With both teams having dropped out of FA Cup action at the first hurdle, Marcus Law made three changes to the did that had slipped to a disappointing defeat at the hands of lowly Ebbsfleet a week previously, for the visit of the 5th placed Mariners to The Lamb in one of two Blue Square Bet league fixtures taking place on an otherwise busy FA Cup with Budweiser weekend.
The three subs from seven days previously, Tom Marshall, Peter Till and Scott Barrow, kept their spots as Richard Tait and Marcus Kelly took unusual places on the bench, while Lee Hendrie took charge of the captain's armband. George Baldock was forced to sit out the match with a sore heel.
The visitors got the game underway kicking towards the Castle End and into the low setting sun. As shadows slowly got longer Grimsby were awarded a freekick on the left but Colbeck saw his inswinging effort headed away by Marshall and booted clear by Taylor. The Lambs looked a lot livelier than against Ebbsfleet and Taylor tried a square ball into the box on 5 but it was cleared and a trip on Kerry saw the ball launched forwards but cleared again. Till hit a fine cross from the right wing on 8 which dropped over Cunnington and fell for Barrow but the latter's shot rebounded off his teammate and out for a goalkick. Elding found a bit of space on the right of Breeden's area on 10 but was unable to do anything worthwhile with the ball into the box. A long Courtney throw from the right on 12 bounced awkwardly and Wright tried to nod it over keeper McKeown but it went out of play past the right hand upright. Kerry looked for goal with a right footed half volley on 17, and although the direction was unfortunately somewhat lacking, the intention was good as The Lambs continued to battle forwards. Hannah broke through and forced the first real save of the match on 22 with Breeden being forced o push the ball away to his right when the Grimsby player beat his marker and cut back to direct a low shot towards goal from a central position around the penalty spot. On 28 Barrow almost found himself on the end of a Cunnington header back, and did make contact with the ball but it arrived too quickly for him to direct it. Two minutes later, Hendrie sprayed a pass to Courtney on the right and his ball in was flicked on by Wright but Cunnington's attempted shot was blocked. Hendrie played a curling corner from the right into the danger area on 35 and Kerry lifted the ball back into the box for Oji to try a header at goal and his effort was a deflected one and brought a fine stop from McKeown to deny him. At the other end Colbeck hit a right footed shot from 30 yards and saw his strike got wide of the left hand post. Breeden then had to deal with a high ball into the box and Courtney was on hand to hook it clear. Grimsby's Marshall was booked for following through a challenge on Kerry on 40 and Breeden escaped a slip with the resultant freekick which barely reached the half way line and cannoned back off Elding. Barrow probably half expected Till to power home his left wing cross with a bullet header on 43 but the former Fleetwood man was a whisker away from the ball and it flashed across the box unabated. Oji won a header in the centre circle but landed awkwardly holding his left knee, as two minutes added time was shown at the end of the first period, but was able to continue after some off the field treatment. Shortly before the whistle blew Thomas' left wing cross was headed well enough by Disley but it came back off teammate Hannah and rounded off a decent first half show.
HT: Tamworth 00 Grimsby Town
Tamworth restarted proceedings and the visiting fans almost had something to celebrate when Miller's close range header from a right sided freekick was well directed but collected easily by Breeden. A long throw at the other end won The Lambs a corner from a deflected header but McKeown was not troubled by the dead ball in the slightest. Hannah nipped in and tried to lob Breeden from inside the area but didn't get enough purchase on his lift allowing the Lambs keeper to collect easily and the offside flag prevented both sides a sight at goal in quick moves from both teams. Hendrie lifted a shot from distance over the target on 58 and on the hour Cunnington's low drive was fumbled by the keeper but he recovered before the closest Lambs could get there. Grimsby forced a couple of corners in quick succession then, with Oji being forced to head blindly past the far post from a right wing cross and the left sided in swinging flag kick from Colbeck was headed away from the line by Barrow as Breeden took a tumble. However from the resulting corner there was no such luck as despite Breeden's best efforts substitute Cook's low finish crept over the line and the linesman's flag awarded the strike. (0-1, 63 mins) Then on 69, Oji was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Marcus Marshall on the left of the area and Colbeck planted the ball onto the head of Pond who found the back of the net, but the opffside flag ruled out a second goal for the visitors. Law immediately made a trio of changes in a bid to turn the game around as Grimsby forced a corner or two in front of their own fans. Kelly advanced into the area on 77 and despite some hearty shouts for a penalty the referee was having none of it, but Barrow did get booked for a challenge on Colbeck in front of the shed as the ball came out from the keeper. Hannah fired a low shot across the box on 81 and Breeden smothered it while at the other end Kelly leant back as he shot for goal from the left of the area and his effort went high over the bar. McKeown was booked for time wasting on 89 and four minutes added time were shown at the end of the game. Tait whipped a shot into the box from 20 yards but it took a deflection and Colbeck rifled an effort on target forcing Breeden to parry it away from danger and with The Lambs pushing forwards Grimsby looked for a second but the whistle denied any further action.
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Tom MARSHALL, Adam CUNNINGTON (Adriano MOKE 73), Lee HENDRIE (c) (Marcus KELLY 72), Tommy WRIGHT, Lloyd KERRY, Duane COURTNEY, Peter TILL (Richard TAIT 73), Scott BARROW, Sam OJI, Greg TAYLOR Subs: Charlie COLLINS, Dale BELFORD (GK)
Grimsby Town Team:
James McKEOWN (GK), Aswad THOMAS, Derek NIVEN, Ian MILLER, Joe COLBECK, Craig DISLEY (c), Anthony ELDING (Andy COOK 57), Bradley WOOD, Nathan POND, Ross HANNAH (Dayle SOUTHWELL 86), Marcus MARSHALL (Frankie ARTUS 90) Subs: Sam HATTON, Andi THANOJ