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Grimsby Town: Henderson stars in seaside stalemate

Young Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson was the standout performer for Grimsby Town as they ended 2016 with a 0-0 draw at home to Blackpool in League Two.

The on-loan stopper extended his stay at Blundell Park before the game and pulled off two excellent saves from Blackpool’s Kyle Vassell and Mark Cullen to earn his side a point.

Gary Bowyer’s side made the trip across country to Cleethorpes, another seaside town, but they failed to break down a stubborn home defence.

It was a cagey opening period at Blundell Park and it took until the 19th-minute for either side to register a serious shot on target.

Brad Potts broke at pace from a home corner and slipped the ball through to Vassell in the left channel, he shot across the face of goal but Henderson was equal to the effort with a fantastic fingertip save down low.

There was a blow for Marcus Bignot’s men when winger Ashley Chambers, who scored in the Boxing Day win over Accrington, hobbled off after 22 minutes to be replaced by Kayden Jackson.

Town spurred into life after this and had a chance to take the lead on 27 minutes when Danny Collins flicked on a Danny Andrew long throw but his header was just too far in front of Omar Bogle at the far post.

The Mariners enjoyed their best spell of the game for the next ten minutes. Just after the half-hour, Bogle used his strength to create an opening for the onrushing Luke Summerfield but the midfielder couldn’t beat Sam Slocombe in the Seasiders’ goal from 18 yards.

Andrew then dropped an ambitious 30-yard free kick from out on the right wing just over the bar, before Dominic Vose broke at pace to set-up Bogle, who twisted and turned in the area, forcing Slocombe into another save down low.

The main talking point of the game came five minutes before the break when Blackpool winger Bright Osayi-Samuel broke into the box on the right and was met by a lunging challenge from Henderson.

Many of the near 6,000 crowd expected a penalty but referee Darren England pointed the other way for a free kick to the hosts and booked the midfielder for simulation.

Andrew had another effort a minute before the break, receiving the ball back at a corner and cutting in from the right to fire inches wide of the near post from 16 yards.

There was another injury-enforced substitution for the Mariners at the break with Summerfield being forced off because of a bad back, his place being taken by Craig Disley.

Blackpool had the better of the game at the start of the second half and Henderson was called into action again on 48 minutes, making a flying save from Cullen’s curling shot.

Vose then tried his luck at the other end, cutting in from the left, beating two challenges and firing agonisingly wide from 25 yards.

The Seasiders began to boss the game in midfield and created a trio of chances that saw Cullen, Potts and Osayi-Samuel all fire over from good positions.

Town’s best opening of the half came when their two subs combined on 74 minutes. A threaded ball through from Disley found the run of Jackson in the area, he squared a lovely ball across the six-yard box that was begging for a tap-in to the empty goal but there was no Mariner up in support to provide the finishing touches.

Bowyer made a trio of subs as the game moved into the final ten minutes with Jamille Matt, Michael Cain and Danny Philliskirk replacing Cullen, Osayi-Samuel and Jack Payne but the final chance of the game went to the home side in injury time.

Vose swung in a free kick from 35 yards into the danger zone, Collins slid in but was inches away from the ball and it went out for a goal kick.

Mariners | Henderson; Mills, Pearson, Collins, Andrew; Bolarinwa, Comley, Summerfield (Disley), Chambers (Jackson); Vose; Bogle. Subs not used: McKeown, Davies, Gowling, Vernon, Jones.

Seasiders | Slocombe; Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor; Potts, McAlister, Payne (Cain); Osayi-Samuel (Philliskirk), Vassell, Cullen (Matt). Subs not used: Lyness, Aimson, Pugh, Gnanduillet

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