Match Report | Grimsby Town 1 – 1 Gillingham

Grimsby Town extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games as they drew with Gillingham at Blundell Park.

After pre-match tributes were paid to Her Majesty The Queen, the Mariners made a great start as Ryan Taylor opened the scoring with just seven minutes on the clock.

Town looked confident in the early stages but they were pegged back just before the quarter-hour when striker Mikael Mandron pounced from a corner to make it 1-1.

After that, both sides created chances to win what was an entertaining contest but in the end, neither could find a way to secure the victory and they were left with a point each.

Grimsby manager Paul Hurst named an unchanged starting line-up following the 2-0 success at Newport County last time out.

That meant goalkeeper Max Crocombe was protected by a defence of Michee Efete, Luke Waterfall, Andy Smith and Anthony Glennon, while Brendan Kiernan, Gavan Holohan, Bryn Morris and Harry Clifton made up the midfield and Lewis Richardson lined up behind Taylor in attack.

The substitutes were Ollie Battersby, Niall Maher, Kieran Green, Danilo Orsi, Alex Hunt, Stephen Wearne and Keyendrah Simmonds.

Gillingham found themselves fourth from bottom of the League Two table at kick-off, with one win and two draws from their seven games so far.

Manager Neil Harris would be looking to the likes of Mandron and former Scunthorpe United attacker Hakeeb Adelakun to help bring about a change in fortune.

Before the game, both sets of players and supporters stood for an impeccably observed minute’s silence, followed by the singing of the national anthem.

After the action started on the pitch, an early attempt by Mandron went harmlessly wide, before away keeper Glenn Morris punched a Glennon cross clear at the other end after good work by Clifton to win the ball.

Clifton diverted the ball wide after Kiernan had helped it on following a low cross from Taylor on the right, then a 20-yard attempt from Richardson was deflected wide for the game’s first corner.

From the flag-kick, the Mariners took the lead as Glennon’s ball led to a shot from Kiernan, which was blocked.  Gillingham failed to clear their lines and after a scramble inside the penalty area, TAYLOR prodded home from close range.

The visitors looked to respond and Smith had to make a clearance from a low, right-wing cross after a good spell of away possession.

A cross from Robbie McKenzie then led to a corner, which turned into another one after the ball was cleared at the near post.  And this time, Gillingham made it count as Town were unable to get the ball away from danger and after a similar scramble, MANDRON pounced to equalise.

Kiernan missed the target with a volley from the edge of the box, then a free kick from Glennon on the left was met by Waterfall at the far post but the ball was cleared after he headed it back across goal.

At the other end, Scott Kashket cut in from the right and let fly from 20 yards but Crocombe was equal to the shot as a strong punch got the ball clear.

Mandron headed through to Crocombe after a free kick from Ben Reeves on the away left, before a deep cross from Holohan was claimed by keeper Morris.

The game was moving from end to end as the half-hour mark passed but after falling behind, it was Gillingham who were beginning to get on top following their leveller.

A corner from Reeves on the right beat everybody and went out at the far post for a goal kick but he was given another opportunity to put the ball in from the flag on 36 minutes.  This time, Mandron headed it into the net at the far post but the referee’s whistle had already blown for a foul and a Town free kick.

Kiernan did well to win a corner for the hosts three minutes later and after it was initially played short, the Walsall loanee rattled the crossbar with a fierce drive from the edge of the box.  Waterfall’s volley from the rebound was then well blocked by the keeper.

Town were starting to regain the initiative as half-time approached and a foul on Taylor gave them a free kick in a promising position on the left.  Glennon’s delivery was met by Efete but his header lacked the power needed to beat Morris.

Adelakun drove through the middle but saw his shot blocked as the half moved into two minutes of added time.

And with no further chances coming before the interval, the first 45 minutes ended with the scores level.

Jordan Green replaced Kashket for Gillingham before the restart and the visitors went close to taking the lead two minutes in after a foul by Smith gave them a free kick inside the Town half.  It was played low to Adelakun on the right and when he fizzed a low ball across the six-yard line, Mandron was inches away from connecting at the far post.

Four minutes later, Town almost had the advantage back when a low pull-back from Clifton was flicked towards goal by Taylor, only for the ball to be cleared before it could cross the line.

Holohan fired over the bar after a good move down the home left,  before a mistake by Gillingham’s Morris led to a chance for Holohan.  The keeper made up for his error by blocking the midfielder’s drive for a corner and the flag-kick eventually led to another one on the opposite, right flank.

Another corner followed as Town kept the pressure up but this time, a shot from Holohan cleared the bar after the ball dropped for him 20 yards out.

Crocombe was called into action as he dived to push a shot from Mandron away after the striker had been played in by Adelakun on the hour, before Kiernan sent a low effort wide of the near post from Grimsby’s next attack.

A strike by Adelakun was deflected behind for a corner but Reeves’ delivery was headed wide by Mandron.

After a scrappy period of play, Kiernan and Richardson linked up well to create a shooting chance but Kiernan’s effort was blocked.

Town’s first substitution was made on 75 minutes and saw Morris replaced by Hunt, who came on for his first action at Blundell Park since rejoining the club from Sheffield Wednesday.

Adelakun was shown the first yellow card of the night on 78 minutes after pulling Clifton down on the halfway line as the winger looked to break.

A double-substitution two minutes later saw Simmonds and Wearne replace Richardson and Kiernan for Town.

Hunt started an attack on 84 minutes when he found Wearne on the right but after the winger slid the ball through for Efete, nobody could connect with the right-back’s low cross.

Soon afterwards, Holohan took the ball forward and let fly but his strike was saved by Morris.

Mandron was booked after catching Waterfall with an elbow, then Alex MacDonald came on in place of Reeves for the away side with three minutes to go.

Holohan became the latest to see the yellow card when he brought Green down midway inside the Town half.  The free kick was headed away by Smith but Gillingham kept possession and they thought they had fun a winning goal when a low cross was slotted into the net at the far post by  Mandron.  To Town’s relief, the offside flag went up to keep the score at 1-1.

The fourth official signalled four added minutes but neither side could find a winner and instead, both were forced to settle for a point apiece.

The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Colchester United.


Get all the latest news from Blundell Park.

Skip to content P