Date: 6th January 2018 at 5:34pm
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Morecambe crossed from the western coast of England to the eastern one at Cleethorpes today to face Grimsby town at Blundell Park for the second time since the Mariners re-gained their League Two status last season. They lost that game – the first of the campaign – but since that time, their record against the Lincolnshire club has been absolutely even. They won the reverse fixture at the Globe Arena last season but drew their latest contest at the same venue last October. Russell Slade`s team started today`s contest fourteenth in the division on the back of a fairly inauspicious league record so far. They lost their opening game of this year 2-0 at Crewe to ease Dave Artell`s worries in his quest to emulate former team mate Jim Bentley and avoid relegation for his club this term. Having said that, the Mariners started today`s contest a relatively comfortable nine points ahead of their opponents.

The first half was little to write home about in terms of excitement or opening, attacking football.
Luke Summerfield had the first attempt on goal for the hosts after eight minutes but his shot was way off target. Kevin Ellison gave the Shrimps the start they were praying for, however, when he scored for the second game in a row. After just ten minutes, he headed Luke Conlan`s hopeful cross past debutant Sheffield Wednesday loanee goalkeeper Jake Kean to put the Shrimps one goal to the good. The visitors could have gone further ahead six minutes later when Vadaine Oliver found himself in a good position in front of goal but shot straight at Kean who saved relatively easily. It was a measure of how poor Grimsby`s performance during the first half was that Barry Roche in the visitors` net didn`t have a single effort to deal with throughout it. With forty-one minutes on the clock, Ellison almost scored again, looping a header from a corner kick against the bar only for a perfectly-placed Steven Old to sweep the ball home from all of six yards out. So the Shrimps went in good value for a deserved lead and a potentially priceless three points at half time.

Whatever storm from the Humber adjacent to the ground or from the Mariners on the pitch which Morecambe might have expected to have to weather failed to materialise as the second half began. Although Aaron McGowan was forced to clear a header off the line early doors, the only other serious effort the home team were able to fashion at any time was after 68 minutes. Roche was finally forced into action at this point in the game when Jamille Matt cushioned the ball for Siriki Dembele and Baz did really well to turn the resultant shot away for a corner low to his right. This was virtually the sum of Grimsby`s efforts all afternoon.

In the interim, Michael Rose had Morecambe`s first decent attempt of the re-start, just missing the frame of the goal with a belter from a free kick after 57 minutes. Oliver then received the ball on the half way line, turned his marker brilliantly and bore down on goal only for Kean to deny him with an excellent save from his thunderous strike after 64 minutes. The visitors came even closer three minutes later when Michael Rose`s quick free kick led to clever interpassing on the Morecambe left involving Luke Conlan, substitute Aaron Wildig and then Rose again. This finished as another attempt by Ellison was desperately hoofed off the line. Kev then played Oliver in and the Shrimps` centre forward was again denied by a tremendous save from Kean.

So the match ended with a dominant display from the visitors and the precious three points in the bank. With Barnet not in action today, Forest Green winning at home and Chesterfield being hammered 4-0 at Accrington, it was All Change again at the bottom of League Two. FGR have escaped the clutches of the relegation positions, Barnet stay bottom but the Spireites are in the worst trouble of all, being just one point above the Bees but having played a game more than all the clubs directly around them. Jim Bentley understandably announced himself delighted with the result after a game which saw them move above Yeovil into twentieth position tonight and said `we are looking OK` at this juncture at least. He will undoubtedly breathe a little easier now that his team has a seven point cushion over the second bottom club.

Grimsby Town: 33 Jake Kean; 12 Zak Mills; 5 Nathan Clarke (C); 6 Danny Collins; 2 Ben Davies; 27 Siriki Dembele; 8 Mitch Rose (20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 83 mins); 19 Luke Summerfield (Y); 25 Martyn Woolford; 10 Sam Jones (9 JJ Hooper 61 mins); 29 Jamille Matt (21 Scott Vernon 76 mins).

Subs not used: 30 Ben Killip; 14 Karleigh Osborne; 3 Paul Dixon; 7 James Berrett.

Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 16 Sam Lavelle (Y); 2 Aaron McGowan; 5 Steven Old; 22 Max Muller;
4 Alex Kenyon (Y); 24 Michael Rose (C); 11 Kevin Ellison (7 Garry Thompson 90 mins); 29 Callum Lang (15 Aaron Wildig 61 mins); 14 Luke Conlan; 9 Vadaine Oliver.

Subs not used: 20 Niall Maher; 3 Patrick Brough; 10 Adam Campbell; 17 Mitchell Lund; 28 Adam McGurk.
Ref: Anthony Backhouse.