REPORT | Mariners pegged back in draw with Newport

A fantastic John McAtee goal was not enough to earn Grimsby Town a home victory as Newport County fought back to claim a point at Blundell Park.

After an evenly-matched opening to the contest, the Mariners took control when McAtee struck with a half-volley nine minutes before the break.

But their visitors improved after half-time and they were back on level terms when a corner was converted by defender Priestley Farquharson.

Both teams pushed for a winner but it was not to come at either end and instead, both were forced to settle for a draw.

Seven changes were made to the Grimsby starting XI following the defeat at Carlisle United on Saturday, with many of those rested for the trip to Cumbria after the FA Cup victory at Southampton coming back in.

Max Crocombe started in goal, with Michee Efete, Luke Waterfall and Niall Maher forming a back three.  Josh Emmanuel and Anthony Glennon were the wing-backs, with Gavan Holohan, Harry Clifton and Evan Khouri making up the midfield as McAtee linked up with George Lloyd in attack.

The substitutes were Otis Khan, Alex Hunt, Mikey O’Neill, Danilo Orsi, Danny Amos, Andy Smith and Ryan Taylor.

Newport began the evening a point and a place behind their hosts in the Sky Bet League Two table, although Graham Coughlan’s men had played two games more.

Former Town fans’ favourite Omar Bogle was in the Exiles’ starting line-up and would be aiming to fire his current side to victory on his return to North East Lincolnshire.


Clifton won the first corner of the game when his left-wing cross was blocked.  Glennon’s delivery from the flag was headed back across goal by Waterfall but the ball was diverted through to Newport keeper Joe Day.

Crocombe’s first test came on four minutes when Callum Kavanagh hit a volley after a long throw from Mickey Demetriou broke to the edge of the box.  The keeper dived to make a comfortable stop.

A free kick from Aaron Lewis was headed behind by Waterfall for an away corner, which was cleared at the near post, and a break through McAtee led to a throw-in midway inside the Newport half.

Bogle was denied by Crocombe as the striker saw his first chance of the night come and go, then a Maher long throw caused problems at the other end but the visitors eventually cleared the danger.

Lloyd was spoken to by the referee after a foul on Demetriou and a short spell of away pressure followed, with the long throw of Demetriou being used as their main threat.

A trip by Khouri on Cameron Norman gave Newport a free kick in a dangerous position on the right on 17 minutes and Lewis’ ball from it was met by Demetriou but his header dropped wide.

The visitors won a corner as the 20-minute mark passed but they were unable to make it count, then a foul on Emmanuel gave Town an opportunity to get the ball into the box with a free kick on the right.  Glennon’s delivery was punched away by Day and Maher’s resulting throw-in led to Waterfall heading wide from a cross by Holohan.

Another Maher throw from the left was headed on by Efete but it went through to the keeper, before Newport’s latest corner was headed away by Waterfall and a follow-up cross was dealt with by Maher.

A mistake by defender Farquharson presented the Mariners with an opening on the half-hour, although Lloyd and McAtee were unable to take full advantage.

Lloyd won a free kick on the home left soon afterwards and Glennon’s ball from it broke for Holohan, whose shot was deflected behind for a corner.  The flag-kick was headed clear by Demetriou, who got to the ball in the air ahead of Efete.

The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes and it was the Mariners who took the lead in spectacular style.  Lloyd, who had been enjoying some success against the away centre-backs, won the ball and played it back to McATEE, who spotted Day off his line and hit a half-volley over the keeper’s head and into the far corner of the net from the left edge of the box.

A low cross from Emmanuel was then cut out for a corner after a swift attacking move which was started by Clifton down the right but Glennon’s ball from the flag was headed away by Bogle.

After an evenly-matched opening quarter of the game, Town had taken a grip on the contest with McAtee’s goal and looked in control with half-time looming.

Crocombe had to punch clear from a looping Norman cross, then the away side looked to have another chance when Kavanagh tamely headed wide, although the offside flag had already gone up against him.

One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no more opportunities coming before the referee’s whistle, the Mariners went in at the interval with a single-goal advantage.


No changes were made before the restart and an early Demetriou throw was headed away at the near post by McAtee, then another one was eventually hooked clear by Efete after the ball had bounced around the six-yard box.

The visitors kept the pressure up as the series of long throws from the right continued, until Farquharson caught Glennon with a high boot as he attempted an overhead kick.

An away corner came on 55 minutes after a neat build-up down their left involving Demetrious and Kavanagh and from it, they were level.  The ball from the flag was played to the far post and centre-back FARQUHARSON sent it past Crocombe for 1-1.

Newport had now seized the initiative and they went in search of a second goal, with Town suddenly looking uncertain at the back.

Smith replaced Khouri and Taylor came on for Emmanuel as the hosts made a double-substitution just after the hour.

McAtee won a corner when his low shot was deflected behind but Glennon’s ball from the flag was headed away by Bogle and a penalty appeal was waved away after Lloyd appeared to be dragged down.

McAtee got back to stop a Newport break after Nathan Moriah-Welsh had raced through the middle, then Kavanagh was flagged offside as he shot wide of the far post from the right.

A Maher long throw was cleared back to him but the follow-up cross beat everybody and went out for a goal kick, before Crocombe dived to stop a low effort from Moriah-Welsh at the other end.

Another penalty appeal was turned down when Lloyd went down again, although this time, the referee ruled against the striker and gave a decision in favour of Newport.

Bogle fired harmlessly over the bar from distance on 73 minutes, then Clifton was also off-target at the end of a Mariners attack.

Smith started another attack with a run down the right and the Hull City loanee was also the man with the ball at the end of it, as he volleyed over the bar from a narrow angle after a cross from the left.

Taylor was unable to capitalise from an Efete cross, before Moriah-Welsh shot straight at Crocombe as both sides pushed for a winning goal.

Will Evans replaced Bogle and Charlie McNeil came on for Kavanagh in a double-change for Newport, while Khan, Orsi and Amos came on for the Mariners as Lloyd, McAtee and Glennon made way.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the game and a Maher long throw from the right was headed on by Taylor before being cleared.

Another long throw from the defender led to a shooting chance for Taylor, although his low effort was blocked by the feet of keeper Day.

A cross from Efete on the right was dealt with as Town attacked in search of a last-gasp winner.

But that proved to be the final opportunity for either side to snatch all three points and the Mariners will now turn their focus to Saturday’s home clash with Rochdale.



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