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Saturday, 19 January, 2002, 18:15 GMT
Crewe 2-0 Grimsby
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Crewe inflicted a damaging defeat on Nationwide Division One relegation rivals Grimsby to ease themselves away from the drop zone.

Goals from Geoff Thomas and Shaun Smith condemned the second-bottom Mariners to a first league defeat under player-manager Paul Groves.

It completed a miserable week for the visitors after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by crisis club York in midweek.

Efe Sodje should have given Crewe an early lead when he failed to direct his header properly from a Smith cross.

But the home side were quick to make amends, midfielder David Vaughan squaring for Thomas to tap home from close range.

Grimsby had to wait 22 minutes for an attempt on goal, but Phil Jevons' shot lacked the power to trouble Crewe goalkeeper Ademole Bankole.

Groves then gave Crewe a telling advantage when he jumped with Dean Ashton in an attempt to head Vaughan's cross, but succeeded only in handling.

Groves was booked, and Smith added to his misery by converting the 24th-minute spot-kick.

Lack of confidence

Crewe continued to create the better chances during the remainder of the first half but were let down by their final pass on several occasions.

Grimsby struggled to get new loan striker Robert Taylor involved in the game, and their play was characterised by a general lack of confidence.

Groves came close to atoning for his earlier error three minutes into the second half.

Substitute Michael Boulding crossed from the left, and the player-manager's firm header had to be tipped over by Bankole.

Both sides hit the woodwork in the space of 60 seconds just before the hour mark.

Jevons was unlucky to see an overhead kick rebound off the bar, while Rodney Jack struck the post after racing through down the middle.

Neil Sorvel was then denied by a superb reflex save from Danny Coyne after being teed up by Kenny Lunt.

Crewe could have added another late on, but Ashton was twice guilty of missing clear-cut chances.


Crewe: Bankole, Wright, Foster, Sodje, Smith, Sorvel, Brammer, Lunt, Rix, Hulse, Jack.
Subs: Tomlinson, Thomas, Ashton, Little, Walker.

Sheff Wed: Pressman, Geary, Westwood, Bromby, Broomes, Hamshaw, McLaren, Haslam, Quinn, Ekoku, Sibon.
Subs: Bonvin, Stringer, Crane, O'Donnell, Maddix.

Referee: G Laws (Whitley Bay)

Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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