Date: 24th December 2007 at 2:29pm
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A superb 25 yard free kick from full-back Michael Rose in the last 10 minutes saved County from another home defeat on the back of the 6-0 win against Wycombe.

Keith Briggs came in to make his last ever appearance at EP in the blue shirt. Jason Taylor was the absentee due to an ankle injury against Macclesfield. Matty McNeil didn’t make the bench again courtesy of a knee injury.

Danny Boshell started for Grimsby.

Boshell was the creator of the first real chance as he played the through ball to Paul Bolland to strike into a good block tackle by former captain Gaz Owen.

Grimsby, it has to be said, were dominating large periods of the first half, and Danny Boshell struck high into the Railway End.

Any thoughts of ‘doing a Macclesfield’ and winning the game after a poor fist half were dealt a big blow when winger Hegarty ran rings around Briggs and crossed on a plate for Martin Butler to strike. Logan got back but could not get enough of a fist onto the ball to keep it out. Good team goal for Grimsby, but the defending was poor from County.

Nick Hegarty again got down the left and pulled it back for Butler, but saw a good diving header outstandingly kept out by Leicester loanee Conrad Logan. Greeat save, but could County weather the storm?

Adam Proudlock broke the offside trap in the first real chance for County, but his shot hit Dickinson, who couldn’t keep the ball alive.

Half-time, and to be honest, the football was poor. Poole and Griffin were trying their socks off but with no end product, and Rose couldn’t pass it to anyone without it going out of play. But fair play to the Mariners, they had a plan and it was working. With Hegarty and Newey doubling up on Raynes, the centre half had no chance and they had grabbed a goal from it.

County came out in the second half looking spirited and Keith Briggs, making his last EP appearance, was replaced with Anthony Elding.

But again, Grimsby got the play going with a great strike by Nick Fenton being excellently cleared off the line by Owen.

County started to come into the game, passes were reaching their target, and the ball was being kept well. A Michael Raynes header hit the fans in the lower tiers from an inswinging Micheal Rose free kick.

The game sparked to life when Anthony Pilkington replaced Griffing. Pilkington played a one-two with Rose, and ran straight into Newey. A fair tackle, but as Pilkington was grounded, loanee Sam Hird came flying in and stuck the boot, literally, into Pilkingtons head.

Pilkington flew up off the floor and a, well, basically a fight started. 21 men came charging in, closely followed by a bright orange shirt. It was Conrad Logan, pushing and shoving. Do remember, this was just outside Grimsbys penalty area.

A few bookings later, Pilkington and Rose gathered around the ball, and Rose bent one in to the top right hand corner, symmetrical to Ronaldinho’s strike against Engalnd. Top quality free kick. That alone deserved a point.

The Cheadle End finally came alive, and as Raynes won a free kick from 20 yards out, we sensed another beauty.

This time, Rose dummied and Adam Nowland stepped up and bent one into the far corner. A roar from the Cheadle End was halted only by the sight of Phil Barnes flying across the goal to palm the ball wide.

Well, that was it, and County had come into the game second half, maybe Grimsby edged it, but the Rose free kick deserved a point in any game at least.

A draw is not ideal coming into the christmas period, but at least its not a loss and we can continue to build from here.

Finally, Merry Christmas everyone, and COME ON COUNTY!