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15:00 9th November 2013
By  Sean Leach

A hotly contested derby at Blundell Park finished 0-0, forcing the replay a week on Tuesday.

Neither side were able to take their chances and a place in the second round on the day.

Both teams had worthy chances but dogged defending and some wastefulness prevented the breakthrough goal.

Iron boss Brian Laws made only one change to the eleven that battled to a 1-1 draw at Chesterfield. Dave Syers' loan spell came to an end this week allowing captain Michael Collins to make his return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, out since late August with a knee injury. Laws also retained the 4-4-2 formation that was utilised at the Proact with Jimmy Spencer joining leading-scorer Sam Winnall at the sharp end.

The first five minutes were end to end, spiced up by the lively, derby-day atmosphere. Ross Hannah was quick out of the blocks with the game's first chance. Willing running and anticipation almost saw him beat Slocombe to a through ball after springing clear of the Iron back line. At the other end, Jimmy Spencer bustled his way past centre-half Shaun Pearson, carrying the ball towards the edge of the box in the process into space to strike on goal with the outside of his boot. McKeown saved comfortably, taking the ball into his midriff.

With eleven minutes on the clock, a simple knock-down from John-Lewis was enough to unlock the Iron defence with Ross Hannah waiting in the wings. The nippy striker found himself in behind Mirfin with Slocombe bearing down on him and could only drive against the 'keeper's body.

Minutes later Hannah threatened once more. The former Bradford man swiveled on a loose ball inside the box. The low snapshot was goalbound but for a sliding hook away from Luke Waterfall, behind for the first of two dangerous corners delivered by the home side. Pearson outjumped his man to nod across goal with purpose towards Disley - the man awaiting the second ball at the far post. Cliff Byrne used all his experience to anticipate, reading the danger to intercept then steer the ball clear over the bar.

United dealt with the ball in from the second corner in the first instance but allowed a second to be whipped in. After the melee of the original delivery, the Iron failed to spot the giant frame of Clayton McDonald lurking in the far reaches of the 6-yard box. Time and space to head on goal for a man of his stature looked like a gift. However, his header was tame - looping aimlessly towards goal for Slocombe to palm to safety.

Grimsby's first twenty-five minutes were largely trouble-free - limiting Scunthorpe to very little in terms of a goal threat. Etienne Esajas struck low on his left, requiring a smart fingertip round at his bottom corner from McKeown to prevent the Iron from taking a lead against the run of play. With the personnel the Iron have at their disposal, nicking a goal is something that is never out of the question. Top-scorer Sam
Winnall came within inches of proving this with a strong leap and header after a smart, clipped delivery from Spencer - deep down the Iron right. The former Wolves man couldn't keep his header down after rising well, lucky for McKeown who was scrambling across the face of his goal to get there.

Scunthorpe then worked their way into their strongest spell in the game - conceding only small pockets of possession to the home side. Despite this the Mariners wouldn't be phased, following up to tally up two of their better chances of the first period. Scott Neilson earned a free-kick after a tangle of legs with Byrne on the left flank. Kerr then stepped up, aiming to swing into the corridor of uncertainty between the retreating back-line and Sam Slocombe. Instead, the delivery evaded any kind of touch, calling Slocombe into action, saving smartly down to his left having seen the ball late.

Town were bouyant once more. With five minutes left in the half, the game's best spell of creative football - a snappy one-two between Neilson, who had robbed Byrne, and John-Lewis worked the striker clean through. It was a golden chance for the Mariners to break the deadlock but the forward couldn't convert, ballooning high into the Iron fans behind Slocombe's goal.

The derby fight personified itself with a clash of two determined centre halves at the end of the first period - both Mirfin and Pearson required treatment for clashes that resulted in spilled blood.

United looked to start on the front foot as the second period got underway playing the ball more quickly through midfield - Dawson broke clear down the left after sharp passing play between Collins and McAllister in centre-field. The left back then nipped in ahead of Hatton, into space to pick a man. Spencer was well watched though, preventing him from heading on goal with any real conviction.

Despite the Iron's eagerness, Town wouldn't be outdone. Their pressing play forced Scunthorpe into rushing clearances and losing possession. With ten minutes gone in the second period, McAllister conceded a free-kick in a position ideal for Kerr to deliver. The ball in was good. Slocombe struggled to come through a gaggle of players to try and punch on the penalty spot but couldn't get enough on it. John-Lewis seized his chance to nod back towards goal with Slocombe stranded though only back into that crowd where an Iron boot hacked clear.

The Scunthorpe stopper was called into action again minutes later. Disley slid a ball between Mirfin and Dawson into Ross Hannah, who'd ghosted clear, beating the offside trap. Slocombe shepherded the striker towards the touchline before pinpointing the perfect moment to pounce, poking the ball to safety amidst hopeful shouts for a penalty from the home support.

With half an hour remaining the hosts were really proving a threat, especially down their left. Neilson showed a good turn of pace to knock beyond Cliff Byrne, bursting into the box. His pull-back was right on the spot for John-Lewis who spurned another opportunity deep inside the Iron penalty area.

Two minutes later, Neilson again tricked his way through midfield towards the edge of the 'D' before firing low towards goal. Waterfall put his body on the line, blocking the effort which looped up high into the path of John-Lewis. Finding himself with the ball at his feet in a fantastic position again, the striker this time did find the target. Slocombe wouldn't be beaten easily though. The shot bound for the corner required a strong palm and a long reach to tip away.

The home side had the majority of things their way for a period, but United can usually be counted on to produce under duress. Sam Winnall nodded wide and Deon Burton hooked past the post - two half chances passed up.

In the midst of this strong spell for the hosts, Brian Laws introduced Deon Burton in place of Spencer, shortly followed by Matty Sparrow - replacing Esajas on the right in a bid to alter the run of play in the Iron's favour. Sparrow didn't last long however - his hamstring tightened up forcing Laws into making his third and final change; Ribeiro the man on.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, the home side, through Neilson once more, were persisting in creating a headache for the Iron's defensive unit. The wide man's pace and trickery on the ball as well as an awareness of space around him got the Mariners in behind again. This time he cut back towards an advancing midfielder who then fed John-Lewis at the back stick. The striker wasted another glaring opportunity though and struck wide.

United then took the initiative with ten minutes left to play as some apprehension seemed to creep into Town's play. A good series of short-sharp passes from right to left via Burton and McAllister saw the ball enter Hawkridge's stride. The winger cut inside on his right to deliver an inch-perfect ball for Deon Burton, entering the six-yard box late and free of the attention of any Town defenders. Burton met the ball full-force but steered disappointingly wide from glorious position in front of goal - certainly the Iron's best chance of the afternoon.

Momentum began to build as the Iron took a grip on the game, winning the second balls and garnering much of the possession. The Mariners' defence was called upon to repel a series of corners as well as a free-kick won by Hawkridge after some tricky play from the wide man.

While pushing, United had to be wary of any threat on the break. With 89 minutes showing on the clock, Waterfall was equal to a cross whipped in from the right - bravely beating McDonald and John Lewis with a diving header.

Four minutes were indicated as time added on by the referee's assistant - both sides looked unwilling to accept a draw with both sets of fans pushing their respective sides on. The final real chance of the game fell to Deon Burton following a lucky break inside the box. The former Wednesday man was back to goal and his effort, requiring quick feet and a swivel was cleared before reaching goal with McKeown struggling.

The referee brought the game to a close with a 0-0 draw - a fair result,  leaving a replay on the 19th of November at Glanford Park on the horizon for Brian Laws and his squad.


Grimsby Town:
McKeown, Hatton, Thomas, Kerr, Pearson, Colbeck, Disley, Neilson (Rodman, 83), McDonald, John-Lewis, Hannah (Hearn, 83).

Substitutes not used: Hedge, Doig, Cook, Bignot, McLaughlin.


Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Dawson, Waterfall, Mirfin, Byrne, Esajas (Sparrow, 71) (Ribeiro, 80), Collins, McAllister, Hawkridge, Winnall, Spencer (Burton, 64).

Substitutes not used: Severn, Howe,  Adelakun, Iwelumo.

Attendance: 8,306 (1,736 away).


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.