Grimsby Town 2 Colchester United 2, match report: U's denied an away win by a late penalty
PUBLISHED: 21:45 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 22:37 26 September 2017
Grimsby Town 2 Colchester United 2
Kyel Reid’s sweet brace earned Colchester United their first away point of the season, although they were denied victory by an 89th penalty from Grimsby substitute Sam Jones at a misty Blundell Park tonight.
Reid broke the deadlock in the fifth minute, and although JJ Hooper equalised for hosts Grimsby Town just two minutes later, winger Reid struck again with a superb second to put the U’s 2-1 up in the 59th minute.
After four straight away defeats at the start of this season, at Accrington Stanley, Luton, Cambridge and Cheltenham, it finally looked as though the U’s had come good on the road, with what would have been only their second away win of 2017, following their success at Leyton Orient in late April.
But the U’s conceded a late penalty, with substitute Jamille Matt dragged down in the box, and Jones swept home the spot kick.
The evening was slightly marred by an injury to substitute Sammie Szmodics, who was stretchered off with a leg injury.
Reid took just five minutes to break the deadlock, thanks in part to a terrible error by Mariners keeper James McKeown.
Brandan Hanlan earned a corner, when his angled effort was palmed to safety. Reid’s initial cross-cum-shot, from the corner routine, was blocked, but the ball rolled back to him.
The Coventry loanee made room for himself on the edge of the penalty area before trying his luck with a hopeful left-footed shot which flew through a crowded box and completely bemused keeper McKeown. The ball rolled under the keeper’s body and into a gaping net.
It was left-winger Reid’s second goal for the U’s, in what was his first start since the defeat at Cambridge at the start of the month.
But Grimsby took just two minute to equalise, due to another bad mistake, this time by U’s centre-half Ryan Inniss.
It was a straight race between Inniss and JJ Hooper, and the U’s big defender looked the favourite to win the tussle, only to be shrugged off too easily by the Mariners front-man.
Hooper kept his nerve to hammer an unstoppable shot past the advancing Sam Walker.
That was a very poor goal to concede, especially so soon after getting their noses in front in an away match for the first time this season.
U’s boss McGreal had made three changes to the side that suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Wycombe on Saturday, with goalscorer Reid one of those to come in, alongside Brandon Comley (recalled) and Mikael Mandron (back after a one-match suspension).
Those to miss out were Tom Lapsle (suspended), Sammie Szmodics (dropped to the bench) and Tom Eastman (hamstring injury),
Livewire Reid was hardly out of the action during the first quarter of the game.
He cracked a free-kick over the bar on 15 minutes, but was more accurate with another long-range free-kick just four minutes later, forcing keeper McKeown into a smart save down to his left.
A long throw by Ryan Jackson caused a few problems for the Mariners in the 36th minute, especially as the ball broke to danger-man Reid, whose ferocious shot from outside the box was blocked by defender Ben Davies.
Grimsby didn’t threaten much before the break, at least until the 44th minute, when they were only a whisker away from taking the lead.
Sikiri Dembele’s cracking low shot thudded back off the post and rolled to safety, with Walker well beaten.
It had been a very misty day on the Humber estuary, and that mist began to thicken as both sides searched for a winner in the second half.
A superb save by Walker denied the home side the lead on 58 minutes. The U’s keeper pushed away Martyn Woolford’s goal-bound drive down at his near post.
And just 60 seconds later, the U’s went ahead thanks to Reid’s second goal of the game.
It was a masterly finish by Reid, who turned superbly inside the box and then tucked away a precise shot into the far corner of the net.
At the other end, Walker smothered a flick header by James Berrett in the 67th minute, and shortly afterwards McGreal switched from a 4-4-2 formation to three at the back, with Cameron James on as a substitute for Reid.
Unfortunately, the other substitute in a double change, which saw Szmodics on for Hanlan, ended with Szmodics being stretchered off with a nasty leg injury, within six minutes of his introduction.
The U’s held out until the 89th minute, when substitute Jones slotted home a penalty to rescue a point for the Mariners.
GRIMSBY TOWN: McKeown, Davies, Collins, Clarke, Dixon, Dembele, Berrett, Summerfield, Woolford (sub Jaiyesimi, 72) Hooper (sub Matt, 64), Vernon (sub Jones, 78). Unused subs: Killip, Rose, Osborne, Cardwell.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Jackson, Kent, Inniss, Vincent-Young, Wright, Loft, Comley, Reid (sub James, 71), Hanlan (sub, Szmodics, 71, sub Murray, 78) Mandron. Unused subs: Gilmartin, Kinsella, Kabamba, Odelusi.
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincs)
Attendance: 3,438 (89 away fans)