After a poor run of form, Rovers needed to win. Hopes weren’t high, but they had the first chance; Kieran Agard controlling and firing, but Max Crocombe saved.
Soon afterwards Luke Waterfall went into the book after a poor tackle on Agard, and it was obvious Grimsby were up for the fight. As time ticked on, neither side dominated. There wasn’t anywhere near as much passing out from the back as Rovers fans have become used to watching.
The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes. A beautiful curling shot on goal from 20 yards by Aidan Barlow, sailing into the top corner, reminding Rovers fans what it felt like to be ahead! A few moments later Barlow was flattened by Andy Smith – another Grimsby player booked.
Rovers’ confidence may’ve been up, but shortly after the break a nasty landing for Ben Nelson meant he had to be stretchered off on a spinal board. This clearly affected his teammates, because they fell back into old habits – sitting back ‘defending’, as Grimsby got dirtier.
On 84 minutes, Grimsby took their chance. A missed Jonathan Mitchell punch, some confusion, and Niall Maher was celebrating his equaliser.
A sucker-punch followed in injury-time. On 96 minutes George Lloyd took advantage of another poor parry to slam the ball home, ending Grimsby’s worst run this season, and giving his team their first win in Doncaster for 34 years.
Grimsby may be the Mariners but, for the second half at least, Rovers were the ones at sea.
by Katy Bateman