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Match Reports

Grimsby 1 - 2 TOWN - Muldoon brace moves Town up to fourth

20 October 2020

Match Reports

Grimsby 1 - 2 TOWN - Muldoon brace moves Town up to fourth

20 October 2020

A first-half brace from Jack Muldoon sealed a 2-1 win away to Grimsby that earned Town a third consecutive victory in Sky Bet League Two.

Despite a number of an opportunities in the second-half Town had to be content with the narrow margin of victory, but the three points saw them move up to fourth place in the table.

Manager Simon Weaver made just one change from Saturday's victorious return to the EnviroVent Stadium with Aaron Martin coming in for Jon Stead. Counterpart Ian Holloway, meanwhile, made five changes to the side that earned a dramatic last minute 3-2 win at Leyton Orient.

And the returning Martin almost made it a dramatic start when less then a minute into the game he broke the offside trap. His effort though was scrambled clear by a relieved home defence.

Town took advantage of the slick surface from the pre-match deluge when Josh Falkingham's precise through ball picked out Calvin Miller, but the Scot couldn't capitalise on the opportunity.

There was an early blow for Grimsby when Owura Edwards was forced off with a knee injury, with the winger replaced by Kyle Bennett who was immediately into the action when he tested James Belshaw from the edge of the area.

Miller's pace again took him beyond the home defence on 11 minutes and his delivery into the box was met with an impudent backheel from Martin that was deflected over the bar for a Town corner.

The home side were not without threat though and James Tilley struck an effort from distance that worried Belshaw before Connor Hall then went close with a powerful header from George Thomson's free kick.

It was Town who then made the breakthrough after 25 minutes when Muldoon profited from an error from Grimsby ‘keeper James McKeown. In attempting to prevent a corner he only succeeded in diverting the ball to Thomson whose composed pass set up Town's top scorer to coolly finish.

No sooner had they taken the lead though than Town found themselves pegged back when Tilley went one better when his strike left Belshaw helpless. The goal was the first Town had conceded on their travels this season.

McKeown then made amends for his earlier mistake when he pulled off a smart one on one save from Muldoon. With half-time approaching though Miller galloped down the left beyond the home defence to tee up Muldoon who restored Town's lead with his sixth goal of the season.

Looking to press home their advantage Town began the second half well, frustrating their opponents who saw both Danny Preston and Tilley go into the book for rash challenges on Falkingham and Warren Burrell.
Thomson then went close when his speculative strike from all of 30 yards forced McKeown to parry to safety.

The hosts made further changes when Virgil Gomis replaced Bennett and then James Hanson came on for Luke Spokes to add some much-needed presence to the home attack.

Harry Clifton became the fourth Grimsby player to go into the book with Falkingham again on the end of a late challenge.

Town needed to be mindful of the slender advantage and Gomis showed his threat when he went beyond the defence. Weaver opted to shore up the midfield with his first change with 15 minutes remaining with Connor Kirby introduced for Miller.

The final minutes were increasingly scrappy, although Muldoon had a chance to come away with a hat-trick when he dragged a late effort wide.

His earlier efforts though proved to be the difference on the night.

Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Burrell, Smith, Hall, Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry (Kiernan, 84), Miller (Kirby, 75), Martin (Stead, 90), Muldoon.

Subs not used: Cracknell, Jones, Walker.

Booked: Thomson (42), Kerry (72)

Goals: Muldoon (25, 43)

Grimsby: McKeown, Hendrie, Pollock, Waterfall, Preston, Clifton, Morton, Spokes (Hanson, 68), Tilley, Gibson, Edwards (Bennett, 7, Gomis, 52).

Subs not used: Battersby, Mohsni, Starbuck, Jackson.

Booked: Pollock (45), Hendrie (46), Preston (56), Tilley (60), Clifton (69)

Goal: Tilley (26)

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Report by Danny Pugsley.

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