Report | Mariners play out draw at Arbour Park against Slough Town

Grimsby Town and Slough Town will face each other again in a replay after their Emirates FA Cup first round tie ended level at Arbour Park.

The Mariners, with Ben Davies and Shaun Pearson taking charge for the first time, were behind at the break after Slough player-manager Scott Davies’ free kick gave the National League South side a deserved lead.

But the visitors improved in the second half and their pressure eventually told when Danny Rose met Michee Efete’s low cross to level the scores.

Town continued to push forward in search of a winner but the hosts ensured they would get a second opportunity to cause an upset when the teams meet again at Blundell Park, with a trip to Oxford United in round two up for grabs.

Davies and Pearson made just one change to the Grimsby XI that began the Sky Bet League Two defeat at Doncaster Rovers last time out, with Jamie Andrews replacing Gavan Holohan in midfield.

Harvey Cartwright continued in goal as Efete, Harvey Rodgers, Niall Maher and Danny Amos formed an unchanged back four.  Andrews and Kamil Conteh started in the centre of the park behind Donovan Wilson, Harry Clifton and Abo Eisa, while Rose led the attack.

Nine substitutes can be named for FA Cup ties, so Jake Eastwood, Luke Waterfall, Toby Mullarkey, Anthony Glennon, Alex Hunt, Kieran Green, Otis Khan, Arthur Gnahoua and Rekeil Pyke all took places on the bench.

Slough were playing their sixth game in this season’s competition after needing a replay to beat Ebbsfleet United in the final qualifying round.  A replay was also required for the Rebels to get past Hayes and Yeading United, although they won at the first time of asking against Salisbury City.

The Berkshire side sat 21st in the National League South and were looking to take advantage of the break from league action to spring a cup surprise in front of a stadium record crowd of more than 2,000 at their Berkshire home.

Town won the game’s first corner on the left but it did not lead to a chance in front of goal and Slough cleared, then Cartwright had to be alert to race out of his penalty area and deal with a ricochet a the otther end.

Eisa made his way into the box after a run through the middle by Clifton but the winger was stopped before he could work an opening for a shot.

A strike by Eisa hit the side-netting moments later after he had cut inside from the left, then the home side’s first opportunity to attack came when Conteh was pressured into conceding a throw-in level with the right edge of his own penalty area.  Matt Lench sent a long throw into the box but it was cleared.

A Clifton cross from the right drifted out for a goal kick after a run from Wilson, then Rose was stopped by a good tackle on the edge of the box and the hosts were awarded a free kick when Eisa was adjudged to have fouled Tyrese Dyce.

Slough were looking to use Lench’s long throw as an attacking weapon but the Town defence had been equal to the threat so far and the latest one was headed clear on 15 minutes.

Andrews fired wide from distance soon afterwards, then a strike by Dan Bayliss was blocked by Rose and a George Alexander header had to be tipped over the bar for a corner as the home side put together a spell of pressure.

The corner turned into another one when a header from Dyce was blocked by Rose, although this time, the danger from the flag was dealt with.

A Lench free kick from the right was cleared by Maher, then an opportunity at the other end was not taken as Rose headed a cross from Amos over the bar.

Slough opened the scoring on 28 minutes after a foul by Rose on Munashe Sundire gave them a free kick in a dangerous position, 25 yards out and left of centre.  DAVIES stepped up to curl it beyond the dive of Cartwright and into the net at the near post.

Clifton was booked for a poor challenge on Johnny Goddard on 32 minutes but this time, Temi Eweka could only head Lench’s delivery wide at the far post.

Alexander had an opportunity to make it 2-0 five minutes before the break when he met a cross from Dyce on the left but he was unable to hit the target with his header and the Mariners’ deficit remained at one.

A stoppage came when Conteh and Dyce both went down following a coming together in the centre circle, although both were passed fit to continue.

An Amos free kick from the left was cleared, then Andrews went close to an equaliser when his cross from the right looked set to drop into the net at the far post, only for Davies to head the ball off the line.

Four added minutes were played at the end of the first half and a foul on Wilson gave Town a chance to get the ball into the box from a free kick on the left.  Amos’ delivery was headed wide for a goal kick.

That proved to be the last opportunity for either side before half-time, with Slough holding onto their narrow advantage at the interval.




Green and Pyke replaced Conteh and Eisa before the restart as Town made changes in a bid to turn the contest around in their favour and an early cross from the right was caught by home goalkeeper Rohan Luthra.

Efete was shown the yellow card for a foul on Davies, before a long throw from Maher was headed clear.

The Mariners created a chance on 52 minutes from an attack down the left, as Andrews pulled the ball back for Clifton on the edge of the box but the midfielder’s low shot curled wide of the far post.

Wilson then missed the target with a strike from a narrow angle as the visitors continued to show positive signs.

Rose was caught offside as Town went forward again, before a chipped ball over the top from Green proved to be just too far ahead of Efete as it bounced away for a goal kick.

A foul on Rose brought a free kick inside the Slough half on 61 minutes and after Amos’ delivery from it was half-cleared, a return ball into the box from Green was put behind for a corner.  It turned into another one and the pressure continued with a free kick in a central position, 20 yards out, although Andrews’ shot from it bounced off the top of the bar for a goal  kick.

Efete was brought down by Bayliss as he went past the defender on 65 minutes.  After the yellow card was shown, Dominic Charles-Hutchinson replaced Leon Chambers-Parillon in the home side’s first change, then Andrews’ free kick hit the Slough defensive wall.

Glennon came on for Amos in Grimsby’s third change three minutes later and his first action was to win a corner when his low ball from the left was turned behind.  Glennon’s flag-kick was cleared back to him and it turned into another corner when a header from Rose was hooked clear.

A third corner in quick succession allowed the visitors to keep the pressure up and it was nodded behind by Davies for a fourth, which was headed clear.

The away pressure finally earned its reward on 75 minutes when the Mariners found their equaliser.  The ball was played out to Efete on the right and when he sent a low cross over, ROSE slid in to meet it and finish from six yards.

Slough responded with a Lench long throw from the right but when it was headed away as far as Davies, he sent a half-volley well over the bar from 25 yards.

Green was also off-target with a strike from distance a the other end, before David Ogbonna came on in place of Goddard for Slough and Hunt replaced Clifton in the red of Town as both sides made a further change with 10 minutes remaining.

Pyke saw a strike blocked after cutting inside from the left, then Andrews mis-hit a shot from a similar position as the Mariners pushed for a winner.

Mullarkey came on in place of Efete for the last five minutes, before Cartwright was booked for timewasting and soon afterwards, Wilson headed wide from a Glennon cross.

The fourth official signalled for at least eight added minutes to be played, giving both sides time to find a winning goal and avoid the need for a replay.

Eweka was booked after catching Rose with an elbow but when the resulting free kick was sent into the box by Hunt, Green was penalised for a foul.

Lench then earned a free kick at the other end after going down under contact from Maher but it was cleared for a throw-in, which was also dealt with.

Town had a free kick of their own when Wilson was bundled over by Davies, although the offside flag went up when it was played into the box by Hunt.

That proved to be the final opportunity to force a winner and the tie will now be decided at the second time of asking at Blundell Park on Tuesday, November 14.

Before that, the Mariners return to league action with a home fixture against Morecambe on Saturday.



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