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Match report: Torquay United 1-3 Grimsby Town

Mariners hit back from a goal down to earn all three points

11 September 2021

Grimsby Town came from behind to win for the second game in a row as they beat Torquay United at Plainmoor.

The hosts took the lead through an Armani Little free kick on 12 minutes but the Mariners hit back, with Michee Efete and Giles Coke both scoring their first goals for the club to give the visitors a half-time lead.

Torquay pushed for an equaliser after the break but Town defended well to keep them out and the three points were sealed in stoppage time when Harry Clifton made it 3-1.

New signing Ryley Towler made his first start for Grimsby after joining on loan from Bristol City earlier in the week.

He came into the centre of defence in place of Shaun Pearson, as Clifton replaced Will Bapaga in the only other change to the line-up following last week's dramatic 4-3 home victory against Barnet.

James McKeown started in goal, with Efete, Luke Waterfall, Towler and Adam Crookes forming the defence. Clifton, Coke, Alex Hunt and Erico Sousa were the midfielders, with John McAtee just behind Ryan Taylor in attack.

Bapaga was named on the bench, where he was joined by Seb Revan, Ben Fox, Max Wright and Edwin Essel.

Torquay were also looking to make it back-to-back victories after they got their first win of the season with a 4-3 success at Maidenhead United last week.

They would look to the likes of veteran striker Danny Wright to cause problems for the Mariners defence.

An early shot by Dan Holman for the home side was comfortable for McKeown, before a cross was headed back across goal by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans but the ball was cleared by Clifton.

Town won their first corner on six minutes but they were unable to cause any real problems from it, before Coke fired over the bar two minutes later after a cross from Sousa.

A free kick from Torquay's Ben Wynter was cleared by McAtee but the hosts retained possession and a foul by Coke on Wright gave them another free kick, this time in a central position on the edge of the penalty area. This time, it led to the opening goal as LITTLE stepped up and hit a shot which took a deflection and beat McKeown.

Efete won a corner on 17 minutes after linking up with Sousa as the Mariners looked for a reply. Hunt's ball from the flag found Waterfall but his header went over the bar.

Soon afterwards, Waterfall was involved at the other end as he headed a Dean Moxey free kick behind for a Torquay corner, which led to Joe Lewis scooping a shot over the bar after Wright had headed the ball from the flag down.

Another home corner caused no problems as Holman sent the ball off-target but Town's next attack was not long in coming and it brought them an equaliser. EFETE was the man to get on the scoresheet after setting off on a driving run into the box and firing past home keeper Mark Halstead into the far bottom corner of the net.

Sousa saw a shot blocked from inside the box as the Mariners attacked in search of a second goal and the turnaround was complete when they took the lead on 32 minutes. Sousa was fouled on the right and Hunt's free kick fell for COKE, who flicked the ball into the net.

Town were on the attack again soon afterwards and they won a corner, which was punched clear by Halstead.

A long throw at the other end led to a corner as Ali Omar's shot was blocked by Crookes but after the danger from the flag-kick was not fully dealt with at first, Taylor's clearance relieved the pressure.

Taylor could have made it 3-1 moments later but his shot was blocked on the line following good play by Clifton on the right.

A stoppage came when Moxey went down with an injury, although he was eventually passed fit to continue after receiving treatment.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the half and a Torquay corner came when Crookes beat Lemonheigh-Evans to the ball from a cross to head it behind. The ball from it was not dealt with, although a return delivery into the box caused no real problems as Omar headed off-target.

That meant the Mariners' advantage remained intact at the interval after a half where they had recovered well from falling behind to Little's early strike, with Efete and Coke's goals putting the visitors in charge.

Moxey was replaced by Dan Martin before the restart and an early foul by Hunt gave Torquay a free kick but when the ball was played into the box, Taylor cleared the danger after Wright's shot was blocked.

Clifton was spoken to by the referee after a foul on 49 minutes, with Taylor again clearing from the resulting free kick.

Town then won a corner on the counter-attack but Taylor could only head over the bar after Hunt's delivery was missed by keeper Halstead.

Torquay's second substitution saw Keelan O'Connell replace goalscorer Little after another Mariners corner eventually led to Waterfall heading wide.

Towler saw a header blocked after another Hunt corner was headed back across goal, before a Town penalty appeal was turned down after Efete went down under a challenge, with the referee instead showing the yellow card to the right-back for simulation.

Halstead needed treatment after a clash with McAtee but was passed fit to play on, then Town won another corner but failed to cause any problems from it.

Waterfall headed clear from a Wynter free kick on 70 minutes, then Town had a chance to make the result safe when McAtee put the ball across the box but Clifton could not stretch enough to make contact and it went away for a throw-in.

McAtee was involved again soon afterwards as he slid the ball through for Sousa but Halstead did well to come off his line and beat the attacker to it.

Wright was sent on for Sousa and Fox replaced Hunt as Town made a double-substitution with 15 minutes to go.

The home players and fans thought they were level again on 81 minutes when a cross from Chiori Johnson was met by Lewis but his header was stopped by McKeown, with claims that the ball had crossed the line waved away by the referee.

Lewis headed over the bar from a corner as Torquay kept looking for an equaliser but Town were defending well as they aimed to see the remainder of the contest out.

Waterfall had to concede a corner as he cut out a cross with two minutes to go and from it, McAtee was in the right place to clear a shot off the line.

Another home corner swiftly followed but again, the Mariners held firm as Waterfall headed the ball clear.

The hosts were given a boost as the fourth official signalled nine aditional minutes to be played at the end of the game.

But their hopes were dashed once and for all as the Mariners made it 3-1 in the second of those extra minutes. The ball was slid through for CLIFTON and he made no mistake, keeping his composure to run clear and beat Halstead, in front of the 462 delighted travelling fans.

Clifton was booked for his celebration but that did nothing to dampen the spirits of the Mariners and their supporters, who were left to cheer another excellent performance and result.

It means Town remain unbeaten in their first four games of the National League season and their next test comes on Tuesday, when they host Wrexham at Blundell Park.

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