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Grimsby Town 3 Harriers 3


Date: 09-04-11gif Venue: Blundell Parkgif att: 2402gif away fans: 128
A Matty Blair hat trick gets a draw at Grimsby

gif Report by Harry Taylor
Another game, another comeback and another 3-3 draw as the Harriers travelled up to the Humber estuary to face Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.  As the sun shone above the former League club's ground Jack Byrne and Tom Shaw both made returns at the expense of Keith Briggs and Callum Gittings.  Briggs was with his wife as she had gone into labour so deputising as captain was Mark Albrighton.

The away side failed to really get started in the opening stages of the first half despite nearly taking the lead through Jack Byrne mere seconds after kick-off.  The Harriers struggled to find their stride and rhythm and although Michael Briscoe had a driven free kick blocked by a team mate just as it was heading into the far corner they struggled to get any decent changes on goal.

Grimsby took the lead in the 24th minute with yet another goal of the season contender in a game involving the Harriers.  Grimsby attacked and the ball bobbled free to Mark Hudson who then rifled in a superb dipping half volley from outside the 18 yard box that looped over Danny Lewis and into the back of the net.  There were shades of Jamie Pitman's goal against the Harriers for Hereford in 2005 and there was nothing Danny Lewis could do about it.

Harriers then seemed to keep treading water until they got an equaliser in the 32nd minute.  A corner from the right eventually found its way back over to Matty Blair who rifled in the first of his three goals by hitting a shot across the face of goal into the bottom corner from the right side of the box.  Blair then proceeded to celebrate with an audacious front flip to please the travelling contingent.

Lewis was then called into action with a superb double save after Michael Coulson hit a shot from the right side of the area at the keeper who then parried the ball away to Scott Garner who then hit a weak overhead kick that Lewis dived across goal to save.

Blair then notched his fourth goal against the Mariners this season, and his second of the game, after Nick Wright slipped the ball to Lee Vaughan for him to cross for Blair to head past Kenny Arthur into the back of the net and send the Harriers in a goal to the good before half time.

The never-say-die spirit that this Harriers side seem to embody would come into good use in the second half.
  HT: 1 - 2
In a reaction to going behind into the break Grimsby made a substitution by taking off full back Duane Samuels and replacing him like ofr like with Peter Bore.  Ten minutes later they had equalised when Alan Connell, on the edge of the area with his back to goal, hit an overhead bicycle kick that went into the top right corner and once again there was little that Lewis could do about such a fine goal.

Michael Briscoe again almost put the Harriers back ahead but his header, following a ball in from the left, was straight at Arthur who spent the majority of the second half being taunted by the Harriers fans behind his goal.

Minutes later the Mariners had taken the lead.  A battle between Wright and the Grimsby left back saw the latter win the ball when in truth the Harrier winger could have done better.  The ball found its way over to Coulson on the right who crossed for Lee Peacock at the near post to head weakly across the face of goal but the direction was perfect and went into the corner of the goal.

We were now losing 3-2 but just before the goal the Harriers manager Steve Burr had introduced Jamille Matt for the poor Sean Canham.  The loanee may be injured but if so why is he playing?  Little challenge for any balls today may give weight to this but is there any point him playing on his own up front if he can't physically challenge?

Grimsby then went on to have a goal disallowed after a Nick Wright corner went well outside the area allowing Grimsby to break.  Fortunately a player involved in the build-up to the goal was offside as a fourth goal against us would surely have been a killer.

Callum Gittings was then brought on for Tom Shaw and the tide slowly but surely started to turn against the Mariners.  By the 83rd minute the Harriers were level.

Matt laid off the ball to Blair just to the left of the six yard box and, just when he looked to have taken a touch too far, he rifled a shot at the keepers near post, beating him easily, and getting his first hat-trick for the club and the first for us this season.  Brilliant scenes as once again the Harriers had come back from a goal down.  We just don't seem to want to die!

Once again Matt was involved as he could have notched a potential winner but he failed to get anything on a ball chipped into the six yard box by Byrne.  The slightest of touches and Kenny Arthur would have struggled to save it.

The game finished at 3-3 and its debatable whether it was a point gained or a point lost.  We could have won the game with our chances but then again so could have Grimsby so a draw was probably a fair result.

Our nearest contenders for a play off place, Fleetwood, won 6-0 at Eastbourne Borough all but condemning them to relegation so the pressure increases slightly.  We now need to keep up this not losing streak and then beat them when they come to Aggborough on Good Friday.

Apart from that today was another example of the spirit and drive to win inside the squad and that we can seemingly do whatever possible to end the season on a high note.
  FT: 3 - 3

 Goals for Grimsby: Hudson 24, Connell 56, Peacock 63
 Goals for Harriers: Blair 33, 44, 84

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gif Matty Blair
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Grimsby Town  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Arthur     Lewis  
Samuels gif     Vaughan  
Wood     Williams  
Hudson     Briscoe  
Kempson   Shaw gif  
Garner     Albrighton  
Hughes gif     Blair  
Connell     Wright  
Leary     Canham gif  
Peacock     McPhee  
Coulson gif     Byrne  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Atkinson     Stevens  
Bore gif     Gittings gif  
Cummins gif     Hankin  
Eagle gif     Lowe  
Duffy     Matt gif  

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