defeat in their home match against Altrincham, the win took Town above the Daggers at the summit of the league table.

Town are on the road on Tuesday as they travel to Altrincham for their next game.

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