Grimsby vs. Crawley – Jack Rodwell

The Mariners welcomed Crawley Town to Blundell Park on Saturday looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat away at Portsmouth. Town made four changes welcoming back Craig Disley, Brandon Comley, Dom Vose and Callum Dyson playing in what appeared to be 4-3-2-1.

Town got the game underway kicking towards the Osmond Stand and during the first ten minutes both teams attempted to gain control of the match resulting in an initially scrappy affair. The first bit of quality came from the away team when Boldewijn delivered a cross that was headed onto the post by James Collins however the linesman had already flagged offside.

The Mariners began to wake up playing the ball on the ground and began to dominate possession until the first chance came to Jamie Osborne who was pushed inside the box but referee Boyeson waved play on. However it didn’t take long for the Mariners to break the deadlock with Sam Jones capitalising on Crawley failing to clear the ball in the 21st minute smashed the ball from 15 yards out into the back of the net.

Town dominated possession but created very few goal scoring opportunities and Crawley grew into the game through a sequence of set pieces. Crawley’s best chance came after Collins missed a header and the ball fell to Jimmy Smith who blasted the ball into James McKeown who got down well to make a good save. With half time approaching, Town defended deep inside their half until Disley conceded a free kick just outside the box. Payne curled the ball into the top corner, McKeown tipped the ball away but Crawley reacted quicker through James Collins who bundled in an equaliser on the 45th minute.

The Mariners once again controlled possession in the second half but grew increasingly frustrated through the lack of chances with the best opportunity falling to Jones on the volley. Comley and Dyson came off for Asante and Bolarinwa but the game lost its rhythm and both sides began to resort to long balls over the top.

A key moment of the game came from a Crawley ball over the top for their striker to run onto but Danny Collins brought down their player on the edge of the box and receiving a second yellow card leaving Grimsby with ten men for the last five minutes. The final chance of the game fell to Crawley in the 90th minute who performed a fake shot tricking McKeown but then failing to hit the target. Town managed to defend fairly comfortably for the four minutes of injury time resulting in the Mariners holding on for a point.

After the game Marcus Bignot expressed his disappointment in conceding the goal by saying “to let Collins who we had spoken about, to come in and score from the free kick, no you have to draw the line and it is not acceptable.” Finally on the performance he said “We created good goal scoring opportunities but in order to win games we need to start to convert these opportunities into goal scoring chances.” He then admitted our chances of reaching the play offs this season were gone.