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Grimsby Town 0 Harriers 2

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Date: 22-11-14gif Venue: Blundell Parkgif att: 3446gif away fans: 70
Harriers defy the odds to beat Grimsby

gif Report by Phil Lench
The Harriers turned everything on its head today when, after a week of turmoil within the club, they went up to second placed Grimsby Town and came back with an astonishing 2-0 victory.  Before the game the hosts had been on an eight game unbeaten run and were odds on favourites to win this game and win it comfortably.  We had seen two major players, Chey Dunkley and Nathan Blissett, leave the club in an effort to stabilise the finances caused by a missing boards incompetence and the fans were wondering how on earth we were going to end the season in one piece before the tallyman came to visit.

As it was we started the game with the rookie Reece Hales partnering Craig Reid upfront in place of Blissett (we had no choice really) and Jared Hodgkiss back from his one match suspension.  In the middle of the defence Jamie Grimes was in for the departed Dunkley while on the bench was our new loan signing Sam Long from Oxford.

It took just a little under two minutes for Marvin Johnson to silence the home fans in a crowd of 3446.  From an unsuccessful Town corner the ball broke free and was collected by Matt Robinson and then played forward to the handily placed Johnson.  Magic Marvin calmly approached the goal and slotted home into the corner of James McKeowns net to score a beautiful opening goal.

Grimsby came back with a good chance for Nathan Arnold to draw them quickly level but Danny Lewis' fine fingertip save put paid to that and then he somehow got a hand to Jason Browns effort from the edge of the box.  The best was saved for a few minutes later when made a great double save from Harry Pells shot and then from the rebound he captured a perfect header from their star striker Lenell John-Lewis.

The Harriers were being bombarded by Grimsby and Jamie Grimes came to our rescue when he got his head to a cross from Aswad Thomas with a Grimsby striker waiting behind him for the connection.  Craig Reid should have added to the scoreline a few minutes prior to the half time whistle but his angled shot just clipped the wrong side of the post.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second period was only seconds old when the returning Jared Hodgkiss was cautioned for a tackle and the Reid had an early chance to score when his shot was deflected out for a corner.  From that corner, taken by Kevin Nicholson, we scored our second and final goal of the game when Nicholsons ball was met perfectly by Jack Byrne steaming in from the edge of the box to plant the header home.

Again Grimsby tried to hit back quickly but they found the Harriers defensive duo of Gowling and Grimes in invincible form as well as Danny Lewis in the goal shutting out everything they could.  A header from John-Lewis was stopped at point blank range as was a Scott Neilson free kick.  We were still in it though and Marvin Johnson sent a shot flying in that the Mariners keeper did well to stop.

A ruck of substitutions then took place when the Grimsby manager made a change to his side by bringing off winger Danny Parslow for John Paul Pittman and Gary Whild responded by taking off Reece Hales for Ahmed Obeng.  A few minutes later Grimsby threw on a double change with Craig Disley and Ross Hannah coming on in place of Harry Pell and John-Lewis.  Disley could have given his side the comeback they were looking for when his header from a Carl Magnay cross was cleared off the line by Hodgkiss.

Magnay had a chance of his own to score minutes from the end when he collected a Pittman cross and fired the ball towards goal but could only hit the post.

In the end the Harriers were having to hold on to what they had by dropping deep in an attempt to stem the flow after having seen all our strikers, Johnson had been replaced by Jake Green earlier, leave the field as Whild opted to hang on to what we had.

The three points in the bag for us was something that no one had been expecting so that made it all the sweeter.  The win moves us up to ninth place in the table and we could climb even higher on Tuesday night if we can beat a deplete Wrexham with them having had two important players sent off in their game at home to Altrincham today.
  FT: 0 - 2

 Goals for Harriers: Johnson 2, Byrne 49



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Grimsby Town  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
McKeown     Lewis  
Nsiala     Hodgkiss
Thomas     Nicholson  
Brown     Robinson  
Pearson     Gowling
Magnay     Grimes  
Parslow gif     Byrne gif  
Pell gif     Johnson gif gif  
John-Lewis gif     Hales gif  
Arnold     Reid gif  
Neilson     Verma  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Mackreth     Green gif - 84  
Disley gif - 73     Obeng gif - 70  
Hannah gif - 73     Gittings gif - 79  
Clay     Williams  
Pittman gif - 57   Long  

REFEREE:
Mr M Coy
County Durham





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