Praise from Grimsby Borough bosses despite home defeat to Hemsworth Miners Welfare
A STOP-start game – prompted by the referee's whistle – ended in frustration for Grimsby Borough as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Hemsworth Miners Welfare.
The Wilderness Boys were gunning for victory at the Bradley Community Stadium against a Hemsworth side that had suffered three Northern Counties East League Division One defeats on the bounce.
Borough heeded their managers' pre-match call for a fast start by taking the lead, through Jim Archer, after just five minutes.
But Hemsworth levelled and, after both teams were reduced to ten men, the visitors went on to bag the three points in a game that featured some controversial refereeing decisions.
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Nigel Fanthorpe, who manages Borough alongside Steve Newby, said: "Although we missed out on the points, massive credit was heaped on the players after they battled through a tricky afternoon with so many disruptions to contend with."
Archer's opener for Borough was a cracking volley from 20 yards that flew into the top corner.
The visitors appeared deflated but were gifted an equaliser when, after a poor pass by Shaun Baker, Iwan Heeley pounced and pulled the ball back for Jack Wakefield to score.
Borough were reduced to ten men when, after some confusion from a corner, their goalkeeper was handed a straight red card.
Fanthorpe said: "Players from both teams confronted the official, wanting to know what the card was for, but a lack of dialogue from the official bemused everyone."
Mark Courtly donned the gloves and ten-men Borough were still looking a threat.
But they were handed another blow when top-scorer Andy Taylor was forced off with a groin injury.
Josh Fuller could have put Borough back in front but he shot wide with just the keeper to beat.
Hemsworth then took the lead on the half-hour against the run of play when Iwan Heeley reacted quickest in the box.
Both teams were down to ten men when, after what Fanthorpe labelled a "50-50 tackle", the referee sent a Hemsworth player off.
Borough went close in the second half when, after a good move involving Rick Forrest and Steve Davies, Luke Fanthorpe burst through on goal but saw his shot saved.
Courtly saved a one-on-one chance for Hemsworth while Borough were chasing the game, pushing for an equaliser.
But the visitors made the points safe when Neil Towler scored with a lot shot – frustratingly for Borough, as they felt the striker was in an offside position.