Cobblers unbeaten in eight but winning run ends with stalemate at Grimsby

Sam Foley on the ball during Saturday's game at Blundell Park. Pictures: Pete Norton
Sam Foley on the ball during Saturday's game at Blundell Park. Pictures: Pete Norton

Cobblers extended their unbeaten run to eight games but their winning streak ended at four after being held to a truly awful goalless draw by Grimsby Town at a wind-swept Blundell Park on Saturday.

The blustery conditions clearly didn't help matters and in the end the howling wind came up trumps as the two teams combined for just two shots on target across the entire 94 minutes.

Andy Williams

Andy Williams

Chances were equally hard to come by, despite the visitors edging the second-half, and in the end a draw - Town's 16th of the season - was a fair outcome. It keeps the Cobblers 11th in League Two, still six points away from the play-offs.

The biggest positive was in defence where Northampton were again solid and goalkeeper David Cornell untroubled in keeping his fourth clean sheet in six games.

For the second time in three games Town manager Keith Curle named an unchanged starting line-up as Andy Williams kept his place up front ahead of Marvin Sordell, who returned to the bench.

The gusty conditions sweeping across the ground was hardly conducive to a high-quality game of football and the opening stages were riddled with mistakes, although the first 45 minutes were not completely devoid of chances.

A wind-assisted free-kick caused mayhem in the Grimsby box and the ball so nearly fell to Sam Foley on just three minutes before a defender intercepted while Wes Thomas was off target from 20 yards for the home side.

Jake Hessenthaler's long-range piledriver also whistled not far wide of the post and Andy Williams almost turned in Foley's cross-shot, but that was about the sum of the action in an unsurprisingly scrappy first-half.

It was more of the same in the second period and it took until the midpoint of the half for either team to muster a shot of note with Embleton a fraction wide from the edge of the box

Curle made a bold change when sending on Sordell for Daniel Powell and going two up front, but his team came under pressure with 15 minutes to go when Aaron Pierre, Jordan Turnbull and Ash Taylor all made crucial clearances.

Town finished on top and Pierre slashed wide from a tight angle with three minutes remaining before Sordell nearly scrambled in during three minutes of stoppage-time, but this game was always destined to end goalless.

Grimsby: McKeown, Ring, Ohman, Collins (c), Hessenthaler, Cook, Woolford, Embleton (Vernam 77), Davis, Hendrie, Thomas (Dennis 85)

Subs not used: Hall-Johnson, Clifton, Rose, Russell, Whitmore

Cobblers: Cornell, Goode, Taylor, Pierre (c), Buchanan, Turnbull, Foley, O'Toole, Hoskins, D Powell (Sordell 68), A Williams (Bridge 87)

Subs not used: Coddington, J Williams, Elsnik, J Powell, Bowditch

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 3,890

Cobblers fans: 398