Grimsby Town 0 Newport County 1 (Miller (og))
Wednesday 24 April 2013 | Football Conference Play-Off Semi Final First Leg | Blundell Park | 5,414
It was advantage Newport after a late own goal by Mariners’ defender Ian Miller in this Conference Play-Off Semi Final First Leg at Blundell Park.
The two teams had played each other in the final league game of the season in Cleethorpes, the Mariners running out 3-0 winners, but County were much changed for this game.
There was the surprise inclusion of Liam Hearn from the start for Grimsby, the striker having been ruled out for most of the season through injury.
The former Alfreton man had the first effort on goal in the game but Lenny Pidgeley was equal to his header.
It was a tense night at Blundell Park and there were few chances in the opening 45 minutes, David Pipe volleying over when well-placed for the visitors.
Pidgeley went from villain to hero in one move on the stroke of half-time. The County stopper spilled Jamie Devitt’s shot but reacted brilliantly on the rebound to deny Aswad Thomas.
The game opened up in the second period. Devitt fired over from distance before Andy Sandell saw a goal chalked off for a foul on Miller.
Cleveland Taylor fired over the bar when well-placed, following good work by Thomas and then Craig Disley hit the post with a header in a frantic period.
Hearn similarly blazed over from six yards after a knockdown by Andy Cook and it looked like the match would end in a stalemate.
But the visitors had other ideas and in the last minute of the game they snatched victory. Robbie Willmott swung in a free kick from the right that was met by Ismail Yakubu and his header glanced off Miller and into the goal beyond James McKeown.
Mariners: McKeown; Hatton, Miller, Pearson, Thomas; Taylor (Marshall), Naylor, Disley, Devitt (Thanoj); Hearn, Cook. Subs not used: Wood, Southwell, Hannah.
Exiles: Pidgeley; Pipe, James, Yakubu, Anthony, Sandell; Minshull, Flynn, Gilbey (Donnelly); Jolley (Wilmott), Crow (Washington). Subs not used: Julian, Hughes.