Match Report – Grimsby Town 1 – 2 Bromley

A late goal sent Grimsby Town to defeat as play-off-chasing Bromley edged a close contest at Blundell Park.

The Mariners dominated the first half and took a deserved lead when Jordan Maguire-Drew finished off a great move to score his third goal in three home games.

Bromley rarely threatened in the early stages but came into the game as half-time approached and got themselves level through striker George Alexander.

The game was in the balance throughout a second half which ebbed and flowed, with both sides enjoying periods of pressure.

But in the end, it was the visitors who grabbed all three points after Jude Arthurs headed home from a corner with seven minutes to go.

New signing Tristan Abrahams came straight into the Town starting line-up after being handed the number nine shirt following his arrival on loan from Carlisle United.

His inclusion was the only change to the XI that began last week’s home win against Altrincham, with Erico Sousa dropping to the bench.

Goalkeeper Max Crocombe was protected by an unchanged defence of Andrew Smith, Shaun Pearson, Luke Waterfall and Daniel Amos, with Maguire-Drew, Giles Coke and Ben Fox forming a midfield trio.  John McAtee operated behind Ryan Taylor and Abrahams in attack.

Sousa was joined among the substitutes by Max Wright, Harry Clifton, Scott Burgess and Lenell John-Lewis.

Bromley made the journey north looking for a positive result which would see them retain their position in the National League’s play-off places and continue what has been an excellent campaign so far.

They were also looking to complete a league double over the Mariners, having won the reverse fixture 3-1 at Hayes Lane in September.

Town had an early chance when a cross from Abrahams was cleared as far as Coke but his 20-yard shot was blocked for the game’s first corner.  Maguire-Drew’s delivery from it was headed away by defender Chris Bush, who got to the ball ahead of Waterfall at the far post.

A foul on Fox gave the hosts a free kick in a dangerous position on six minutes but they were unable to take advantage as McAtee fired over the bar from 25 yards.

Another attempt by McAtee was deflected wide for a corner and this time, Taylor got to the ball from the flag, although his header was blocked.

A foul on Taylor by Omar Sowunmi brought another free kick on 12 minutes, this time out on the left.  Maguire-Drew’s delivery to the far post found Waterfall but his header bounced just wide of the target.

At the other end, Pearson headed clear from a long throw by Billy Bingham in what was Bromley’s first attack of note on 15 minutes.

They were given another opportunity to test Crocombe with a free kick on the edge of the penalty area six minutes later but Sowunmi’s shot bounced back off the Town wall.

Another free kick from the away left was eventually dealt with after Crocombe initially spilled the ball from Luke Coulson’s delivery.

Soon afterwards, the Mariners broke the deadlock as they took the lead with a superb goal.  Amos’ cross from the left was brilliantly flicked by Taylor into the path of MAGUIRE-DREW, who swept a first-time shot past Bromley keeper Mark Cousins.

Maguire-Drew saw another low shot deflected wide of the far post for a corner as Town immediately looked to add to their advantage, with Chris Bush shown the first yellow card of the afternoon for a foul on Coke in the build-up.

A foul on halfway gave Bromley an opportunity to attack on the half-hour but they were unable to make the most of it, as Abrahams eventually shielded the ball out for a goal kick.

Bush fired well over the bar from 30 yards as Crocombe remained untested, before the defender launched a long throw from the right which resulted in a comfortable catch for the Grimsby keeper.

McAtee won a corner at the other end on 39 minutes but Pearson could not direct his header from it towards goal and the referee blew for a foul on Cousins.

Fox was booked for a foul on midfielder Jude Arthurs on the Bromley right and from the resulting free kick, the visitors were back on level terms.  Coulson’s delivery was not fully dealt with and after Coke was dispossessed on the edge of the box,  the ball broke for ALEXANDER and he fired past Crocombe on the turn.

The goal seemed to galvanise the visitors and Harry Forster launched another attack soon afterwards which led to their first corner.  The ball from the flag was flicked on but Town got it away for a throw-in.  Bush’s long throw fell for Michael Cheek  but he missed the target with a snap-shot.

Fox won a corner on the right as Town looked to reclaim the advantage with half-time looming.  Pearson met Maguire-Drew’s delivery but could not direct his header towards goal and the ball came back to Maguire-Drew, who beat three defenders before his low ross was poked wide at the near post.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the half and Crocombe had to make a good double-save just before the interval to keep the scores level, as Alexander aimed to give the away side the lead.

Clifton replaced Maguire-Drew before the restart as Town boss Paul Hurst made the first substitution of the game.

Bromley began the half on the attack, with a flowing move ending when Alexander slipped on the edge of the box.

Corey Whitely then forced Crocombe into a save with a low effort from 20 yards which the keeper got down to stop.

At the other end, a good move down the Town left led to Fox cutting inside and sending a low cross over, which eventually rebounded into the arms of Cousins.

Smith was booked for a foul on Forster on 52 minutes as the winger looked to cut inside from the left.  Coulson’s free kick was headed clear as far as Billy Bingham, who lifted the ball over the bar from 25 yards.

Arthurs won a corner on the right as Bromley’s good start to the half continued but Coulson’s ball was punched back to him by Crocombe and the Mariners defended well to eventually clear their lines.

Waterfall was first to a cross from Arthurs on the away left on 57 minutes but he could only head into the path of Forster, although the winger sent his volley high and wide.

A foul on McAtee gave Town an opportunity to put pressure on the Bromley goal with a free kick on the right but Sowunmi was in the right place to head it clear.

Another free kick came soon afterwards when Bush fouled Taylor on the halfway line.  Again though, it was cleared after McAtee’s ball had been met by Pearson.  Town retained possession until Pearson fired well over the bar from distance.

Cousins raced off his line to deny McAtee after a through-ball from Fox as the Mariners continued to build pressure, before former Town loanee James Alabi replaced goalscorer Alexander.

A shot by Amos was deflected wide for a corner but McAtee’s kick was cleared, before Abrahams was unable to get enough power on a low effort to beat Cousins, who gathered the ball.

A long throw from Bush into the Town penalty area was dealt with, before Forster was penalised for a foul on Coke to relieve the pressure.

McAtee missed the target with a drive from 25 yards, then another Bush long throw was claimed by Crocombe.

A home corner came on 70 minutes when McAtee’s cross was headed behind but the ball from the flag was hoisted clear.

Cousins made a good save to deny Clifton after the midfielder let fly from 20 yards, then a fierce drive was blocked by Sowunmi.

Another chance came on 78 minutes when McAtee raced clear but again, Cousins came out on top as he dived to stop the attacker’s low shot.

Sousa replaced Abrahams for Town before Forster won a corner on the Bromley left.  And from it, the away side got themselves in front as Coulson’s ball was met by ARTHURS at the near post and he flicked a header past Crocombe.

McAtee won a corner on the right as Town looked for a way back into the game but the danger from the flag-kick was dealt with by the away defence.

A shot by McAtee was blocked, before Sousa sent a cross out of play for a goal kick as the game moved into four added minutes.

Joe Partington replaced Arthurs in Bromley’s final substitution and they saw the remainder of the game out to claim an important away win.

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

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