Date: 4th April 2011 at 6:33pm
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Grimsby Town are now consigned to a second season outside of the Football League after another abject performance, this time at Spytty Park, home to Newport County FC.

The only comfort to be taken from missing out on a play-off position, is that Town have a sufficient number of points to cushion themselves from the relegation places, and so will not have to be looking over their shoulder.

There were no surprises in the Mariners line-up, with the only change being the return of Bryan Hughes in place of the injured Micky Cummings. Again, the joint managers opted to go without a goalkeeper on the bench.

The first half was nothing short of uninspiring. The only plus that could be taken from the scrappy first forty five minutes was that Grimsby had not been totally dominated by the opposition, as had been the case in recent matches.

Scott Garner again showed his co-managers why he should be in their future plans with some assured defending. Newport’s Darryl Knights got past Bradley Wood and threaded the ball through for Steve Lennon, but Garner’s timely tackle prevented a scoring opportunity for the Exiles.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Mariners took the lead. Newport won a free kick in their own half, which keeper Glyn Thompson came out to take. He played it short to full back Andrew Hughes who then seemed to lose concentration as Michael Coulson easily dispossessed him and set off down the right wing. Cutting into the box, and with Rob Duffy and Alan Connell waiting in the centre, Coulson fired low through the legs of Thompson and into the net.

Then followed a period of thirteen minutes in which Town’s keeper, Kenny Arthur, made three schoolboy mistakes. Two of them led to Newport firstly equalising, and then taking the lead.

In the 59th minute Town gave away another needless free kick (one of 16 in the game). The resulting cross was too high for everybody, including Arthur who was left stranded outside the far post. But Gary Warren nodded the ball back into the centre to Knights, and he stabbed it into the net.

Minutes later, Thompson kicked a long clearance towards the Grimsby box. Arthur came just out of his area to clear the danger, but misjudged the bounce and miscued badly. The ball went up and behind him, and Town were rescued by Rob Atkinson who got to it ahead of a Newport player and put it behind for a corner to the hosts.

After 72 minutes Arthur gifted Newport the lead. He came off his line to punch away a routine high ball into Town’s box. Arthur totally missed the ball, which was headed over him and fell nicely for Chris Todd to bundle home.

Grimsby had conceded two dreadful goals, and the introduction of Lee Peacock, and later Serge Makofo, had little impact on their unsatisfactory performance. Although they huffed and puffed, it made little difference in the search for an equaliser, and they did not create any worthwhile chances, and certainly didn’t trouble Thompson in the home goal.

Five yellow cards and sixteen free kicks conceded, are not the type of statistics that will please Grimsby’s new joint managers.

Indeed, Rob Scott and Paul Hurst did not hold back in their post match criticism of the players.

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