Match Report | Grimsby Town 1 – 2 Solihull Moors

Grimsby Town’s play-off push was dealt a blow as fellow promotion contenders Solihull Moors came from a goal down to win at Blundell Park.

The Mariners took the lead through Harry Clifton just before half-time and looked on course for a statement victory as they dominated for long periods after the break.

But the game changed when substitute Kyle Hudlin brought the visitors level 12 minutes from time and they completed their comeback when Hudlin struck again with a header.

New signing Gavan Holohan went straight into the Town starting XI on the day he penned a deal with the club until the summer of 2024.

His inclusion was one of two changes to the side that began the goalless draw at Boreham Wood on Saturday, with Jordan Maguire-Drew the other to come in as Giles Coke and Erico Sousa made way.

Goalkeeper Max Crocombe was protected by a defence of Michee Efete, Andy Smith, Luke Waterfall and Danny Amos, while Maguire-Drew, Scott Burgess, Holohan and Clifton formed the midfield and John McAtee supported Ryan Taylor in attack.

Coke and Sousa were both named on the bench, along with Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, Shaun Pearson and Tristan Abrahams.

Solihull arrived in Cleethorpes looking to continue their own play-off push, with Neal Ardley’s men sitting fifth in the league table at kick-off, two points and three places ahead of their hosts.

The visitors would look to top scorer Joe Sbarra to add to his 14 goals so far this season, while former Mariner Jamey Osborne and ex-Aberdeen and Salford City attacker Adam Rooney would also aim to have big influences on the game.

An early Town free kick was cleared, before Solihull’s Lois Maynard headed over the bar from the evening’s first corner on four minutes.

Rooney was shown the first yellow card two minutes later for bringing Efete down as he looked to launch a break over the halfway line, although the Mariners were unable to create a chance from the resulting free kick.

The away side had made a purposeful start as they attacked at pace, although the next chance went Town’s way when a nice flick by Taylor sent McAtee through down the left.  He found Clifton on the edge of the box but the winger was unable to get enough power on his shot to trouble keeper Ryan Boot.

The stopper had to race out of his penalty area to beat Taylor to the ball soon afterwards as Town continued to look for openings.

Crocombe then became the next keeper to be called into action on 22 minutes as he made a good block from Harry Boyes, who had been played in by Sbarra in an attack down the left.

A foul on Clifton by James Clarke brought a free kick in a promising position on the left but Maguire-Drew’s delivery was just too high for Smith to direct a header towards goal.  Waterfall chased down the loose ball but his cross was caught by Boot.

The visitors won a corner on the left after a run down the right by Clarke and it quickly turned into another one when Callum Howe’s header was put behind by Waterfall.  This time, Town brought the ball clear through Efete, who set off on a driving run down the right and was eventually fouled by Clarke, with the referee again showing the yellow card for the challenge.

Solihull captain Kyle Storer became the third player to be booked on 37 minutes after bringing Clifton down on the halfway line.

Town won a corner three minutes later when a header from Clifton was deflected behind, although they were unable to turn the set piece into a goalscoring opportunity.

The next Mariners attack brought the opening goal though, as Clifton found Maguire-Drew on the right and he kept the move going to the overlapping Holohan.  The new signing then sent a low ball across to the near post, where CLIFTON was in the right place to sweep it into the net.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the half and with no further chances coming before the break, Town went in with a valuable lead.

Andrew Dallas replaced Osborne for the away side before the restart and he stung the palms of Crocombe with a 20-yard drive four minutes in.

Solihull had started the half on the attack and they won a corner on 50 minutes, although they were unable to take advantage from it as the ball was confidently punched clear by Crocombe.

A low cross from McAtee at the other end was intercepted, before Amos missed the target with a shot from the left.

A Town corner came soon afterwards but Maguire-Drew’s delivery was caught by Boot, then Holohan fired over the bar from distance.

The Mariners kept pushing forward and they went close to a second goal on 57 minutes, when Holohan drove forward through the middle before Clifton hit the post with a low effort.  Boot got to the rebound before Maguire-Drew could tap it into the net.

The hosts were forced into a substitution just before the hour when Efete went down injured.  Pearson was sent on in his place, with Smith moving across to cover at right-back.

A shot from Burgess was deflected for a corner as the Mariners kept up the pressure but again, Maguire-Drew’s ball was caught by the keeper.

Hudlin replaced Rooney in the Solihull attack as Town continued to dominate and another home corner came on 65 minutes when a low shot by McAtee was blocked by Boot with his feet at the near post.  The flag-kick was headed clear.

The visitors had posed little threat so far in the second half and Crocombe remained untroubled when a cross from Boyes on the left was glanced wide by Dallas.

Another chance for Town came on 71 minutes when McAtee took the ball forward and found Maguire-Drew in space on the edge of the box, although the winger missed the target at the near post.

Sousa replaced Maguire-Drew for the last 15 minutes as Town remained in control and looking to close out a win but within two minutes, Solihull were level.  Callum Maycock made progress into the penalty area from the left and after a shot from Dallas was parried by Crocombe, HUDLIN was there to slot home the rebound for 1-1.

An away corner was cleared as Solihull aimed to complete the turnaround, before Burgess became the latest to be booked for a foul near the halfway line on 86 minutes.

The comeback was complete two minutes later when HUDLIN ghosted into the box to meet a cross from the right with a firm, downward header which bounced past Crocombe and into the net.

Dieseruvwe replaced Burgess just before the game moved into four added minutes as the Mariners, who looked on course for all three points, aimed to rescue just one.

Amos fired high and wide after a corner broke to him 25 yards out and that turned out to be the home side’s last chance to salvage something from the game as the 39 travelling Solihull fans were left to celebrate a win that had looked very unlikely with 15 minutes to go.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when Dagenham and Redbridge are the visitors to Blundell Park.

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