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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:56 GMT
Grimsby 2-0 Stoke
Goals from Michael Boulding and Christopher Thompson gave Grimsby three vital points to leapfrog their opponents out of the First Division relegation zone.

Both teams were level on points before the game but Grimsby found themselves in the bottom three on goal difference.

But despite a spirited second-half display by Stoke, Grimsby hauled themselves out of the bottom three and are now three points clear of Tony Pulis' side.

Grimsby made an impressive start to the game and in the opening 20 minutes showed they had the greater desire for the three points.

They got the perfect boost taking the lead after just four minutes when Boulding headed home Alan Pouton's cross.

Moments later Steve Banks thwarted the Mariners when he fumbled away a 25-yard shot from Tony Gallimore and then saved John McDermott's right-footed effort.

Stoke managed to mount their first attack after 20 minutes only to see Danny Coyne deal easily with Frazer Richardson's curling effort.

Tempers flared ten minutes before the break when Mariners assistant manager Graham Rodger was shown the red card on the touchline.

He protested after only a yellow card was shown to Stoke's Wayne Thomas following a foul on Thompson.

But Grimsby responded in the best way possible when Thompson increased their lead with a beautifully-taken shot from 18 yards.

Boulding continued to look lively in the second half and had a hatful of chances to increase Grimsby's lead and his own goal total only to be stopped by Banks and Sergey Shtanuk.

But Stoke continued to create opportunities with Richardson, Chris Iwelumo and Brynjar Gunnarsson all going close but to no avail.

Worse was to follow for the visitors when Shtanuk was dismissed in injury time for a professional foul on David Soames.


Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Santos, Ford, Gallimore, Cooke, Pouton, Groves, Campbell, Thompson, Boulding. Subs: Allaway, Barnard, Bolder, Rowan, Soames.

Stoke: Banks, Thomas, Handyside, Shtanuk, Marcus Hall, Richardson, Gunnarsson, O'Connor, Hoekstra, Mills, Iwelumo. Subs: Cutler, Greenacre, Gudjonsson, Neal, Marteinsson.

Referee: C Wilkes (Gloucestershire)

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BBC Radio Stoke's Phil Bowers
"This was the worst possible outcome for Stoke"
Stoke City manager Tony Pullis
"I'm bitterly disappointed"

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