Top of the table Doncaster Rovers travelled in their numbers to Cleethorpes for an early kick off while looking to do the double over us after winning 1-0 at home earlier in the year, but even more importantly to them with the right results later in the day gain promotion. Town made two changes again from the team that drew 1-1 last Saturday at Accrington, with Dan Jones and Callum Dyson replacing Craig Disley and the injured Akwasi Asante.
The Mariners started the game very positively playing some good football on the floor, but this only managed to lead to a number of free kicks and corners and no clear cut opportunities. The first real chance of the game came to Doncaster, with James McKeown having to get down quickly, to make the save. Another chance fell to Doncaster through a counter attack, but this time Gavin Gunning managed to get back and clear it off the line. However, Town’s impressive start did manage to bring some reward through a well taken goal from Sam Jones, who produced a great bit of skill and drilled the ball into the far corner.
Grimsby’s lead only lasted 3 minutes after the defence failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Marquis who struck the ball onto the post and it went into the back of the net. Unfortunately Town were punished again 5 minutes later by Marquis who got a free header from a corner and glanced it straight into the goal. After such a positive first half for the Mariners they unfortunately went in at half time 2-1 down which wasn’t really a true reflection on the half.
The second half began with another good spell of possession and passing football by Town but they lacked the final ball and any real cutting edge, clearly still missing Omar Bogle. Marquis was then able to complete his hat trick after a driving run before smashing the ball into the back of the net while Town players appealed for offside. The Mariners once again attempted to break down a stubborn defence with their best chance falling to Vose who saw his free kick which went through the wall from the edge of the box saved well after the Doncaster keeper was unsighted. Once again Town were unable to come away with anything to show for their pressure and were punished by Andy Williams who bent the ball around McKeown to make the score 4-1. A clearly down heartened Town team made some more chances with Sam Jones having an excellent effort cleared off the line but in the 90th minute McKeown failed to punch from a corner and the ball came off the head of May to make it 5-1 to Doncaster at full time.
In an attendance of 6,821 including 1,867 making the short journey from Doncaster, Grimsby fell victim to a score line that reflected harshly on us after what in spells had been the best football at Blundell Park this season. Man of the Match was given to Sam Jones who carried on his goal scoring form but Zak Mills and Jamey Osborne also played well and was able to continue to show the fans why they were brought to the club. Although the result was bitterly disappointing for all Town fans they can take heart from what was a brilliant atmosphere and the fact that we are safe in the football league, and our best league position in six years. At the end of the day you have to just admit that we lost to a good team with an outstanding striker who a year ago were in League One, while we were in non-league.