Town draw at Newport

Danny Rose’s equaliser earned Grimsby Town a draw with Newport County at Rodney Parade.

After a goalless first half in South Wales, former Mariners favourite Omar Bogle put the hosts ahead from close range with 18 minutes to go.

But Town responded well to falling behind and they were level again within six minutes when substitute Gavan Holohan’s superb ball into the penalty area was converted by Rose.

Both sides pushed for a winner as the clock ticked down but neither was able to force a decisive goal and instead, they were made to settle for a point apiece.

Grimsby were unchanged from the team that began last week’s home victory over Crewe Alexandra, with goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright protected by a defence of Toby Mullarkey, Harvey Rodgers, Niall Maher and Anthony Glennon.  Kamil Conteh and Harry Clifton sat behind Arthur Gnahoua, Alex Hunt and Abo Eisa in midfield, with captain Rose leading the attack.

The substitutes were Jake Eastwood, Michee Efete, Kieran Green, Luke Waterfall, Holohan, Otis Khan and Callum Ainley.

Newport began the day two points and four places ahead of their visitors in the Sky Bet League Two table.  They were also unchanged from their previous fixture, a 4-1 midweek FA Cup win against Barnet, with ex-Mariners Bogle and Bryn Morris both looking to cause problems for their former club.

The home side won the game’s first corner within the opening two minutes.  The ball was played short from it and worked to Morris, whose 25-yard shot took a deflection off James Clarke on its way through to Cartwright.

Town’s first attack saw Glennon cross after overlapping on the left, although Ryan Delaney got to the ball ahead of Rose and nodded it over his own bar for a corner.

Hunt saw a shot blocked after good play by Gnahoua as the away side kept the pressure up in what had been a very positive start, before a Newport free kick was cleared by Rodgers at the other end.

Shane McLoughlin made an interception to deny Clifton a shooting chance on the edge of the box after Gnahoua created another opening from the right, before the offside flag went up against Sebastian Palmer-Houlden as he looked to run onto a through-ball from Morris.

Town were still looking bright and a deflected strike by Eisa from the edge of the penalty area was gathered by home goalkeeper Nick Townsend at the second attempt as Rose looked to pounce.

Newport then won a corner on their right on 15 minutes and it led to a free header for Delaney at the far post but Gnahoua was in the right place to block it.

Another McLoughlin corner from the home right was volleyed wide by Scot Bennett, before a Lewis Payne cross was headed clear by Rodgers.

The hosts were now starting to get on top after Town’s strong start and another corner was punched away by Cartwright for Morris to fire wide from 20 yards.

Eisa was penalised for a foul but McLoughlin’s free kick was headed away by Maher, then Townsend came off his line to get to the ball ahead of Gnahoua after a run from Clifton.

A neat Newport build-up produced a corner when McLoughlin’s cross was headed behind by Eisa at the far post and after it was played short, a low ball into the box was put over his own bar by Glennon for another flag-kick.  This time, the delivery from the right was confidently claimed by Cartwright.

Bogle won a free kick on the edge of the Town box after going down under contact from Maher, although his shot from a central position landed on the roof of Cartwright’s net.

Clifton got back to make a great block from Bogle on the half-hour and the ball was cleared for a corner, which saw Rose head off the line after a flick towards goal.

Another corner came when Rodgers put the ball out of play under pressure from Palmer-Houlden but this time, the home side were unable to cause a problem from it.

Mullarkey cleared a low cross from Bogle, then the visitors had an opportunity on the break but Gnahoua was unable to get the ball under control and Delaney got it away from danger.

The Mariners created another chance on 39 minutes when Gnahoua pulled the ball back from the right.  It fell for Eisa but his shot flew over the bar.

Conteh got back to block a strike by Palmer-Houlden after the attacker got on the end of a ball down the left from Morris and with just one added minute played, that proved to be the final opportunity before the break as the first half finished goalless.


No changes were made before the restart and Rogers did well to ease Palmer-Houlden off the ball and ensure it went through to Cartwright as Newport looked to have worked the first opening of the second half four minutes in.

The hosts were inches away from taking the lead when Palmer-Houlden slid in to connect with a Bogle cross at the far post, only to see his volley bounce back off the bar.  The ball came back to Bogle and his strike was tipped around the post by Cartwright for a corner, which led to Morris lifting a shot over the bar.

Payne fired wide of the near post under pressure from Glennon, then Mullakey sent a cross-shot high and wide at the other end after Eisa had cut inside from the left.

Clifton linked up with Hunt to launch a break for the Mariners and it turned out to be the start of a spell of away pressure, although the Newport defence stood up to it well.

A low cross from Mullarkey was cleared for a throw-in at the end of a slick attacking move from Town, with Glennon gliding on a run from the left before passing to Hunt.

Bennett cleared the crossbar with a strike from distance on 68 minutes but four minutes later, the hosts broke the deadlock.  A cross from Payne on the right came off the head of Conteh and when it was fired back across goal by McLoughlin, BOGLE pounced to score from close range.

Rose was flagged offside as Town looked to respond to going behind, before Green replaced Conteh and Holohan came on for Hunt in a double-substitution on 76 minutes.

Bogle won a corner soon afterwards but McLoughlin’s delivery was headed wide by Bennett at the far post.

Town then found their equaliser from their next attack, as Holohan advanced on the right and sent an early delivery into the box for ROSE to turn the ball past Townsend.

Newport’s leading goalscorer, Will Evans, replaced defender Matt Baker with eight minutes to go but Town were now the side with the momentum and there was a chance for Eisa when he met a Mullarkey cross but he could not test Townsend.

Holohan fired over the bar after he was found by Clifton inside the penalty area, then Harry Charsley replaced Aaron Wildig in the home midfield.

Rose sent an acrobatic volley through to Townsend from the edge of the box after a misplaced clearance, before Ainley came on for Eisa in Town’s latest change with three minutes to go.

Clifton was denied by a good block after a slide-rule pass from Glennon but Town kept their pressure up and they were rewarded with a corner, which led to Rodgers seeing a header blocked at the far post.

Both teams were still looking to win the game and they were given at least seven additional minutes to force a decisive goal.

Bogle was booked for pulling Maher back, before a low Gnahoua cross was blocked by Delaney after Green had found the winger on the right.

A foul on Bennett on the edge of the box gave Newport a final opportunity with a free kick in a central position in the last of the added minutes.  Morris touched it to Bogle but his strike was blocked by the Grimsby wall and his rebound flew well wide.

That proved to be the last chance for either side to force a winner, so the points were shared.

A Town XI will travel to Spalding United in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup on Tuesday, before the Mariners host Harrogate Town at Blundell Park in their next league game on Saturday.



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