Grimsby Town 4-1 Barrow: Mariners record first victory in front of a packed Blundell Park, by Joseph Carson
Last night, the Mighty Mariners took their first three points of the new campaign at the expense of Conference North champions Barrow.
Blundell Park was packed with over five-thousand fans cheering the team to victory. After Saturday’s draw at Kidderminster, Town were relatively unchanged, except for the inclusion of Richard Tait replacing Shaun Pearson. Former Mariners striker Andy Cook made a return to the club at which he spent two years, fresh from scoring twice over the weekend against Dover.
For the first ten minutes, the visitors held much of the possession but it was Town with the first real attacking opportunities. Several attacking manoeuvres resulted in corners, the best a Bogle shot deflected over, narrowly missing the target. Within a few minutes, the deadlock was broken; Andy Monkhouse with a sublime header from the back post. Tait’s cross, at first glance, seemed too high but the former Hartlepool and Bristol Rovers midfielder headed in.
And the Mariners weren’t done there, as Nathan Arnold could’ve added a second within no time. Bogle was again deep in the action; this time, a penalty shout after being wrestled to the ground. Only minutes later, the big number nine slotted home his first goal after joining in the summer. He was one on one with Joel Dixon, the opposition goalkeeper, and Bogle slotted low and out of reach to make it two-nil.
Omar Bogle again saw an opportunity go narrowly over the bar, after a well-worked bit of play. After that, the game was much more open with Barrow pushing up, however there was no end product, McKeown smothering every attack. Then the whistle blew for half-time, with the home team leading.
The second half started with Town on the attack, in similar fashion to the first half. Neat play from Nathan Arnold down the wing, resulted in a great cross, only for it be claimed by Dixon. Bogle could’ve had a second, after his sublime chip was ruled for offside. But it was Monkhouse, who capitalised on a open goal, resulting in his third goal in two games. Arnold saw his excellent effort turned onto the post before Monkhouse slotted home.
With a three goal lead, Town were still looking for more and Toto Nsiala scored his first in black and white after sliding the ball over the line from an uncleared corner. David Symington looked clear to score for the visitors, but unfortunately for him, a McKeown save and Danny East clearance stopped that chance. Jason Walker also saw his chance hit the post in a similar chance for Barrow. Amongst a comfortable and entertaining second half were two substitutes, Jack Mackreth appearing from the bench for the second successive game, and a debut for young midfielder Josh Venney. Despite a solid game from the defence, a clean sheet wasn’t to be, as in injury time, Elliot Newby hit a neat consolation goal but it was too late for a comeback.
Next up for Grimsby is Saturday’s home game against Bromley. If a similar crowd to Tuesday’s game turns up, then expect a great atmosphere. Town are now up to fifth in the table after two games.
Man of the Match- Andy Monkhouse
GTFC: McKeown Tait East Gowling Nsiala Disley Clay (Venney) Monkhouse Arnold Amond (Mackreth) Bogle, unused subs: Robertson Pearson Clifton