Pools Fall To Grimsby Defeat
Craig Hignett's side suffered a frustrating defeat in their first game of 2017 at the Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
Pools dominated possession for much of the game this afternoon but were left frustrated as they failed to break the visitors down.
And, with Grimsby getting their goal in the second half, Hignett's men could find no reply and the game finished in defeat.
The game started at real pace, with both teams putting on an entertaining first-half display.
Pools had the best of the early action, with Sean Kavanagh getting involved straight away on his debut for the Club. The left wing-back whipped a teasing ball across the six-yard box which interested Billy Paynter. The striker threw himself full-stretch at the ball but could only watch as it scraped past his foot and out of play.
The action was spurred on by a lively atmosphere, with almost 1000 Grimsby Town fans packed into the Smith and Graham Stand this afternoon.
Michael Woods had the next chance for Pools, firing in a shot from distance which took a deflection as it went over the bar, winning his side their first corner of the game.
When the corner arrived into the box, it looked to take a touch off the hand of Town striker Omar Bogle but, despite strong calls from the home side, the referee and his assistant showed no interest.
Pools passed it about nicely during their early spell on top, showing some of the slick moves that saw their take a 3-0 lead in the last home game with Morecambe.
Grimsby Town though posed a bigger threat at the other end in the first forty-five and their new signing Adi Yussuf proved a handful, winning himself a dangerous freekick on the edge of the box – which Bogle smashed straight into the Pools wall.
Adam Bartlett made a good save from a close-range header following a Grimsby corner as the visitors upped their own pressure on goal.
And then Pools were back up the other end of the field with a great chance as the ball fell kindly for Amond with only Dean Henderson to beat; the Pools striker fired a well-taken volleyed effort at goal but the Grimsby keeper reacted well with a good save to his right.
The game was flowing from end to end at this point and Yussuf was proving a handful at the other end as he battled with Scott Harrison inside the box, before Matthew Bates got in to block out for a corner.
Grimsby took the lead on 34 minutes and it came as no surprise that it was the lively Yussuf who got the goal; Pools were caught out by a ball over to the big striker and, with only Bartlett to beat, he fired into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
Bartlett and Amond then combined to keep Bogle out with another headed effort from a corner, with the ball cleared off the line between them.
Pools had a second late call for handball as once again Bogle looked to handle inside the box but again, the officials showed no interest and there was no punishment.
Billy Paynter went closest to pulling Pools level just before half time with a volleyed effort but he saw the ball go just over the bar and Grimsby took their lead into the second half.
Hignett’s side came out very brightly and played their preferred style of passing football, putting some good moves together as they went in search of an early equaliser.
Nicky Featherstone laid the ball into the path of Lewis Hawkins who ran into the box and smashed a low drive at goal – winning a corner as the ball deflected out.
Kavanagh went desperately close with an ambitious strike from far left; his curling effort had Henderson beat but was headed off the line by Ben Davies.
With twenty minutes of the second half gone, Pools had been well on top but could not find their way past Henderson, who was particularly strong in the air. The Grimsby keeper collected almost every cross sent into the box by Pools, dominating his area.
And Grimsby’s back four were just as strong in front of him, making it very difficult for Pools to get through on goal despite seeing more of the ball the home side were left frustrated.
Attendance: 4388 (975 Grimsby Town)
Booked: Featherstone (74)
Pools: Bartlett, Richards (Oates 80), Harrison, Bates, Donnelly, Kavanagh, Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins, Paynter (Alessandra 71), Amond.
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Carroll, Walker, Laurent, Deverdics.
Grimsby Town: Henderson, Davies, Andrew, Pearson, Disley, Bogle, Mills, Boyce, Collins, Comley, Yussuf (Vose 78).
Subs Not Used: McKeown, Jackson, Venney, Bolarinwa, Vernon, Jones.