The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Liam Wood

THE two man­agers failed to see eye-to-eye on a de­ci­sion that set Coven­try City on their way to vic­tory over Grimsby Town.

Marc McNulty put the Sky Blues ahead with some quick-think­ing be­fore Jack Grim­mer made it two with a header from a cor­ner.

But it was the Coven­try opener that was clouded in con­tro­versy, with ref­eree Richard Clark al­low­ing it to stand amid heated com­plaints from Grimsby.

Ac­cord­ing to the home side, skip­per Nathan Clarke had yet to cor­rectly take a free-kick he had won, but the Sky Blues thought oth­er­wise – as did McNulty as he nipped in to steal Clarke’s at­tempted pass back to goal­keeper James McKe­own, who he rounded be­fore slot­ting home.

Coven­try boss Mark Robins said: “Marc was brighter than any­one else on the pitch and that is what we want.

“There was a furore around the goal but what we saw was Nathan Clarke put his hand on the ball, and that deemed it as though he has taken the free-kick.

“Grimsby were in­censed by it but we didn’t see what was wrong with the goal.

“You could sense a goal com­ing and it was a re­lief when it came.

“We grew into the game and per­haps could have scored twice be­fore the goal. We might have also had a penalty when Jodi (Jones) went down.”

How­ever, Grimsby boss Rus­sell Slade wasn’t pleased with the man­ner of the goal.

“We re­ceived a free-kick in­side our half,” he said.

“Clearly, from a pro­fes­sional or a fair-play point of view, all Clarkey was do­ing was pass­ing it back to our goal­keeper James McKe­own to take it.

“The ref­eree hadn’t blown the whis­tle. I’m not sure he has to but cer­tainly, I think there should be a lit­tle bit of com­mon sense used.

“It is what it is. Th­ese things hap­pen and we’ve made a mis­take.

“From here on is a learn­ing curve for us on where we need to be bet­ter in terms of get­ting back on the front foot.”

Once the ac­tion be­gan, only Sam Jones threat­ened for the hosts as notable chances were few and far be­tween in the open­ing stages.

He poked wide fol­low­ing a trade­mark run from Siriki Dem­bele and it was af­ter the break that the ac­tion started to un­fold. Jones blazed over, again, and just a few min­utes later, McNulty stole a march to put Coven­try in the driv­ing seat. Grim­mer dou­bled that lead with a fine header from a cor­ner, and while new sign­ing JJ Hooper was sum­moned from the bench, Grimsby failed to find a way back. To make mat­ters worse, Mariners mid­fielder James Ber­rett picked up a sec­ond yel­low card for a foul on Liam Kelly at the death. GRIMSBY TOWN: (4-2-3-1): McKe­own 6, Davies 6, Clarke 6, Collins 7, Dixon 6, Rose 6, Sum­mer­field 6 (Jaiyes­imi 72 6), Jones 6, Ber­rett 5, Dem­bele 7 (Bo­lar­inwa 82 6), Card­well 5 (Hooper 67 6). Subs not used: Kil­lip, Kee­ble, Os­borne, McAl­lis­ter COVEN­TRY CITY: (4-4-1-1): O’Brien 6, Grim­mer 7, Wil­lis 7 (Hyam 73 6), McDon­ald 7, Stokes 6, Vin­centi 6, Kelly 6, Doyle 7, Jones 7 (Na­zon 87 NA), McNulty 7, Beavon 6 (An­dreu 79 6). Subs not used: Bi­amou, Pear­son, Charles-Cook, Steven­son

PARTY TIME: Coven­try cel­e­brate go­ing 2-0 up with their fan­sBuck­ley/AHPIX PIC­TURES: Steve

AWAY! Grimsby’s James McKe­own punches clear


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