Match Report | Grimsby Town 3 – 0 Crawley Town

Our wait for a first home win of the season in the league came to an end as we comfortably beat Crawley Town at Blundell Park.

A superb free kick from Anthony Glennon gave the Mariners an early lead, although they had a scare when Dom Telford put the ball in the net for the visitors, only for the goal to be ruled out.

Town remained on top though and they secured the points eight minutes into the second half when Gavan Holohan made it 2-0, before Ryan Taylor added extra gloss to the scoreline with a late third.

Four changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI after the draw at Salford City last week, with Michee Efete, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Brendan Kiernan and Taylor all coming in as Niall Maher, Alex Hunt, Lewis Richardson and Aribim Pepple dropped out.

Max Crocombe started in goal, with Efete, Luke Waterfall, Andy Smith and Glennon forming the defence. Maguire-Drew, Holohan, Harry Clifton and Kiernan were the midfielders, with Otis Khan supporting striker Taylor.

Maher, Hunt and Pepple were all named on the bench, along with Kieran Green, Danilo Orsi, Stephen Wearne and Jamie Pardington.

Crawley arrived in Cleethorpes looking for an upturn in fortunes, having won just one game in the league so far this season.

Manager Kevin Betsy would look to the likes of Ashley Nadesan, Caleb Chukwuemeka and captain Tom Nichols to pose major threat to the home defence, while former Mariner James Tilley was among their substitutes.

A foul on Taylor by Joel Lynch four minutes in gave Town their first opening from a free kick 25 yards out and from it, they opened the scoring. The defender was shown the yellow card for the challenge and GLENNON stepped up to find the far corner of the net, giving keeper Corey Addai no chance.

Clifton went though the middle on 10 minutes as the home side’s dominant start to the game continued but as he looked to be pulled back, the midfielder could not generate enough power on his low shot from 20 yards and Addai made a stop.

Crawley had the game’s first corner but caused no problems from it, then Khan was unlucky not to get on the end of a nice touch from Kiernan on the edge of the penalty area at the other end as the ball was hacked clear.

Another away corner was headed wide by Chukwuemeka, before Nadesan beat Smith down the Crawley right and saw his low cross put behind for a third flag-kick. This time, Tony Craig sent a header over the bar.

Chukwuemeka shot at Crocombe after a quickly-taken free kick was played low down the left, as Crawley started to come into the game. But Town had another opportunity to put pressure on the away goal when Khan was brought down on the right, although Glennon could not find a team mate from the resulting free kick.

A strike by Chukwuemeka was deflected over the bar for a corner on 27 minutes after Nadesan had pulled the ball back from the right.

Jack Powell’s ball from the flag beat everyone and was collected by Taylor on the opposite flank.

Glennon’s cross from the left was deflected out for a Mariners corner soon afterwards, and after the left-back’s delivery was not fully dealt with by the Crawley defence, Maguire-Drew tried his luck from 20 yards with a shot which was caught by Addai.

After a slow start, the visitors were enjoying a more promising spell as the half went on and they thought they were back on level terms seven minutes before the break. Dom Telford put the ball into the net after some pinball inside the box but after Crocombe led the protests, the referee went to consult with his assistant and eventually, they decided to rule the goal out for offside.

Town were straight on the attack afterwards and Kiernan saw a low shot stopped by Addai before two corners came in quick succession, with the keeper collecting the ball from the second after a Waterfall header.

Holohan let fly from 25 yards with a low strike which was blocked, before Maguire-Drew was penalised for a foul on Nick Tsaroulla on the Crawley left. The free kick was headed clear by Clifton.

Telford narrowly failed to get on the end of a cross-shot from Chukwuemeka as the visitors sent out another warning with half-time approaching.

Khan then turned and shot at the other end after good work by Kiernan but the effort was blocked, as was a follow-up from Clifton. Two added minutes were played and Kiernan had a chance when he got in behind the away defence, although Dion Conroy got back to put in a challenge and get the ball away for a corner.

Glennon’s ball from the flag was cleared as far as Maguire-Drew and that proved to be the last action of the first half, so Town went in at the break with their one-goal advantage intact.

No changes were made before the restart and a heavy touch by Waterfall gave Crawley an early corner. Powell’s ball from it was poor though and Holohan cleared it at the near post.

Seconds later, the Mariners were on the attack through Kiernan down the right but after making good progress, he was unable to pick out a team-mate with his low ball across goal.

Glennon won Town’s first corner of the second half on the left but Taylor was penalised for a foul as the ball came across from the flag.

A cross from Taylor on the left was then headed wide of the near post by Kiernan as the Mariners continued to attack.

And with 52 minutes on the clock, they doubled their advantage. Khan picked out HOLOHAN with a through-ball and the midfielder kept his composure to fire past Addai and make it 2-0.

Tilley replaced Chukwuemeka and Jayden Davis came on for Lynch as the away side made a double-substitution straight after the goal.

Tilley earned his side a corner when his low cross was blocked by Waterfall but the visitors were unable to create any danger from the flag-kick.

A foul by Nichols on Efete then gave Town an attacking platform with a free kick on the right but Glennon’s delivery towards the near post was cleared.

Crocombe was called into serious action for the first time on 58 minutes when he tipped a shot by Telford away for a corner. Again, the away side failed to threaten with the ball from the flag.

Tilley won another corner when his shot was blocked by Waterfall but Powell’s ball was headed clear by Holohan and a follow-up shot was hammered high and wide.

Green replaced Maguire-Drew just after the hour and another Crawley corner came on 65 minutes. Nobody was able to get on the end of it though, and Powell’s return ball from the left was caught by Crocombe.

Kiernan linked up with Efete on 70 minutes as Town searched for a third goal but the right-back’s cross was caught by Addai.

Soon aferwards, Holohan set off on a run through the middle before finding Kiernan on the right, although a good challenge inside the box stopped the winger and the ball was put out for a throw-in.

Town had another opportunity on 78 minutes when Taylor showed good strength to hold off his man inside the penalty area and find Green but the midfielder’s shot was blocked by the keeper.

A corner at the other end was eventually dealt with by Clifton, before Kiernan was booked for bringing Tsaroulla down near the halfway line and stopping a Crawley attack from developing.

Ludwig Francillette replaced Craig and Ben Wells came on for Powell as the away side made two more changes with eight minutes to go.

Khan and Kiernan were then replaced by Maher and Pepple as Town boss Paul Hurst responded with a double-substitution of his own. And soon afterwards, the Mariners had their third goal, as Pepple slipped but managed to retain possession and when the ball ran through for TAYLOR, he took it forward and slotted past Addai.

Tilly was unable to connect with a cross at the far post as the away side looked for a late consolation.

They were given an additional three minutes to find a way past Crocombe but Town were finishing the game on the attack and they won a corner on the left, although Taylor was booked for a foul after the ball was played short from the flag.

No further chances came before the referee blew for full-time, when the home fans in another 6,000-plus Blundell Park crowd were finally able to celebrate the Mariners earning three points at home.

Town will now head back on the road for their next game, when we travel to Stockport County on Saturday.


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