Cheltenham Town 2 Grimsby Town 3

Last updated : 28 January 2005 By Footymad Previewer
Visitors Grimsby Town emerged victorious from this battle of two mid-table sides desperately trying to hang on to the coat tails of the play-off pack.

It was an entertaining, though error-strewn game, that could have gone either way although crucially, Grimsby were never behind at any stage.

The Mariners gave their travelling supporters some respite from the club's financial troubles with a hard-working display characterised by some useful front running from Michael Reddy and Martin Gritton.

Grimsby made the better start to the game and took the lead with a bizarre goal after 13 minutes play. Home keeper Shane Higgs rushed out of his area to boot clear a through ball, but got the direction of his kick all wrong.

The ball landed at the feet of Terry Fleming, who returned it with a first time left-foot shot from 35 yards out into an empty net.

That lead lasted four three minutes, however, the home side levelling the scores with a firm header from Steve Guinan following a cross by right-back Jerry Gill.

The home side, enjoying a strong spell midway through the first half, almost grabbed the lead after 21 minutes when on-loan striker Steven Gillespie dispossessed John McDermott and sprinted clear into the penalty area, although Mariners keeper Anthony Williams was out quickly to narrow the angle.

Williams saved his team again three minutes later when another cross from the Cheltenham right, this time from Brian Wilson, was met by a powerful header from Gavin Caines. Williams stretched to finger-tip the effort over the crossbar.

Grimsby hauled themselves back in front after 57 minutes when Gritton played an inch-perfect pass for Reddy to beat Higgs with a low drive from 15 yards.

Robins manager John Ward shook up his side by sending on strikers Damian Spencer and Kayode Odejayi. The tactic appeared to be turning the game in his favour when Spencer's pass set up Guinan for an effort he placed wide, then Martin Devaney levelled the scores once again when his cross from wide on the left evaded everyone and crept inside the far post.

Gillespie almost won the game for Cheltenham when he got through eight minutes from time but placed his shot wide.

The Robins were made to regret that miss three minutes later when Reddy latched on to a pass from Fleming and lifted a perfectly measured chip over the exposed Higgs and into the back of the net.