MORECAMBE 1 (Mullin) GRIMSBY TOWN 1 (Coulson)
DATE: Saturday 13th March 2010 | COMPETITION: Coca-Cola League Two | VENUE: Christie Park | ATT: 1882
A second half strike from on-loan wideman Michael Coulson earned Neil Woods’ injury-hit Mariners’ side a valuable point on the road at Play Off chasing Morecambe.
Town were on the back foot for much of the game but Coulson popped up before the hour mark to level matters and ensure Grimsby returned east with a point in the bag.
Woods was forced into several changes from the side that had been defeated 4-2 at Crewe in the preceding week. The continued absence of Olly Lancashire saw Paul Linwood deputising at the back. Lee Peacock dropped into midfield in place of Peter Sweeney and Michael Leary, who replaced the injured Dean Sinclair, partnered him. Tommy Wright came back into the starting XI up front and Nick Hegarty made a return from injury on the left in place of Jamie Devitt.
Coulson forged the first opening of the game with a deflected effort from out wide that big stopper Barry Roche did well to get down to. For the remainder of the half it was all about the hosts though.
Nick Colgan had to be at his absolute best to keep out a close-range header from dangerman Mullin before a fantastic finger-tip save from Laurence Wilson’s 35-yard volley.
The Irish stopper had no answer to Mullin on 41 minutes as the former Accrington man plundered his customary strike against the Mariners. A deep cross from the right found the big striker unmarked at the far post and he bundled a header over the line despite protests from the Mariners’ Wright. Town were then dealt a further blow when Peacock hobbled out of play to be replaced by Mark Hudson.
Despite absorbing tremendous pressure, the Mariners had a golden opportunity to level just before the interval. Peacock’s cross from the right saw Wright and ‘keeper Roche collide. Hegarty kept the move going and laid the ball for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro with the goal at his mercy but he inexplicably scooped the ball over the crossbar.
The Shrimps were on top of the game after the break as well and Mullin came close to doubling his tally when he thundered a header off the crossbar.
Against the run of play the Mariners equalised in the 59th-minute. Substitute Adam Proudlock played in Joe Widdowson on the left with a neat back-heel and the former West Ham youngster advanced to pull the ball back for Coulson to slot between the legs of Roche from eight yards.
Both sides went in search of a winner with Colgan again denying Mullin before a low effort from Wright was well held by Roche.
MORECAMBE: Roche; Haining, Parrish, Bentley, Wilson; Panther (Stanley), Drummond, Hackney (Wainwright), Duffy; Jevons (Curtis), Mullin. Subs not used: Moss, Artell, Davies, Hunter.
TOWN: Colgan; Bore, Widdowson, Linwood, Atkinson; Coulson, Leary, Peacock (Hudson), Hegarty (Proudlock); Wright, Akpa Akpro. Subs not used: Stockdale, Jarman, Chambers, Oxley, Bird.