Grimsby Town 1 - Barrow 1
20th Nov, 3pm
Grimsby Town 1 - Barrow 1
Neil Woods made only one change from the side that won away last weekend, with keeper Kenny Arthur fit to return. His able deputy, Steve Croudson, was named on the bench along with fit again Peter Bore.
After losing the toss, Grimsby started the game attacking towards the Pontoon end. They lined up in the diamond formation, with Connell playing in the hole behind Ademeno and Coulson. Town were pushing the ball around well and for the first 20 minutes were enjoying the majority of the possession. With the game being played mostly in Barrow`s half, the Mariners only had two half chances to show for their superiority, a near post header from Connell that just cleared the bar, and Kempson`s effort from a corner that went straight into the arms of Masters.
With Barrow still offering little in attack, Ademeno hit a great pass from inside his own half out to Coulson on the left. He cut inside and unleashed a shot which was cleared for a corner. Despite all of the good approach play, Town simply weren`t testing the visiting goalie and in particular their deliveries from set pieces were well below par.
Around the half hour mark, as Barrow were coming into the game a bit more, Kempson was forced to head behind. The visitors almost opened the scoring from the corner when Chadwick headed into the ground and the ball bounced up to hit the bar.
The game now seemed to open up, with Barrow enjoying a good spell. But the Town defence, superbly marshalled by Atkinson, ensured that Arthur was having a quiet return to action.
5 minutes before half time Woods switched the formation to 4.4.2, with Coulson moved to a wide position on the right. Town immediately looked brighter, and Connell hit a lob that was just too high, and Coulson had a shot deflected onto a post.
Peter Bore came on at the start of the second half in place of Ademeno. With the injection of his pace and skills, the Mariners began this half in lively style and some impressive link-up play.
Eagle had the chance to open his BP goal account after Coulson picked him out, but he sliced his effort well wide. Soon after, Connell turned brilliantly in the box and chipped the ball over Masters only for his effort to be cleared off the line. Town continued to look the sharper team, with Bore`s contribution a noticeable factor.
Totally against the run of play, Barrow drew first blood on 61 minutes, much to the delight of their 124 travelling fans. Atkinson conceded a free lick which was taken quickly and the delivery was met by Chadwick who buried it into the corner of the net.
Fortunately, it only took Grimsby 5 minutes to equalise when Atkinson rose at the far post to head home a well flighted free kick from Wright, Town`s first decent set piece.
The goal spurred Town on even more and they were throwing everything at their opponents, but could not conjure up a second goal. With Masters having been spoken to by the referee for time wasting at goal kicks, Woods brought on young Tom Corner in place of Eagle for the last 10 minutes. He and Connell combined to set up Hudson whose shot was turned away for a corner. With Grimsby finishing strongly, Bore ran the whole of the Barrow half before feeding the ball into the box to Coulson, but his effort went behind off the post.
With the exception of a short spell in the first half the Mariners had dominated this match, but once again they have failed to capitalise on their possession. This, playing against a side that has not won away from home this season.
Kenny Arthur ; Bradley Wood ; Rob Atkinson ; Darran Kempson ; Lee Ridley ; Michael Coulson ; Andrew Wright ; Mark Hudson ; Rob Eagle (Tom Corner 79) ; Alan Connell ; Charles Ademeno (Peter Bore 46).
Subs not used : Steve Croudson ; Scott Garner ; Micky Cummins
Scorer : Rob Atkinson (66)
Clark Masters ; Simon Spender ; Mike Pearson ; Phil Bolland ; Nick Chadwick ; Paul Rutherford ; Marc Goodfellow ; Greg Blundell (John Grant) ; Darren Sheridan (Mark Boyd) ; James Owen (Kieran Donnelly) ; Paul Edwards.
Subs not used : Sean Pearson ; Paul Jones
Scorer : Nick Chadwick (61)
Referee : Ross Joyce (Cleveland)