Date: 10th April 2011 at 10:37pm
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Grimsby`s joint managers, Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, had an almost full squad to select from, with the suspended Charles Ademeno and the injured Lee Ridley being the only absentees.

Young Dwayne Samuels kept his place at right back, while Darran Kempson was back in central defence after missing three games through both suspension and injury.

Up front, Lee Peacock was selected to partner Alan Connell and so Rob Duffy joined Rob Atkinson among the substitutes. Michael Leary had received medical approval to return to action after his concussion.

The Harriers, unbeaten in thirteen matches, were the first to show. A clever lofted pass found Jack Byrne in space between Town`s centre backs in the first minute. His attempted lob/shot from 20 yards was pushed behind for a corner by Kenny Arthur, who had raced some distance from his line to narrow down Byrne`s angle.

With the Mariners failing to find any rhythm, Kidderminster almost took the lead in the tenth minute. Town`s Connell miscued in midfield as he tried to clear the ball and Chris McPhee was quick to try to capitalise with a half volley from 22 yards. His effort just missed the angle of the post and crossbar.

The visitors continued to enjoy the majority of play. They were working hard for each other, and moving the ball around quickly and effectively.

So it was against the run of play when Grimsby took the lead after 24 minutes. But what a cracking goal it was. Connell, in the inside right channel, received a long ball, controlled it, and laid the ball into the path of Mark Hudson. His left foot rocket dipped perfectly beneath the bar, giving keeper Daniel Lewis no chance at all.

The fact that Kidderminster drew level was not unsurprising given their share of possession and the pressure they were exerting. But it was the manner in which the Mariners conceded that was most frustrating.

In the 32nd minute, Arthur came off his line and should easily have collected a cross from the right. Sadly, he only palmed the ball away, and it was immediately headed back towards the far post. A headed clearance fell kindly to Matty Blair and he volleyed the ball into the net.

Rob Scott, the taller half of Grimsby`s managerial duo, had been fairly animated on the touchline so far, offering plenty of guidance to his team. Then, when a free kick was awarded to the visitors although he deemed it should have been in Town`s favour, he entered a long and heated debate with the fourth official, but no action was taken against him.

The Mariners nearly scored in the 40th minute following a corner taken by Bryan Hughes. The delivery was headed only as far as Michael Coulson and his rasping shot from 15 yards was parried away by keeper Lewis. The second clearance went up in the air, and was met by Scott Garner with an overhead kick from just inside the box. Again Lewis was equal to it, diving low to his left to save inside the post.

The inevitable happened moments later though, when Kidderminster took the lead one minute before half time.

Nick Wright beat off a couple of half hearted Grimsby challenges in midfield before slipping the ball out to Vaughan on the right of the box. His first time cross was met by the unmarked Blair, standing alone six yards out, and he had the simplest of tasks to nod the ball into the net. Once again, Arthur should have come out to gather the cross and so to snuff out the danger at source.

Grimsby had weathered the early storm, and then taken the lead. But once again they were guilty of not being able to protect that lead, and of conceding dreadful goals from a defensive perspective.

Half time : Grimsby 1 Kidderminster 2

Scott and Hurst made one change at the break, with Peter Bore coming on at right back in place of Samuels who had taken a knock.

The half time ‘talk` seemed to have had the right affect, as the Mariners began the second period looking much sharper, more cohesive, and playing with more urgency. Grimsby won an early corner from which Peacock`s header was saved by Lewis at the second attempt.

Some terrific interplay down the left between Bradley Wood and Peacock saw the latter deliver a perfect cross to Leary who was unmarked, 7 yards from goal. But inexplicably, he put his header wide.

The crowd was finally getting stirred by the action, and gave an ironic cheer when Arthur came out and safely caught a cross. The game was now more open, end to end, and the men in black and white were playing their part.

Town`s equaliser came out of the blue in the 55th minute with a piece of individual brilliance. Connell, again with his back to goal, took one touch to a long ball before arrowing an overhead kick into the top right hand corner for a stunning finish – his 25th goal of the season.

The Harriers tried hard to hit back straight away, and Town were now indebted to Arthur when he somehow saved a point blank header from that man Blair.

Grimsby thought they had gone further ahead after probably their best passage of play in the game ended with Wood pulling the ball back to Leary on the edge of the box. Leary`s first time side footer found the back of the net, only to be ruled out, presumably for offside against Peacock.

After Connell put a shot narrowly over the bar, the Mariners contributed to their own downfall yet again.

The Harriers pulled it back to 3-3 when substitute Micky Cummings lost possession deep in the Grimsby Half. The ball was worked quickly to Blair who broke into the box unchallenged and shot into the roof of the net from six yards.

Both sides tried their best to get a winner, giving the crowd an entertaining finale, but it finished with honours even.

Full time : Grimsby 3 – Kidderminster 3

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