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Grimsby Town 1 Rovers 0

20 July 2019

A stunning strike from Grimsby Town midfielder Jake Hessenthaler decided a competitive friendly at Blundell Park.

Rovers opened brightly against the Sky Bet League Two side, with Kieran Sadlier hitting a low drive just wide after seven minutes following good work down the right.
The home side’s were restricted to half-chances in the opening period, with Matt Green looking lively for the Mariners - although Ian Lawlor had a routine collection form his backheel and he should have done better when he found himself in the centre of the area after intercepting a backpass.
Lawlor had to be alert again after 27 minutes when he got down to tip Elliot Whitehouse’s low snapshot away. Mattie Pollock headed over from Jake Hessenthaler’s resulting corner
Rovers enjoyed a good spell of possession as the opening half drew to a close. Joe Wright just could not get on the end of an Ali Crawford free-kick with 36 minutes gone, with the set-piece awarded after home goalkeeper James McKeown had brought down Matty Blair to earn himself a free-kick.
Crawford also saw a low shot held after the ball had bobbled around in the area, while with the last touch before the break John Marquis lifted an effort just wide after spotting McKeown off his line.
There were no changes from either side at the break, with the first chances of the second period falling to Rovers.
A smart passing move down the left led to Madger Gomes feeding Ben Sheaf, with a home defender hacking away the Arsenal loanees low effort.
The ball fell to him from the resulting corner, but his effort from outside the area went over the bar.
But then the second half did not really ignite, with Ludvig Oman threatening from a corner for the home side - though a free-kick was given against the Mariners for attempting to crowd out Lawlor - the only incident of note inside the next 20 minutes.
Reece James cross almost deflected into his home net by a home defender after 75 minutes, but McKeown held firm.
Rovers boss Darren Moore made his first changes after 75 minutes, bringing Alfie May, Will Longbottom, Max Watters and Alex Kiwomya on to replace Sadlier, Marquis, Blair and Gomes.
Kiwomya was right into the thick of the action, almost getting on a Sheaf delivery as he looked to flick the ball past McKeown.
AJ Greaves was also introduced for the final 10 minutes, replacing Crawford, with Danny Amos also coming on alongside a trialists as both starting full-backs sat out the final stages.
The match was decide after 84 minutes when Akeem Rose tried an ambitious effort from the right wing that bounced off the top of the crossbar. It fell to home midfielder Hessenthaler not he edge of the area and he lashed an effort into the top-left corner.

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