Match Report | Grimsby Town 1 – 2 Swindon Town

Grimsby Town were handed their first home defeat of the season as 10-man Swindon Town held on for all three points at Blundell Park.

The away side made the brighter start and they took the lead through Luke Jephcott but the Mariners hit back when Ryan Taylor levelled the scores on 25 minutes.

Swindon snatched their lead back when Ronan Darcy struck just before half-time, although they were forced to play for the majority of the second half with a man less after Saidou Khan was sent off for two bookable offences.

Town threw everything at their visitors as they piled forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages of the game but despite creating several chances, they were unable to force a way through.

Grimsby boss Paul Hurst named the same starting XI that began the league victory at Colchester last weekend.

That meant goalkeeper Max Crocombe lined up behind a defence of Michee Efete, Luke Waterfall, Andy Smith and Anthony Glennon.  Brendan Kiernan, Gavan Holohan, Alex Hunt and  Harry Clifton made up the midfield, with Lewis Richardson supporting Taylor in attack.

The substitutes were Otis Khan, Niall Maher, Kieran Green, Danilo Orsi, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Aribim Pepple and Keyendrah Simmonds.

Swindon started the day 11th in League Two, although Scott Lindsey’s men were just one point behind the eighth-placed Mariners.

They were looking to make it back-to-back away wins in the league after a 1-0 success at Doncaster last week.

An early run down the left by Glennon was stopped by Jacob Wakeling, before Clifton ran onto a through-ball from Hunt but after taking it towards the edge of the box, a heavy touch allowed the visitors to clear.

Clifton lost possession to Remeao Hutton inside the Town half on six minutes but after the ball was worked to Tyrese Shade, Efete did well to ensure the attacker was unable to get a shot away.

After a low-key opening 10 minutes, Kiernan looked to create a chance as he crossed from the right but keeper Sol Brynn got to the ball ahead of Taylor.

The away side went on to win the first corner of the afternoon and from it, they took the lead.  A volley from Frazer Blake-Tracy was pushed away by Crocombe but Swindon kept possession and when the ball was played back into the box, it found its way through to JEPHCOTT, who pounced at the far post.

Shade got on the end of a defence-splitting ball as Swindon looked to add to their advantage but after cutting in from the left, his shot was deflected behind for a corner.  That turned into another one when a shot by Jephcott was blocked and this time, an attempt by Darcy was blocked before Smith headed clear.

Wakeling sent a low shot wide of the near post as the away side continued to make the running, before a Swindon penalty appeal was waved away on 24 minutes after Wakeling looked to have been pulled down inside the box by Glennon.

Kiernan fired just wide from 20 yards as Town looked to come into the game and with their next attack, the Mariners were back on level terms.  Clifton played the ball through for TAYLOR and after holding off a challenge inside the penalty area, the striker beat Brynn from close range.

A cross from Efete was caught by the keeper after a good pass from Kiernan found the right-back, then a corner at the other end led to Ben Gladwin’s driven delivery being headed wide for a goal kick.

Glennon was spoken to by the referee after a foul on Wakeling on the away right but Blake-Tracy could only head Gladwin’s free kick wide.

A foul on Richardson midway inside the Swindon half gave the Mariners another opportunity to attack on 35 minutes.  Hunt shot from it but his effort flew over the bar.

A stoppage came five minutes later for Efete to receive treatment after going down with an injury.  When play resumed, Town were the first to attack but Clifton was unable to get on the end of a low cross from Efete on the right.

Soon afterwards, the Mariners fell behind for the second time, when Gladwin got in behind Smith and pulled the ball back for the unmarked DARCY, who rolled it into the net from 10 yards.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the half and with no further chances for either side, Swindon retained their advantage at the interval.

Khan replaced Kiernan as Town made their first change before the restart and a foul by Glennon on Hutton earned the left-back a yellow card two minutes in.

Swindon won the first corner of the second half soon afterwards but Gladwin’s delivery was headed clear by Waterfall.

Swindon’s Khan was shown his first yellow card for bringing Efete down as the Town right-back looked to attack over the halfway line.  The free kick led to a well-worked move which eventually saw Richardson cross from the right, although Waterfall was unable to direct his far-post header on-target.

A foul on Khan gave Town a free kick on the left and it led to another one near the right edge of the box when Waterfall was brought down.  Glennon played it low and short for Hunt, whose first-time shot flew over the bar.

Town attacked again on 57 minutes but Taylor was unable to connect with Richardson’s right-wing cross.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy replaced Shade for Swindon just before the hour and the visitors were awarded a corner when the referee ruled Crocombe got a touch to a cross from Hutton before it bounced out off the top of the bar.  Holohan was first to the ball from the flag to head clear.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 62 minutes when Khan was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Glennon.  Town’s Khan took the resulting free kick but the ball went through to keeper Brynn.

Darcy was replaced by Ellis Iandolo as the visitors reacted to the red card with a substitution aimed at protecting their narrow lead.

A stoppage came when Hepburn-Murphy went down with an injury.  He was passed fit to continue and was soon back into the action as he went down inside the box in an attempt to win a penalty.  The referee waved play on.

Maguire-Drew came on for Richardson in Town’s second change with 20 minutes to go, before Swindon substitute Hepburn-Murphy had to come off after going down again.  He was replaced by Ricky Aguiar.

Orsi was sent on in place of Holohan and Pepple replaced Taylor as Town manager Hurst made more changes in attack in a bid to force an equaliser.

Swindon had found chances hard to come by since going a man down but there was an opportunity for Gladwin on 81 minutes after a good run by Wakeling.  The midfielder could not capitalise though, as he blasted his 20-yard effort high over Crocombe’s bar.

Maguire-Drew went close as he curled a shot towards the far post from the edge of the box but Brynn got down to punch the ball away from danger.

Town kept pushing forward and a corner came on 85 minutes.  Hunt’s ball was not fully dealt with by the away defence and it was sent back into the penalty area, where it bounced around until Pepple hooked a shot over the bar.

Jephcott was booked two minutes later for stopping a Town attack on the halfway line but Hunt’s free kick was cleared after Waterfall had headed it on.

Wakeling did well to hold off Clifton in a break for the visitors moments later and the striker let fly from distance with a shot which was deflected over the bar for a corner.  It was played short and the ball was brought clear by Hunt.

As the clock ticked into seven added minutes, Town were given another opportunity to put pressure on the Swindon goal with a free kick on the left, although the ball from it was hacked clear.

Orsi had a shot blocked by Brynn, before a header from Pepple was somehow kept out and another shot was cleared off the line.

Town were continuing to pile forward and a corner came on the left but again, the home side could not make it count.

Smith was inches away from levelling the scores as the clock ticked down but his close-range effort was touched behind for a corner and from the flag, the Mariners went close again but the visitors survived a scramble and Brynn eventually dived on the ball.

Blake-Tracy was booked for time-wasting by kicking the ball into the Main Stand after Town had been awarded a throw-in.

The hosts then had one final attack before the referee’s whistle brought an end to what had been a frustrating afternoon for the men in black and white, with Swindon left to celebrate their victory.

Town are next in action on Tuesday, when Carlisle United are the visitors to Blundell Park for a rearranged League Two clash.


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