- Sam Jones misses second half penalty for the hosts
- Dennon Lewis and Enzio Boldewijn have great chances to get on scoresheet
- Reds pick up seven points out of a possible last nine on the road in the league
The Reds earned themselves a hard-fought point at Blundell Park on Saturday afternoon as Harry Kewell's men played out a 0-0 draw with Grimsby Town. Dennon Lewis and Enzio Boldewijn went closest for the visitors whilst Sam Jones missed a second half penalty, to mean it ended honours even in the north-east.
Harry Kewell made three changes to the side who defeated Morecambe seven days earlier. Joe McNerney, Dennon Lewis and Ibrahim Meite were all given starts in the side, whilst Lewis Young and Moussa Sanoh missed out through injury.
Jordan Roberts served a one game suspension following his yellow card at the Globe Arena, and there was a space on the bench for central defender Nathan Okoye who had been training with the first team following time with the U23 side as the Reds opted to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation at Blundell Park.
A cagey opening…
Chances were at a premium for both sides in the opening half an hour of the contest. Dennon Lewis fashioned the first opportunity for the Reds when he was well found by Billy Clifford on the turn. The Watford loanee cut inside well and let fly but his effort was narrowly wide of the near post with just two minutes gone.
Joe McNerney also headed Clifford’s free-kick into the hands of James McKeown in the home goal ten minutes later – with the hosts having a couple of corners but nothing much else to write home about in the opening 30 minutes.
Sloppy from the spot…
Sam Jones had a golden opportunity to give the Mariners the lead 12 minutes after the restart when he was brought down by Mark Connolly. But the side’s top scorer dragged his effort from the penalty spot well wide and give Harry Kewell’s men a let off.
A livelier second…
The game opened up after the missed spot-kick and in the final half an hour. Lewis met Cedriv Evina’s dangerous cross from the right-hand side and flicked the ball narrowly wide of the far post before Panutche Camara was then introduced in place of Billy Clifford - and the striker was involved straight away. He shot towards goal and when his effort bounced back off the home defence Dannie Bulman’s volley was saved.
Enzio Boldewijn then went agonisingly close to giving Kewell’s men the lead when he turned and shot at the near post following a free-kick – but the Dutchman’s effort was saved at point blank range by McKeown and it somehow stayed out.
Level pegging until the end…
Despite both side’s best efforts the game ended all square. It means Harry Kewell’s men have claimed seven points out of a possible last nine on the road in the league heading into consecutive home games against Chesterfield and Luton Town.
Reds: Morris; Lelan, Connolly, McNerney, Evina; Smith ©, Bulman; Lewis, Clifford (Camara 61), Boldewijn; Meite (Tajbakhsh 74).
Subs not used: Mersin (GK), Doherty, Payne, Djalo, Okoye.
Attendance: 4,007 (70 away fans)