Nuneaton Town 0 Grimsby Town 1
Saturday 22nd March 2014 (Skrill Premier)
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Life without Wilkin started with a defeat for Nuneaton Town.
Grimsby made the better of the starts and were rewarded for that with the opening goal in the 8th minute.
Former Boro man Alex Rodman was the man who struck the opening goal, a volley from eight yards out, side-footing it past James Belshaw with wonderful control.
The Boro regrouped well despite the early setback and were soon asking questions of the visitors defence.
It was not until the 34th minute though that they really tested James McKeown in the Mariners goal,
Dave Hibbert seeing his snatched volley from close range superbly clawed out from the Grimsby number 13.
That was the only save either keeper had to make in the first-half as both defences were winning their personal battles.
Simon Forsdick, in charge while Mark Noon was at a family wedding, obviously had some strong words at the break as the Boro came out firing in the second-half.
They were obviously told to test McKeown more often as the first ten minutes of the half saw the home side attacking with pace and vigour in a bid to get back into the game.
In the 53rd minute they did manage to test McKeown, but once again he was up to the task as he got down low to stop Hibbert’s close range effort.
McKeown relied on his ability to stop that chance, but it was luck that stopped the Boro from drawing level on the hour mark.
Wes York was played through by Andy Brown, the nippy winger watching in horror as his poked effort only just skimmed the far post with McKeown beaten.
Grimsby seemed to be hampered by the same setting sun conditions that cost the Boro so dear against Aldershot, as the home side were simply dominating proceedings.
If substitute Louis Moult had the composure of Rodman the sides would have been level in the 76th minute.
The Boro forward swung and missed from an identical position to where the Grimsby man scored from.
The half was becoming a list of missed chances for Nuneaton Town as another, this time a free header from Brown, came and went without the scores being brought back to parity.