REPORT | Mariners defeat

Grimsby Town suffered a heavy home defeat as Doncaster Rovers scored five goals to win at Blundell Park.

The Mariners fell two down within eight minutes as Luke Molyneux opened the scoring and Joe Ironside added a quickfire second.

But the hosts rallied, got themselves back into the contest through a Danny Rose penalty and with a big crowd behind them, created several opportunities to complete the comeback before half-time.

Those chances were not taken though and Doncaster regained the momentum after the break, getting their two-goal cushion back through a Niall Maher own-goal six minutes in.

And a clinical display by the away side then took the game away from Town, with Matthew Craig making it 4-1 before substitute Kyle Hurst added a fifth.

Four changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI following the home defeat by Stockport County, with Doug Tharme, Kieran Green, Charles Vernam and Jamie Andrews all coming into the team as Harvey Rodgers, Curtis Thompson, Arthur Gnahoua and Gavan Holohan missed out.

Harvey Cartwright started in goal, with Liam Smith, Tharme, Maher and Denver Hume forming the defence.  Green sat behind the midfield of Vernam, Harry Clifton, Andrews and Abo Eisa, with Rose leading the attack.

Rodgers and Holohan were both named on the bench, along with Jake Eastwood, Rekeil Pyke, Harry Wood, Justin Obikwu and Donovan Wilson.

Doncaster began the day one place and four points ahead of the Mariners in the Sky Bet League Two table, having picked up a point from a draw at Salford City in midweek.

Manager Grant McCann would look to 15-goal top scorer Ironside to help his side get a result which could move them further away from the bottom end of the division.

Rose won an early free kick on the left after a battle with Tom Anderson, although the defender was first to Vernam’s delivery into the box to head clear.

The away side then took the lead with their first attack of note on six minutes.  The ball was played out to Hakeeb Adelakun on the right and he squared for MOLYNEUX, who arrowed a great strike past Cartwright from 20 yards.

Town were not given an opportunity to respond as within two minutes, Doncaster doubled their advantage.  Again, Adelakun was the creator, this time running through the middle before playing a low ball into the box for IRONSIDE, who nipped in ahead of Maher to get to it first and slot into the net.

A promising run from Vernam on the right was stopped near the edge of the penalty area, before a foul on Andrews gave them a free kick on the left.  Hume sent it into the box and after it was headed away, a strike by Eisa was blocked and the ball fell for Clifton, who was also blocked at the near post, this time for a corner on the left.

The ball from the flag led to another corner and this time, Vernam played a one-two with Eisa before being bundled over inside the box by Jamie Sterry.  The referee pointed to the penalty spot and ROSE stepped up to beat goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala and halve the deficit.

After going two goals down early in the contest, the momentum was now with the Mariners and Vernam won another corner on 22 minutes, this time on the right.  Hume’s ball from the flag was met by Rose but his acrobatic volley flew over the bar.

A foul on Harrison Biggins gave Doncaster a free kick on their right, midway inside the Town half, although Molyneux’s delivery was headed clear by Rose.  The hosts broke through Clifton on the left but after cutting into the box, he was unable to work an opening for a shot.

A corner at the other end was dealt with and another break by the Mariners was stopped, this time after Vernam’s run.

Doncaster’s Owen Bailey became the first to see the referee’s yellow card on 26 minutes for a foul on Andrews and the resulting free kick led to a chance for Green but his volley was saved by Lo-Tutala.
Clifton fired just wide seconds later as the home side continued to create good opportunities in their quest to get back on level terms.

Rose won another free kick on the left as Ironside was penalised for a foul on the striker, although Vernam’s delivery into the box was just too far ahead of the run of Tharme and the keeper gathered.
Since Rose’s penalty, it had been all Town and they won another corner on 33 minutes.  Hume’s ball from the right was headed wide by Green.

Doncaster had not seriously threatened after going 2-0 up, although Biggins sent a low effort wide from the edge of the box on 35 minutes.

A Rose header was caught by Lo-Tutala after Vernam had crossed from the right, before the visitors were inches away from restoring their two-goal cushion when Bailey hit the bar from 20-yards after a free kick broke for him.

Five added minutes were played at the end of what had been a frenetic first half and a free kick from Molyneux on halfway was headed off-target by Richard Wood as Doncaster ended the first period on the attack.
That proved to be the last opportunity before the break as despite Town’s efforts, their visitors retained a narrow advantage.


No changes were made by either side before the restart and Doncaster won a corner within seconds but were unable to make the most of it as Andrews brought the ball clear.

Maher did well to stop an attack after Ironside linked up with Adelakun around the edge of the Town box as the away side continued their strong start to the second half.

And five minutes in, Doncaster converted their early pressure into a third goal.  Sterry sent the ball across the six-yard line from the right and a deflection off the unfortunate Maher took it past Cartwright for an own-goal.

Craig was booked for pulling Andrews down as he looked to launch a break, before the first substitution of the afternoon saw Obikwu replace Andrews for Town.

A foul on Vernam gave the Mariners a free kick on the right on 58 minutes but Hume’s low ball from it was stopped at the edge of the box.

A long throw from Tharme was headed clear, before Anderson got back to beat Eisa to a through-ball from Obikwu.

Billy Waters and Hurst replaced Molyneux and Biggins in a double-substitution for the visitors on 65 minutes, before Lo-Tutala was quick off his line to get to the ball ahead of Maher.

Adelakun won a Doncaster corner soon afterwards and it turned into another one when Eisa was unable to get the ball clear.  This time, the ball from the flag was dealt with and Town broke, with the ball played out to Smith on the right.  His cross found Vernam but the winger’s shot was saved by the keeper.

Wilson and Pyke came on for Eisa and Vernam as Town made further changes in attack with 20 minutes to go.

But soon after that, Doncaster struck a further blow when they made it 4-1.  After a free kick was not dealt with, Waters sent a low ball into the box from the right and it was touched back by Anderson for CRAIG to curl a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

More changes followed for the visitors, with Tommy Rowe and George Broadbent replacing Craig and Bailey.

A low cross from Clifton was cut out for a corner by Wood but Town were unable to create any danger from the flag.

Instead, the visitors added to their score when a searching ball from Adelakun found HURST, who cut into the penalty area and beat Cartwright with a low strike.

Rose saw a header saved from a free kick, before Holohan lifted the ball high over the bar from 20 yards when the ball broke to him.

Clifton also fired well off-target from Town’ next attack, as the home side looked for a consolation goal.

Pyke saw a shot saved at the near post as the game moved into six added minutes and a free kick from Hume failed to find a team-mate in what was the last action of the game.

The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Morecambe.



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