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Grimsby 1 Rovers 5

1 April 2017

John Marquis hit his first EFL hat-trick to leave Rovers on the verge of promotion.

Grimsby Town 1
(S.Jones 34)
Doncaster Rovers 5
(Marquis 37, 43, 61, Williams 78, May 88)

Saturday, April 1
Blundell Park
Sky Bet League Two

John Marquis hit his first EFL hat-trick to leave Rovers on the verge of promotion.

Rovers had to come from behind after Sam Jones' powerful shot put Grimsby into the lead, but Marquis quickly levelled before driving the visitors to all three points.

Darren Ferguson made three changes to his starting line-up, with injuries meaning Conor Grant and James Coppinger were unavailable. Luke McCullough and Gary McSheffrey came into the starting XI

Andy Williams also returned to the starting XI, with Alfie May dropping to the bench.

The opening exchanges saw both sides look to test each other out without too much success, with the visitors defender Zak Mills nicking the ball off the feet of McSheffrey after Williams' through ball.

Two minutes later Williams turned the ball just wide from Tommy Rowe's cross.

Chances were much harder to find for the rest of the half, before Sam Jones put the home side ahead after 35 minutes.

He cut in from the right wing before placing a powerful effort into the bottom left corner past the outstretched hand of Ian Lawlor.

The Mariners should have made it 2-0 a minute later, but Calum Dyson fired his effort straight into the arms of Lawlor.

That proved pivotal, as a further minute down the line and Marquis had started the fightback. Niall Mason's low delivery from the left was left by Williams, and Marquis turned it home at the far post.

Going in level at the break would have felt good for Rovers, having fallen behind, but they went in ahead - with Marquis again the provider.

Matty Blair won a corner three minutes before the break, which McSheffrey delivered for Marquis to power home his 25th strike of the season.

HALF-TIME | Grimsby 1 Rovers 2

The home side got the second period underway without any changes from either side, with the only significant action in the opening period coming when Williams was booked for a late challenge.

The Mariners had a great chance to draw level after 53 minutes when they won a free-kick on the edge of the area. They worked a smart cross, but Sam Jones' header from the delivery went wide.

McSheffrey saw a second effort of the day cleared off the line - this time a header after Rowe's cross caused problems in the area - before Rovers started to turn the screw just after the hour mark.

Rowe played Marquis through, and the man supporters serenade as the best striker in the Football League was calmness personified as he slotted the ball ast McKeown despite defenders haring back to put him under pressure.

That was his first hat-trick in the EFL, and as Rowe and McCullough jumped on him and the coaching staff celebrated in the dugout there was a real feeling that he had secured three vital points for Rovers.

Rovers had their tails up, with McSheffrey just failing to slip the ball past a home defender as Williams and Marquis looked to break, while a home defender slipped then recovered just in time as Williams threatened to get away.

The home side had not given up, and Lawlor had to be alert to palm away a low Michael Vose free-kick which could easily have crept in the bottom left corner

Harry Middleton came off the bench for McSheffrey in Rovers's first change, and moments later he was celebrating after Williams made it 4-1.

It was a superb solo effort from the forward. He broke down the right with central support from Marquis but, rather than playing in his strike partner for his fourth of the match, cut inside before smashing home a left-footed shot into the far corner.

Lawlor again had to pull off a great point-black stop to deny Sam Jones, but Rovers constantly looked dangerous.

Williams flicked a header just wide, before May bundled home a fifth moments after coming off the bench.

FULL-TIME | Grimsby 1 Rovers 5
ROVERS | Lawlor, Alcock, Butler (c), Baudry, Mason (Evina), Blair, McCullough, McSheffrey (Middleton), Rowe, Williams, Marquis (May). UNUSED SUBS | Marosi, Wright, Keegan, Longbottom. BOOKED | May
GRIMSBY XI | McKeown (c), Mills, Boyce, Gunning, Andrew, D.Jones (Vose), Comley (Bolarinwa), Clements, Osborne, S.Jones, Dyson. SUBS |Pearson, Disley, Collins, Yussug, Maxwell. BOOKED | Mills, Clements, Dyson.
ATTENDANCE | 6,827 (1,867 away)

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