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Match Reports

Grimsby Town 0 Rovers 1

25 July 2017

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Danny Graham scores the only goal of the game CameraSport
Danny Graham scores the only goal of the game

Danny Graham notched his fourth goal this pre-season as Rovers defeated Grimsby Town 1-0 at Blundell Park.

After goals against Barrow, York and Morecambe, the forward's second half strike was enough to settle this competitive match in Rovers' favour.

Peter Whittingham went the closest to breaking the deadlock for Rovers in the first half when his crisp volley was saved by the legs of James McKeown. Whilst Town forward Siriki Dembele was thwarted by David Raya.

New signing Dominic Samuel made his introduction on the hour mark, but it was another new boy Bradley Dack that did the damage before Graham diverted the ball home.

The home side threatened late with Adi Yussuf and Danny Collins going close but Rovers saw the game out to claim another pre-season victory.

They end their summer programme this Friday night at Carlisle United.

Tony Mowbray again named a strong starting eleven for the penultimate pre-season friendly against the Mariners.

On this occasion it was a 4-2-3-1 formation with a back four of Paul Caddis, Elliott Ward, Charlie Mulgrew and Derrick Williams in front of David Raya in goal.

Willem Tomlinson and Peter Whittingham were the holding midfielders, with Elliott Bennett, Ben Gladwin and Liam Feeney behind Danny Graham up front.

It was the hosts who created the first opening of note on ten minutes when a short corner was sent into the box by James Berrett. Experienced defender Danny Collins rose high to head goalwards but an outstretched boot from Graham diverted it up in the air allowing Raya to easily claim.

Gladwin lashed wide after making progress along the edge of the area, before Feeney fired just past the post with a shot from distance.

Graham was the next to have a sight of goal for the Rovers, but he couldn't divert a Feeney centre on target.

The League Two side weren't without their chances either, with Raya called upon to make an important block on 32 minutes.

Sam Kelly delivered deep to the back post to where Dembele fired goalwards, but the Rovers keeper was quickly out to make the save.

Rovers' best chance in the first half came soon afterwards as Whittingham hit a lovely effort on the volley. However James McKeown in the Grimsby goal saved well with his legs.

But for good anticipation from Raya the Mariners would have lead at break. As Sam Jones looked to to intercept Tomlinson's risky back pass across goal, the Spaniard got a hand to the effort before clearing the danger.

Rovers made a double change at the break as Bradley Dack and Ryan Nyambe replaced Feeney and Tomlinson. That also brought about a change in formation as the Blues switched to a 4-4-2.

But there was little in the way of goalmouth action in the early exchanges in the second half.

Dominic Samuel was introduced on the hour mark for his first appearance in a Rovers shirt, but it was half-time sub Dack who played the key role in Rovers opening the scoring four minutes later.

After a one-two with Caddis, the summer arrival from Gillingham skipped his way into the Grimsby box and although his effort deflected, it fell nicely for Graham who bundled the ball home.

But the hosts would have been level on 71 minutes for the quick reactions of Caddis.

A corner from the right from Berrett was mis-directed towards his own goal by Ward, but the Scottish international was on hand to hack the ball off the line.

Rovers lived dangerously in the final minutes as the Mariners went close on two occasions.

Sub Adi Yussuf saw a cross acrobatically cleared from under his own bar by Raya, before Collins glanced a Berrett corner just wide of goal.

Next up for Rovers is their final pre-season friendly this Friday evening when they travel to take on Carlisle United at Brunton Park.

GRIMSBY: McKeown, Mills, Collins, Clarke, Mustoe, Berrett, M. Rose, Kelly, Dembele, Jones, Vernon. 

Subs: Killip, K. Osborne, Cardwell, Davies, Yussuf, Summerfield, Bolarinwa, Roberts, Wright, Keeble, Sawyer. 

ROVERS: Raya, Caddis, Ward (sub Platt 89 mins), Mulgrew (c), Williams (sub Doyle 72 mins), Feeney (sub Dack 46 mins), Whittingham (sub Smallwood 65 mins), Tomlinson (sub Nyambe 46 mins), Bennett, Gladwin (sub Samuel 60 mins), Graham (sub Rankin-Costello 76 mins).

Subs not used: Steele (GK), Fisher (GK), Travis, Hardcastle.

Attendance: 1,692 (including 157 Rovers fans)

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