REPORT | Town frustrated at home by Harrogate

Grimsby Town shared the points with Harrogate Town after the sides could not be separated in a goalless draw at Blundell Park.

The Mariners created more chances than their visitors and looked the likeliest to force a winning goal but they were unable to find one as the away side defended well.

Niall Maher saw a first-half header tipped over the bar, while John McAtee and Alex Hunt both also went close to breaking the deadlock.

And Town almost won the game in added time but Ryan Taylor’s close-range header was superbly blocked by Harrogate keeper Mark Oxley, who ensured a share of the spoils for his side.

Three changes were made to the Grimsby line-up following the victory at Northampton Town on Saturday, with Michee Efete, Anthony Glennon and George Lloyd coming in for Danny Amos, Owen Gallacher and Danilo Orsi.

Max Crocombe started in goal, with Efete, Luke Waterfall and Maher forming a centre-back trio as Josh Emmanuel and Glennon operated as wing-backs.  Gavan Holohan, Bryn Morris and Harry Clifton were the midfielders, with McAtee and Lloyd in attack.

Gallacher and Orsi were both named on the bench, along with Andy Smith, Alex Hunt, Taylor, Mikey O’Neill and Tom Dickson-Peters.

Harrogate were looking to complete a league double over the Mariners, having won the reverse fixture in North Yorkshire on Boxing Day.  Striker Luke Armstrong scored twice that day and would be aiming to pose a similar threat this time around as he lined up alongside Jack Muldoon in the Sulphurites’ attack.


An early scare for the hosts came when Armstrong went down inside the box under what looked like a push but the referee allowed play to continue.

A louder penalty appeal then followed at the other end on three minutes when McAtee went down after Lloyd had done well to win the ball and pull it back from the right.  Again, no action was taken.

A foul on Clifton brought a free kick on the halfway line and after Glennon’s ball into the box was headed on, it was put behind for the game’s first corner.  Glennon moved across to take it but his delivery from the flag was cleared.

McAtee won another corner on six minutes when his shot was blocked and this time, it was initially played short before Glennon crossed for Waterfall, who headed at keeper Oxley.

Harrogate’s first shot saw Muldoon lash an attempt over the bar from 20 yards, then Lloyd drove into the box from the Town left but his pull-back was cleared.

The Mariners had started positively and they won another corner when a cross from Holohan on the right was hooked away after a good run by Emmanuel.  Maher was first to Glennon’s ball at the near post but Oxley got fingertips onto the centre-back’s flicked header to divert it over the bar and the resulting corner was dealt with by the away defence.

Muldoon was brought down by Waterfall as the striker ran through the middle on 25 minutes, although the big centre-back was there to head clear from the free kick.

Soon afterwards, the visitors created another opportunity, with Kazeem Olaigbe seeing his low shot take a deflection for a corner on its way past the far post.

McAtee stung the palms of Oxley with a powerful strike from distance as the hosts looked for an opening goal, although defender Toby Sims managed to get himself ahead of Lloyd from the rebound.

Clifton then won Town’s latest corner on the half-hour after a run and cross from the right but the referee blew for a foul on Oxley as Glennon sent the ball over from the flag.

A foul by Holohan on Levi Sutton gave the away side a free kick inside the Grimsby half but it did not lead to a chance in front of goal, then Lloyd and Oxley both failed to connect with a Glennon cross at the other end, although the ball was hooked off the line for a corner, which was also cleared from danger.

Town won a free kick six minutes before the break when Emmanuel was brought down in a dangerous position as he looked to drive into the box from the right.  Glennon whipped it towards the near post but Oxley got down to make a good stop.

The hosts kept attacking and another chance came when Clifton pulled the ball back for McAtee, although his low, first-time shot just missed the target.

One added minute was played before the referee’s half-time whistle blew and although they had been on top, the Mariners had been unable to find a goal to reward their dominance and went in still level at the interval.


No changes were made before the restart and an early opportunity for the away side saw Crocombe get down to stop a 25-yard effort from Sutton.

Town’s first attack of note in the second half saw a Glennon cross from the left cleared, before a Maher long throw was also dealt with.

A header from Lloyd dropped just wide after another Glennon cross, then Olaigbe fired a first-time effort harmlessly wide at the other end.

The hour mark passed with both goalkeepers still largely untroubled and Harrogate captain Josh Falkingham was perhaps lucky to escape a booking when he pulled Lloyd down near the halfway line as the striker looked to break after an away free kick had been headed clear by Waterfall.

McAtee cut inside from the left and let fly with a shot from 25 yards but Oxley reached up to catch the ball, as Town kept searching for a breakthrough.

The hosts won a corner on 68 minutes and before it was taken, O’Neill and Hunt were sent on in place of Morris and Clifton as Paul Hurst made his first substitutions.  The ball from the flag led to a low shot by McAtee, which the keeper got down to stop at his near post.

A high, looping cross from Efete was comfortably claimed by Oxley and Efete then did well at the other end to stop Muldoon.

Taylor was sent on in place of Lloyd with 14 minutes to go and seconds later, there was a chance for Hunt but the keeper dived full-length to push the midfielder’s effort from the edge of the box away from goal.

Another opportunity to get the ball into the danger zone came when Hunt was brought down by Muldoon on the halfway line.  Glennon’s delivery to the edge of the box broke for O’Neill, whose shot was blocked.

Danny Grant replaced Sutton in the blue of Harrogate with 83 minutes on the clock, before a cross from Taylor was cut out before it could reach McAtee.

Town continued to go forward in search of a winning goal but Harrogate were holding firm at the back and a cross from Emmanuel on the right was dealt with.

Warren Burrell became the latest away substitute to get onto the pitch when he replaced Sims with four minutes remaining, then Holohan was flagged offside as he met a ball from Hunt at the far post.

Matty Foulds was caught offside at the other end as the clock ticked into four added minutes and soon afterwards, Taylor had an opportunity to win the game when he met a cross from Emmanuel with a bullet header but Oxley made a brilliant block with his feet to keep the ball out.

That proved to be the last chance for either side to snatch all three points as the game ended goalless.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when Sky Bet League Two leaders Leyton Orient are the visitors to Blundell Park.



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