Match Report – Grimsby Town 1 – 0 Woking

Substitute Emmanuel Dieseruvwe’s last-gasp winner gave Grimsby Town all three points against Woking at Blundell Park.

An entertaining game looked like it was going to end goalless after the Mariners had been frustrated by their resolute visitors.

But there was late drama as Dieseruvwe converted a cross from Tristan Abrahams to finally make the home side’s pressure tell and snatch an important victory.

New signing Callum Jones went straight into the Grimsby starting XI after his arrival on loan from Hull City was announced in the lead-up to kick-off.

His inclusion in place of the injured Arjan Raikhy was one of two changes to the team that won at Dover last time out, with Adam Crookes replacing Danny Amos in the other.

Goalkeeper Max Crocombe was protected by a defence of Michee Efete, Shaun Pearson, Luke Waterfall and Crookes, while Erico Sousa, Jones, Scott Burgess and Harry Clifton formed the midfield and John McAtee lined up behind Abrahams in attack.

Amos was selected on the bench, alongside Andy Smith, Giles Coke, Sean Scannell and Dieseruvwe.

Managerless Woking made the journey north looking for a positive result which could lift them from their pre-match position of 16th in the National League table.

They would look to the likes of strikers Inih Effiong and Nicke Kabamba to cause problems for the Mariners’ defence.

After a minute of applause in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the Mariners kicked off, attacking the Pontoon Stand end of the ground in windy conditions.

A foul by McAtee gave the visitors the first opportunity to attack with a free kick from near the halfway line.  The ball from it was headed clear, before Crocombe was called into action to stop a low shot from 30 yards.

Town won the first corner of the game soon afterwards through Abrahams on the left but Jones’ delivery from it was cleared.

A Woking free kick from Oliver Pendlebury led to Crocombe having to tip a looping header from Effiong over his bar for a corner on 11 minutes.  Crocombe punched the ball from the flag as far as Tyreke Johnson, who fired over the bar.

Abrahams and McAtee combined at the other end to create a chance which led to a corner when the striker’s shot was blocked.  From the flag, Waterfall’s header hit the post and a follow-up effort from Sousa was cleared off the line.

Tarryn Allarakhia forced Crocombe to dive and make a save when he curled a shot towards the far post on 18 minutes, before McAtee sent an effort wide from distance as both sides looked to create chances.

Josh Casey won a corner for the visitors on the left on 23 minutes but the ball from it was eventually put wide for a goal kick after Town failed to clear their lines.

Sousa then cleared the bar with an attempt from the edge of the box after the ball had been played to Efete on the right in a sweeping attacking move by the Mariners.

Abrahams played the ball against defender Tom Champion to win a corner on the home left but the ball from the flag was cleared after Waterfall had won the initial header.  Town kept possession and worked the ball back to Abrahams, who shot over the bar from 18 yards.

Effiong’s pace saw him beat Waterfall to get on the end of a long ball on 33 minutes and go through on goal, although his angle was narrow and his low shot was blocked by the feet of Crocombe at his near post for a corner.

Another corner came three minutes later, this time through McAtee at the other end.  Jones drilled it to the edge of the box, where Pearson’s shot on the turn was blocked, and a header from Pearson drifted wide of the far post when the ball was sent back into the penalty area.

Waterfall conceded a corner when he cut out a low ball from winger Johnson but the defender was in the right place to head clear from Pendlebury’s delivery.

A foul by Jones gave the away side a free kick in a central position soon afterwards but Pendlebury’s 30-yard strike went comfortably wide of Crocombe’s target.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and with no further chances coming for either side before the referee’s whistle, the game remained goalless at the break.

No changes were made before the restart and the first chance of the second half fell for the Mariners as Burgess threaded a pass into the penalty area for Abrahams. He turned and forced a good save from keeper Craig Ross, who tipped the ball over his bar for a corner.

A foul by Clifton gave Woking a free kick on their left but the delivery from it was cleared and Town broke through McAtee.  He looked for Sousa but the visitors recovered to win the ball.

Clifton burst through the middle soon afterwards and gave the ball to Sousa but after cutting inside from the left, he could only shoot high and wide.

The Mariners had the ball in the net on 57 minutes when Clifton met a cross from Efete.  The scoreboard remained unchanged though as Ross stopped the diving header and the referee blew for a foul on the keeper as the ball was forced over the line following  scramble.

Woking made the first substitution of the afternoon just after the hour as Max Kretzschmar replaced Allarakhia, after Pendlebury had been shown the first yellow card for a foul on McAtee.

McAtee narrowly failed to make contact with a cross from Efete on 64 minutes as Town looked for a breakthrough.

Jones was booked for bringing Effiong down as he looked to make progress into the Grimsby half but the resulting free kick was headed clear by Efete, before Louie Annesley cleared the Pontoon Stand with a shot from distance.

Another opportunity for the Mariners came when Clifton found McAtee on the left.  His low ball went towards Sousa and Abrahams in the middle but neither could direct it towards goal.

Diesruvwe replaced Sousa on 68 minutes in Town’s first change as they looked to an extra striker in a bid to force an opening goal.

McAtee chipped a shot into the arms of Ross from the edge of the box two minutes later, before the second Woking substitution saw George Oakley replace Effiong in attack.

Town were turning up the pressure as the clock ticked past the 80-minute mark, with the game now largely being played inside the Woking half.

Joe McNerney replaced Annesley after the right-back went down with an injury with eight minutes to go.

McAtee was booked for a foul with two minutes to go, before Nicke Kabamba found himself with the ball in space on the edge of the box but could only hit the side netting.

A free kick from Jones was caught by Ross just before the game moved into five added minutes, with Town still pushing forward in search of a late winner.

But the visitors were also still looking to win the game and a low ball from Kretzschmar was cleared after Oakley had chested it down.

A free kick for a foul by Jones gave the away side another opportunity to attack but Pendlebury’s ball was headed at Crocombe by Kabamba.

But there was to be late drama as the Mariners snatched the points in the last of the added minutes.  Abrahams chased the ball down and sent it back across the six-yard box, where DIESERUVWE was in the right place to divert it into the net.

It was harsh on Woking after a plucky performance but on the balance of play, gave the home side a deserved victory.

Town are next in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Southend United.

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