Match report: Town suffer narrow defeat on the road at Barrow
Grimsby Town’s long unbeaten away run came to an end away at Barrow in League Two this evening.
Max Crocombe kept out a first-half penalty, before Billy Waters scored the only goal of the game with 15 minutes left to play.
Paul Hurst made two changes to the starting lineup that played out a goalless draw against Bradford City on Saturday, with Jordan Cropper and Bryn Morris replacing Anthony Glennon and Brendan Kiernan.
Town came into the game just one point outside of the playoffs, knowing that another victory on the road could propel them into the top seven.
The first opportunity fell to the visitors, as Otis Khan did well to get on the end of an ambitious ball, before lifting it into the the onrushing Gavan Holohan, who couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
Crocombe pulled off an excellent stop to deny Waters on 11 minutes and put the ball behind for a corner.
After a slow opening 20 minutes, Ryan Taylor had an opportunity to put the Mariners in front, after he was gifted the ball by Harrison Neal, before driving towards goal and being quickly smothered.
Just a few minutes later, Barrow almost took the lead when Andy Smith sliced the ball onto his own bar. A lucky escape.
With the hosts in control of the game and enjoying the majority of possession, David Moyo then went close for them but his back-post header just went wide of the goal.
Morris had a rare attempt on target for Town on 33 minutes, but his effort from 25 yards out was comfortably saved by the keeper.
Barrow were then awarded a penalty seven minutes before the break, but Crocombe pulled off a superb save to keep the scoreline level.
The sides went in all-square at half-time, with the Bluebirds enjoying more possession and chances, while the Mariners only had one shot on target.
Town started the second half much better and almost took the lead a minute in when Taylor’s effort was well-saved by Paul Farman.
The game drifted for the next 15 to 20 minutes, with neither side able to create any clear-cut chances, although the visitors did manage to get more of a foot on the ball than they did in the first half.
With the game looking to be heading for a draw, Barrow took the lead with 15 minutes to play after Waters finished well at the back post.
The Mariners continued to struggle to break the Bluebirds down after the goal and were unable to create any chances to try and rescue a point from the game, falling to a 1-0 defeat.
That marks the first loss on the road for Town since the opening day at Leyton Orient and means they drop one place to 11th in the League Two table.