Match Report | Grimsby Town 1 – 2 Carlisle United

Two first-half goals sent Grimsby Town to defeat in their rearranged clash with Carlisle United at Blundell Park.

An early strike from midfielder Owen Moxon gave the visitors the lead and although Town were on top for most of the first half after that, they were unable to make it count and fell further behind when Kristian Dennis took advantage of a mistake at the back to make it 2-0 just before the break.

The Mariners came out fighting after half-time and after a period of pressure, Michee Efete halved the deficit with a close-range finish.

At that point, the momentum looked to have switched as the hosts pushed for an equaliser but it was not to come as Carlisle weathered the storm and held on for all three points, making it back-to-back home defeats for Town.

Five changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI following Saturday’s loss to Swindon Town.

Niall Maher, Danny Amos, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Otis Khan and Keyendrah Simmonds all came into the team, with Andy Smith, Anthony Glennon, Brendan Kiernan, Gavan Holohan and Lewis Richardson dropping out.

Max Crocombe started in goal, with Efete, Luke Waterfall, Maher and Amos forming the defence.  Maguire-Drew, Harry Clifton, Alex Hunt and Khan were the midfielders, with Simmonds joining Ryan Taylor in attack.

Smith, Glennon, Kiernan, Holohan and Richardson were all named on the bench, alongside Kieran Green and Danilo Orsi.

Carlisle were making a second long-distance away trip in the space of four days, following their 1-1 draw at Newport County on Saturday.

Paul Simpson’s side sat in 12th position in the League Two table at kick-off, two places and one point behind the Mariners.

Former Town loanee Dennis would be among their main attacking threats, while ex-Town defender Duncan Idehen was among the substitutes.

After the original fixture in August was abandoned following a torrential downpour, there was more rain ahead of kick-off this time around, although not nearly as heavy.

An early low cross from Jack Stretton on the away left was stopped by Crocombe, before a cross-shot from Maguire-Drew went high and wide as the home side attacked for the first time.

Hunt stung the palms of Tomas Holy on five minutes with a strike from outside the penalty area, which the Carlisle keeper gathered at the second attempt.

And soon afterwards, the visitors broke the deadlock with their first real chance of the game, as MOXON picked his spot and rifled a low shot past Crocombe and into the bottom corner of the net from 25 yards.

Town immediately looked to respond and a great ball from Maguire-Drew found Simmonds on the right but his cross took a vital deflection off defender Corey Whelan which took it away from Amos.

Jon Mellish got back to beat Taylor to a loose ball inside the box on 11 minutes after an attempted clearance from Holy ricocheted off Khan.

A foul on Simmonds then gave Town a free kick on the right but Maguire-Drew’s delivery from it was caught by Holy.

Hunt curled a shot wide of the far post from 25 yards as the clock went past the 20-minute mark, before a push on Taylor brought another free kick inside the Carlisle half.  Hunt’s ball into the box was headed away by Fin Back.

Maguire-Drew looked to have been brought down just outside the penalty area moments later but the referee allowed play to continue and the away side broke quickly through Stretton, with Crocombe called into action to push his shot away from danger.

A cross from Maguire-Drew was caught by Holy on 25 minutes after a good build-up by the Mariners, then Amos won a corner on the left after a smart switch by Maguire-Drew.  The ball was played short from the flag and Town were unable to create a shooting chance.

Khan went close to an equaliser just before the half-hour when he ran through the middle and let fly from 20 yards, although his strike flew just wide.

Maguire-Drew tried his luck with a speculative lob from 40 yards on 33 minutes after spotting Holy off his line but the keeper’s blushes were spared as the shot lacked direction.

Town were playing plenty of good football in possession but were yet to find an end product, although they were given another opportunity to attack when Hunt was fouled midway inside the Carlisle half.  Again though, the free kick did not lead to an attempt at goal as Maguire-Drew’s delivery went away for a goal kick.

An Amos cross was then headed clear before it could reach Efete at the far post as the hosts continued to search for a leveller.

Carlisle attacks had been few and far between since they scored but a moment of danger came on 38 minutes when a cross-shot from Jack Armer on the left had to be tipped away from goal by Crocombe.

The visitors won a corner seconds later but this time, the Town keeper was not called into action when the referee blew for aa handball and a Grimsby free kick.

Clifton lifted a shot over the bar at the other end after a cross from the right had been left by Simmonds, before Khan was brought down by Moxon to give Town a free kick in a central position, 30 yards out.  Khan’s shot bounced into the arms of Holy, who had got down to make the stop.

Town fell further behind a minute before the break as a backpass from Efete towards Crocombe fell short and DENNIS nipped in to get to the ball first and roll it into the net, with the keeper stranded near the edge of his box.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and a home corner brought a chance to reduce the deficit but Hunt’s ball was cleared at the near post.

That proved to be the last action before the interval, so the visitors went into the dressing rooms with a clear advantage.

No changes were made before the restart and a foul by Maher five minutes in gave Carlisle the first opportunity to put pressure on the opposition goal with a free kick 35 yards out.  They were unable to make it count though, as Moxon’s ball to the far post was too far ahead of Mellish.

Khan was off-target with a shot from distance as Town looked for a route back into the contest but a foul by Efete soon afterwards put the away side on the attack again with a free kick inside the home half.  Moxon’s ball was headed away by Waterfall.

Efete won a corner on the right on 58 minutes but Waterfall could only head Hunt’s delivery wide of the far post.

Orsi and Richardson replaced Simmonds and Taylor as Town boss Paul Hurst swapped his strikers on the hour.

A corner came on the left a minute later but it was cleared, although another one followed from the home side’s next attack.  Again, it was dealt with at the near post.

Town kept up the pressure and another corner came after a smart pull-back from Orsi.  And this time, the Mariners finally made it count as Carlisle failed to clear their lines and when Khan played the ball back across the six-yard line, EFETE was there to tap it into the net.

The home side were straight back on the attack and a great run by Richardson took him to the edge of the box before he was brought down.  Hunt took the resulting free kick but his shot hit the Carlisle wall.

Another free kick came seconds later when Orsi was fouled to the right of the box, with Armer shown the game’s first yellow card for the challenge.  Maguire-Drew’s ball to the far post was headed away and a follow-up shot from Hunt was blocked.

Jayden Harris replaced Jordan Gibson in the Carlisle midfield but Town were still on top and another run  by Richardson from the halfway line led to a corner when his shot was deflected wide.  Maguire-Drew’s flag-kick was headed clear.

Hunt was booked for a foul on the Carlisle left with 18 minutes remaining but the free kick posed no threat as Moxon’s ball went straight through to Crocombe.

A shot from Maguire-Drew was caught by keeper Holy after a good spell of Town possession before Taylor Charters replaced Mellish for the away side as they looked to hold on to what was now a fragile lead.

Maher was penalised for a high boot on Stretton on 80 minutes but the free kick caused no problems, then a foul on Maguire-Drew gave Town a chance to get the ball into the Carlisle box.  The delivery from Hunt was cleared but the Mariners built up another attack, which also led to a headed clearance.

Kiernan replaced Amos for the last six minutes as the hosts added an extra attacker in a bid to force an equalising goal.

Five added minutes were played as the Mariners continued to look for that goal, with Richardson seeing a shot blocked from a narrow-angle.

Clifton fired wide after the ball had bounced around following a cross from the right and that proved to be Town’s last opportunity to take any points from the game as Carlisle closed out their victory.

The Mariners will now head back on the road when they travel to Salford City for their next action on Saturday.


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