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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Grimsby Town 2

10 April 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Grimsby Town 2

10 April 2023

Rovers suffered a double late suckerpunch to fall to defeat to Grimsby Town in Sky Bet League Two.

Leading until the 85th minute courtesy of a brilliant Aidan Barlow strike, Rovers saw the advantage wrestled away with Niall Maher and substitute George Lloyd netting for the visitors.

Rovers had been worthy of their lead at the break following a positive first half performance and defended resolutely for the much of the second period. But they could not stop the momentum Grimsby built, particularly after Maher bundled home from close range with five minutes of the 90 remaining.

Danny Schofield made two changes to the side that started the clash with Gillingham three days earlier as Kieran Agard and James Brown were given the nod.

Agard produced the game’s first effort as he showed great control to bring down the ball and work space for a shot, drawing a save from Max Crocombe in the Grimsby goal.

Mariners top scorer Harry Clifton tried his range from distance but fired high and wide.

Agard was the livewire for Rovers in attack as he succeeded in making quick balls over the top stick and crafting opportunities.

The opening goal came through a quick piece of thinking from Barlow. Zain Westbrooke flicked on a quick throw from Luke Molyneux and Barlow took possession across the face of the box before curling into the far top corner.

Jonathan Mitchell was called into action for the first time as he tipped over a cross from Kieran Green which threatened to sneak under the bar.

Rovers continued to have the better in attacking terms and Ben Close went close to extending the advantage. He worked space 20 yards out and cracked a shot off the crossbar.

Westbrooke almost delivered a moment of real magic in the final minute of the half. He got to the ball ahead of Crocombe, who had raced out of his box to the touchline, and sent an audacious low effort with the outside of his boot that only just failed to curl in at the far post from a ridiculously tight angle.

There was a lengthy break in play just after the restart as Ben Nelson suffered a bad fall from an aerial challenge which resulted in him being stretchered off the pitch.

Tommy Rowe could not bring the ball under control after being played in by Barlow as Rovers went back on the front foot.

But the visitors would enjoy the better of the attacking play for much of the remaining time.

Mitchell held a deflected shot from Bryn Morris well before tipping over Anthony Glennon’s free kick from the edge of the box.

James Brown sliced a shot over the bar after a good breakaway down the right.

But it was Grimsby who found the next goal on 85 minutes. Mitchell failed to connect with a punch at the near post from a corner, sparking a goalmouth scramble which saw Maher force the ball home.

Bobby Faulkner headed over the bar from a corner before Barlow had a glorious opportunity to put Rovers back in front but sent the ball over the bar from ten yards out.

Substitute Lloyd struck the outside of the post for Grimsby as the game moved into nine minutes of added time.

And it was after six of those that the visitors snatched the winner. Mitchell made the save from Danilo Orsi but pushed the ball into the path of Lloyd, who slotted in from close range.

Rovers: Mitchell, Faulkner, Nelson (Williams 54), Long, Brown, Close, Rowe, Molyneux, Westbrooke (Hurst 90), Barlow (Goodman 90), Agard. Subs not used: Bottomley, Ravenhill, Seaman, Miller.

Grimsby: Crocombe, Smith, Waterfall (Khan 46), Maher, Emmanuel, Green, Morris, Clifton, Glennon, Taylor (Lloyd 84), McAtee (Orsi 84). Subs not used: Efete, Hunt, Gallacher, Khouri.

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