Mariners open pre-season with victory at Borough

Grimsby Town opened their pre-season programme with a 5-1 victory over Grimsby Borough.

Nine of Paul Hurst’s ten summer signings were on show as the Mariners boss fielded separate XIs for each half front of a sell-out crowd at the Bradley Football Development Centre.

First-half headers from Danny Rose, Niall Maher and Harry Clifton gave Town a 3-1 lead at the break, with Reece York replying from the penalty spot for the Northern Premier League East division hosts.

And after the squad was rotated at half-time, Rekeil Pyke grabbed a quickfire double to add to the score.

Goalkeeper Jake Eastwood went straight into the starting XI after completing a move from Sheffield United earlier in the day.  He was one of five new recruits in the first-half line-up, with Kamil Conteh, Charles Vernam, Rose and Donovan Wilson also included.

Michee Efete, Luke Waterfall, Maher and Anthony Glennon formed the defence, with Clifton, Kieran Green and Vernam joining Conteh in midfield as Rose and Wilson lined up in attack.

Town’s first attack of note came on five minutes and saw Conteh play a great ball forward, although Rose was caught offside as he headed it down on the edge of the penalty area.

The first corner came six minutes later on the right but Glennon’s delivery from the flag was headed clear.

A strong run down the right by Efete led to another corner on the quarter-hour and this time, Rose got his head to Glennon’s ball but his attempt was blocked.

The next time the Mariners went forward, they took the lead as a cross from Efete on the right was met by ROSE and his header beat home keeper Liam Higton to register the first Town goal of the summer.

The second followed on 28 minutes after a Glennon cross from the left was touched away for a corner by Higton and MAHER headed home from Glennon’s delivery to double he advantage.

Vernam saw a strike held by Higton soon afterwards, then Clifton fired over the bar from 25 yards as Town continued to go forward.

But the hosts were given an opportunity to get themselves back in the game when York went down inside the box as a cross came in from the left.  The referee pointed to the penalty spot and YORK got up to send Eastwood the wrong way and make it 2-1.

After a lengthy stoppage following an off-field emergency, Town restored their two-goal advantage before the break, with CLIFTON on target as his powerful header from Glennon’s left-wing cross flew into the net.

The Mariners had played some excellent football during the first half and a flowing move almost led to a fourth goal but Wilson’s clever flick cleared the bar, meaning the away side went in at the interval with a 3-1 advantage.

A separate Town XI came out for the second half, with new signings Toby Mullarkey, Harvey Rodgers, Abo Eisa and Pyke given their first opportunity to wear the black and white shirts.

Trialist A took over in goal, with Mullarkey, Jamie Bramwell, Rodgers and Danny Amos forming a back four.  Eisa, Gavan Holohan, Alex Hunt and Evan Khouri were the midfielders, with a second trialist alongside Pyke in attack.

Mullarkey let fly with a strike from distance two minutes in but his shot went over the bar, then a low effort from the hosts drifted wide at the other end.

A cross from the right was headed behind for a Town corner on 63 minutes, although the ball from it was eventually scrambled clear.

Trialist B cut inside from the right to create Town’s next chance five minutes later but he was unable to add to the scoring as his low shot was comfortably stopped.

Town did make it 4-1 soon afterwards though, as PYKE went clear through the middle and kept his composure to slot past the keeper.

And the striker grabbed his second goal on 75 minutes when the ball broke for him from a Hunt corner and he rifled it into the net from inside the box.

Trialist B went close when he ran onto a low ball through the middle but his shot went just wide of the far post, then Hunt narrowly missed the target with four minutes to go as Town kept looking for more goals.

Attacks at the other end had been few and far between since the break but the hosts did start to see more of the ball in the Town half as the clock ticked down, with a late strike from the left hitting the side-netting.

But the Mariners continued to dominate and Mullarkey saw a shot deflected wide with the last action of the evening.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when they face Cleethorpes Town in their second pre-season friendly.



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