Writer: The Fin
Date:Saturday January 8 2011
8 Jan 2011, 3pm
Attendance: 3,013 (278 Away)
Grimsby Town fell at the third hurdle today, coming a distant second at Wrexham today.
The Mariners were forced to make one change to their starting line-up. Charles Ademeno had picked up a knee injury in training and was replaced up front by club captain Lee Peacock. Fellow striker Alan Connell started the game despite having been suffering from the flu during the week.
The home team were quickest out of the blocks and, in the first ten minutes, they showed the pace of their front three, Pogba, Morrell and Mangan. Twice in that time Mattius Pogba got past Darran Kempson only to squander each chance with poor finishing.
Bradley Wood was taken out by a late, strong challenge by Obeng, who deservedly received a yellow card. With Wood seeming to be struggling, Rob Eagle started his warm up, but returned to the bench after five minutes.
Wrexham certainly had the upper hand and were looking the more likely team to open the scoring. Mangan was through on goal before the intervention of a late flag for offside came to Town`s rescue. Then Kempson, looking out of sorts on his return to his former club, headed weakly out of the box straight to Harris, but his volley sailed over Kenny Arthur`s goal.
Grimsby were trying to make things happen, but it was simply not coming off for them. The rhythm that`s been so pleasing to watch recently wasn`t there today. This may have been due to the fact that Dean Sinclair was struggling to get into the game because of Wrexham`s continual punts upfield for their front trio to chase.
When another Wrexham attack was cleared, the ball fell to Harris whose shot was well wide. But the same player almost made Town pay the price for slack marking. Nobody picked out his run from deep and Pogba found him unmarked on the edge of the box, but his effort was pushed over the bar by keeper Arthur.
Grimsby then had a couple of minutes in charge of proceedings. First Coulson put over a great cross that was too high for Connell with no Grimsby player on hand at the far post. Then Connell set up Peacock, but his strike was too high.
As the half was drawing to a close, Morrell founded himself unmarked in the box when the ball was lofted in. Fortunately, he lifted his shot over Arthur and the goal.
H/T Wrexham 0 Grimsby Town 0
Not surprisingly, manager Neil Woods made tactical changes at the start of the second half, but no changes in personnel. Peacock was now in midfield, positioned in front of the centre backs, whilst Connell dropped into the hole behind the new front pairing of Coulson and Bore.
Yet it was still the home side who were finding time on the ball, and Town had a lucky escape when Keates was played into the box only to scuff his shot towards Arthur. Then Kempson was the victim of a nutmeg, but his blushes were spared by Peacock`s clearance. In fact Peacock was now operating as a third centre back in order to counter the barrage of high balls that were coming in their direction.
In a relatively rare foray into Wrexham territory, Wood played a good pass down the line to Coulson and his cross to the far post was put behind by Bore.
Shortly afterwards, Wood was shown a yellow card for a foul on Ashton.
But Grimsby were beginning to get a foothold in the game and had their first shot on target. Bore made a good run down the right wing before laying the ball off to Connell. His shot from distance was easily held by keeper Maxwell.
On 59 minutes Mark Hudson was brought on in place of Dean Sinclair and, with Town looking lively through the quick pair Coulson and Bore, they created an opening for Connell. He wasn`t able to get enough onto his header and the danger was cleared.
The tactical switch of Peacock had seemed to be working and stemming the flow to a great extent. But, shortly after Ridley saw yellow, this was all undone in the 70th minute. Kempson allowed Pogba to turn and lay off the ball into the path of Harris, coming in on the right. His low shot beat Arthur to put Wrexham one up.
Kempson then came to the rescue by blocking Morrell`s shot for a corner after he had beaten Wood down the left wing.
From the clearance of a Grimsby corner, Bore`s follow up shot was well over. Straight away he switched to full back as Rob Eagle was finally brought on to replace Bradley Wood.
But things immediately got worse for the Mariners after 76 minutes. Kempson and Atkinson were caught napping as Curtis Obeng floated a free kick into Town`s box. Morrell was left unmarked to pick his spot with a free header.
The heavy pitch was taking it`s toll, so it was not surprising that flu victim Connell went off to be replaced by young Nathan Dixon in the 84th minute.
As the game was drawing to an end, Peacock and Atkinson had to make a couple of timely, important blocks before Peacock had a far post header comfortably taken by Maxwell.
F/T Wrexham 2 Grimsby Town 0
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Date:Saturday January 8 2011
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