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Match Reports

Grimsby Town v Notts County

21 January 2017

Grimsby 2-0 Notts

Notts County were beaten 2-0 by Grimsby Town at Blundell Park.

Goals either side of the break from Omar Bogle and Scott Vernon did the damage on a cold January afternoon in Lincolnshire.

Kevin Nolan made no changes to the team that secured a 0-0 draw against Mansfield Town in his first game in charge.

That meant Jonathan Forte and Curtis Thompson continued out wide, while Thierry Audel partnered Richard Duffy in central defence.

It was an even start to the match with Notts edging the early exchanges. Skipper Michael O'Connor saw a 25-yard effort blocked before Thompson's dangerous cross whipped straight over everyone and into Dean Henderson's grateful grasp.

But, on 27 minutes, the hosts took the lead with their first real opening of the match. Jamey Osborne capitalised on Matt Tootle's failed clearance, cutting the ball back into the penalty area for Bogle to sweep it past Adam Collin.

Forte hit the post with an overhit cross as Notts sought an equaliser, before Bogle's 30-yard free-kick skidded low through a packed penalty area and was dealt with by Collin.

Bogle showed his threat again as half-time neared, firing the ball over the bar from a tight angle after Vernon's neat through ball. Notts' O'Connor was then booked for a foul in the build up.

And 1-0 was how it stayed as the teams retreated to the changing rooms.

Nolan made one change at the break, sending young winger Sam Osborne on for Rob Millsom.

The Magpies' first opening of the second half fell to Jon Stead, who twisted and turned in a crowded penalty area before seeing his shot diverted behind by a defender.

Grimsby's response came from Bogle, who struck the ball high and wide from distance shortly before Danny Andrew's strike took a nick off a Notts man on its way over the bar.

Notts nearly had a goal from an unlikely source in Richard Duffy shortly afterwards. O'Connor's half-cleared corner fell to Osborne, who volleyed the ball beautifully back to the skipper. The Northern Irishman glided it to the back post, dropping it just beyond a crowd of bodies where Duffy stooped to meet it. He could only nod wide.

Both sides were sturggling to test each other's goalkeeper and on 68 minutes another shot flashed wide as Grimsby's Osborne tried his luck from 25 yards.

But the hosts were then presented with a golden opportunity when Duffy failed to clear and Bogle pounced on the edge of the area. Collin made a strong save down to his right and was able to smother on the rebound.

Nolan sent on another academy graduate shortly afterwards as Forte made way for Montel Gibson, but it was the Mariners who would next go close as Collin was forced to make an excellent save to deny Mills. The keeper dived to his left to turn the Grimsby man's piledriver away.

But Collin was beaten again on 82 minutes when, after Bogle's goalbound shot had been blocked, Vernon was first on the scene to drill the ball home from close range.

Aborah replaced Adam Campbell in Nolan's final change and the midfielder gave Notts a glimmer of hope when he won a free-kick on the edge of the area. The substitute took it himself, curling the ball towards the top corner only to be denied by a superb Henderson save.

Five minutes were added at the end of the match, in the first of which Ben Davis turned the ball over the bar on the stretch as the hosts looked to put the game out of sight.

But they weren't made to rue that missed opportunity as Notts were unable to claw the game back.

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