Report: Grimsby Town 0-1 Sunderland

Grimsby Town’s first home friendly of the summer ended in a narrow defeat as League One Sunderland won at Blundell Park.

A single goal, scored by Lynden Gooch just after the half-hour, eventually proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Town started with James McKeown in goal, behind a three-man defence of Akin Famewo, Alex Whitmore and Danny Collins.

Harry Clifton, Mitch Rose, John Welsh, Martyn Woolford and Andrew Fox were the midfielders, with Jordan Cook starting alongside JJ Hooper in attack.

Cook was the first to try his luck with a shot, hitting a speculative effort from distance which dropped wide of the far post.

A good flowing move involving Hooper and Rose on 10 minutes eventually led to Clifton hitting a low shot from the edge of the box but visiting keeper Max Stryjek got down to make a comfortable stop.

Town won a corner on the right two minutes later but Collins’ header from it was blocked and Sunderland cleared.

Cook went close again with a free kick on 18 minutes which drifted wide of the near post from 25 yards, before the striker saw a header saved soon afterwards.

Hooper put the ball in the net on 20 minutes after controlling a good ball from Famewo but the striker had already fouled his man and a free kick was given to the visitors.

Sunderland had created little of note so far, although right-back Donald Love fired an effort just over the bar from 25 yards.

Fox also narrowly missed the target fom the edge of the box as the half-hour mark passed, before the visitors took the lead when a cross from the left was neatly headed into the bottom corner of the net by GOOCH.

The Mariners had an opportunity to hit back almost immediately when Hooper crossed from the right but Cook could not connect with a header and the ball was cleared.

A free kick from Woolford was comfortably caught by Stryjek, before a cross from the Sunderland right was put behind for a corner just before the break.  It came to nothing, meaning the score remained 1-0 to the away side at the interval.

No changes were made to the Grimsby XI before the restart and the first sight of goal came when Rose played a ball through for Hooper, although the striker was flagged offside.

A free kick from Fox on the right was caught by Stryjek before Sunderland went close with a header at the other end.

A good cross from Clifton was met at the far post by Whitmore on 55 minutes but the defender could only fire across goal from a narrow angle.

The hour mark signalled widespread changes for Town, with nine substitutions made as only Collins and Famewo remained from the XI that started the game.

Sam Russell replaced McKeown in goal, with Harry Davis now joining the defence as Reece Hall-Johnson, Jake Hessenthaler, two trialists and Paul Dixon made up the midfield and Ahkeem Rose and Louis Robles formed a new-look strike partnership.

Hessenthaler tested Robbin Ruiter , who had replaced Stryjek in the Sunderland goal, with a 20-yard effort which the keeper did well to dive and push away from danger.

Whitmore came back on in place of Collins with 15 minutes to go, with Max Wright coming on in place of Famewo as the final substitute on 82 minutes.

And with no further goalmouth action of note, the game ended 1-0 to the visitors.

Town are next in action against Cleethorpes Town in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup tomorrow, before Doncaster Rovers visit Blundell Park next Tuesday as the countdown continues to the new League Two season.


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