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Grimsby Town 0-0 Colchester United

U's held to goalless draw at Blundell Park

13 March 2021

Try as they might, Colchester United were unable to break down a stubborn Grimsby Town side who remain rooted to the foot of the table despite picking up a point at Blundell Park.

Without just one real chance in the first half spurned by Lenell John-Lewis for the home side, the U's had much the better of the second half play and were unlucky not to take all three points from the Mariners. 

Harry Pell tried his luck on a number of occasions, testing McKeown with Harriott's goalbound effort cleared off the line by an outsretched leg. 

But unfortunately, the U's were unable to break the deadlock and had to settle for a point. 

Wayne Brown made five changes from the side that fell to defeat at Harrogate Town in the week. 

Frank Nouble, Jevani Brown, Paris Cowan-Hall, Miles Welch-Hayes and Harry Pell came into the squad, with Omar Sowunmi, Michael Folivi, Rem Oteh, Junior Tchamadeu and Noah Chilvers left out of the starting eleven. 

As the game kicked off the rain started lashing down at Blundell Park with the wind whipping around the stadium on a cold March evening. 

And with the adverse weather conditions, both sides found it hard to get any real time on the ball. But as the sun came out with ten minutes played, Wayne Brown's side were able to get the ball down and play on the ground more. 

But it was the Mariners who were the first to have an effort on goal. From a counter attack, Filipe Morais won a free kick on the edge of the U's area but was unable to beat the wall with the follow-up fired wide of George's goal. 

The U's first chances of the game came from a corner on the right hand side, with Harriott whipping the ball in. It was partially cleared to Wiredu, with the midfielder looking to steer the ball into the bottom corner, although an outstretched Mariners leg prevented it. Pell's effort was collected by McKeown as the danger subsided. 

Grimsby Town were lucky not to be reduced to ten men midway through the first half, when Jay Matete put in a horrible challenge on Ryan Clampin. The U's full back had already cleared the ball when Matete came flying in, with the officials deciding the challenge was only worthy of a yellow card. 

In a half of few chances, each opportunity was valuable, but Paul Hurst's Grimsby side spurned a couple of good ones before the break. 

Both fell to Lenell John-Lewis with the first the more difficult. From the wide right, John-Lewis' effort was drilled wide of George's post. The second came just before the half time whistle, with Hanson cutting the ball across, and from all of two yards out, the Grimsby man managed to strike the bar. 

It meant that the two sides would head to the dressing rooms goalless with the second half to come. 

The U's came out in the second half looking for the opener. Driving forward in the opening few moments, they had a handful of chances with efforts on goal from Pell and Harriott. 

The first of Pell's shots came after good work from Harriott on the left wing, who cut the ball across to Wiredu, who set Pell on the edge of the area. But the U's captain was unable to keep his effort down as the ball flew just over the bar. 

Harry Pell had the next chance of the game, this time working McKeown in the home goal. Once again arriving on the edge of the area, his driven effort was straight at the Grimsby 'keeper who was able to tip the ball over the bar. 

And from the resulting corner, Callum Harriott went close to opening the scoring. After receiving the ball on the right flank, he cut back and curled an effort with his left foot, only to see it blocked around the post by a Mariners foot with the ball heading for the bottom corner. 

The U's captain was again looking to open the scoring from the edge of the area, this time arriving to meet the ball with a volley, but he was unable to keep the ball down as the effort flew over. 

But that was the last chance of the game for both sides. There was a lot of running in the middle of the park, but misplaced balls meant that no one was able to create a  shooting opportunity as the time ran out and both sides took a point from the game. 

It means that Colchester United remain in twenteith position, and add a point to their tally that now stands at thirty-seven. 

The U's next opponents Salford City, today won the Papa John's Trophy final at Wembley, beating League One Portsmouth on penalties in the rescheduled 2020 final. 

Grimsby Town starting XI: McKeown, Hendrie, Hewitt, Menayese, Clifton, Morais (Jackson Jnr 81'), Matete, Coke, Lamy (Adams 73'), Hanson, John-Lewis (Payne 67'). 

Unused subs: Battersby, Waterfall, Green, Rose. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Welch-Hayes, Smith, Pell, Brown, Harriott, Cowan-Hall (Chilvers 87'), Eastman, Clampin, Sarpong-Wiredu, Nouble (Oteh 87'). 

Unused subs: Coulter, Senior, Stevenson, Cracknell, Tchamadeu. 


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