A RECORD crowd saw Louth Town match Grimsby Town for long spells in Monday’s friendly at Park Avenue, before a late goal sealed a 2-0 win for the Mariners.
Rob Bryant’s second half goal before a controversial late strike by Jack Griffin sealed the win for a young Grimsby side.
Louth sported their striking new blue away kit and were backed by an army of supporters keen to see the side under new boss Daryl Clare.
The game began slowly, though White Wolves winger Rocky Rawlings almost found space from a long punt upfield but the goalkeeper was quick to snuff out the danger.
Long shots from Callum Hyland and Danny Kilmore failed to test the visitors’ keeper before Griffin headed straight at Louth’s stopper Ian McTaggert.
The best chance of the first half fell to Louth striker Kilmore, but his chip was smothered by Grimsby’s goalkeeper.
Kilmore then had a penalty appeal turned down after being pulled back in the box.
The hosts began the second half strongly with two long shots from Rawlings going narrowly wide.
But Grimsby took the lead on 51 minutes with a quick break when Bryant latched onto a through ball and slotted an excellent finish past McTaggert.
Louth continued to press for the equaliser, showing fitness and organisation beyond their level.
Their best chance fell late on to centre back Stevens, but his 20 yarder was clawed away as it looked destined for the top corner.
The Mariners sealed it with the last kick when Griffin raced through and slammed the ball into the top corner. The linesman had flagged for offside to the goalscorer’s dismay, but the referee overruled his assistant and gave the goal.
The final whistle blew and Louth could feel aggrieved to have not got something from a game in which they acquitted themselves well, led by their influential captain Carl Martin and Brackenborough Hotel man of the match Paul Goodhand who was excellent in midfield.
But the Park Avenue record crowd of 364 will have done much to boost the club’s coffers ahead of the new season.
Louth boss Daryl Clare praised his side.
“It was a good performance from us,” he said.
“We’ve brought Grimsby here to test us and to see if we can get to the next level and I thought we dealt with them really well.
“We’ve been unlucky not to score, we created some decent chances and we’re beginning to look like a decent side.
“People are buying in to what we want to do. Work rate, team spirit and commitment are fabulous so I’m delighted with every single one of them.
“To have Grimsby Town here and to give them a good game is great for the club.”
It’s a double header at Park Avenue on Saturday with the reserves against Lincoln Moorlands at 1pm before the first team host Basford United at 4pm. Entry for both is £3 for adults and £1.50 concessions.