Brentford came from a goal down to win three points at a very cold Blundell Park. Goals from Alan Connell and Wayne Brown cancelled out the 18th minute opener from Danny North.
The game was slow to get into life with the only moment of note in the opening ten minutes coming when a stray cross-come-pass from Craig Pead forced Phil Barnes in the Grimsby goal to save comfortably. Pead was again involved in the 9th minute when his ball into the box was flicked on by Glenn Poole, however the incoming Alan Connell was unable to connect. Grimsby Town's first attack of note came two minutes later when the lively Danny North ran through on the Brentford goal, only to be blocked by Karleigh Osborne and the resulting loose ball was cleared by Alan Bennett.
With the game springing to life and chances at both ends, both teams put plenty of balls into the box but to little avail. The Mariners took the lead in the 18th minute. A corner was not dealt with properly by the Brentford defence and the resulting cross by Nick Hegarty was met by the diving head ofNorth.
Brentford tried to hit back immediately as a long throw by Pead was flicked on by Tom Newey in the Grimsby defence before Nathan Elder saw his snap shot saved low by Barnes. It was North again who was causing the Brentford defence problems, as he tried to connect with a Butler through ball, only to see his effort well smothered by Simon Brown in the Bees goal. The game continued with the same rapid tempo with both teams creating chances.
Ryan Bennett in the Grimsby defence capitalised on a loose ball, playing it wide to Peter Till.Till took the ball well and the goal opened up for him as Dickson slipped, however his effort was well blocked by the impressive Osborne.The next opportunity of note was to come from Connell and Elder who failed to convert a cross by Shakes. Glenn Poole should have arguably levelled the scoreline with ten minutes of the half left. Alan Bennett brought the ball out of defence a full 30 yards before playing in Connell who in turn put through Poole.However Brentford's leading scorer was unable to convert from a similar angle to his second at Dagenham earlier in the season, seeing his shot flash wide.
The Bees started the second half with more fight and desire, and ultimately had the majority of the possession in the opening stages.It was on 50 minutes that Brentford got the goal they deserved. A Pead cross from the right wing saw Connell beat his man and place a beautiful header into the bottom right hand corner, leaving Barnes in the Grimsby goal with no chance.
Grimsby offered little in response with their few efforts sailing aimlessly wide.Brentford's defence did look to have played themselves into trouble on the 61st minute as a Newey free kick was not dealt with by the Bees captain Osborne.As Osborne mis-controlled the ball Ryan Bennett blasted over from eight yards.Brentford almost took the lead in the 72nd minute when a long throw by Pead was flicked on by Elder, only to see no one following up at the far post.
Simon Brown produced the save of the game with twelve minutes on the clock when he saved low to his left from a fierce shot by Nick Hegarty, which looked like a certain goal. That save was to prove even more important two minutes later when substitute Wayne Brown fired the Bees into a 2-1 lead, just three minutes after entering the action.
Connell won possession and after good work by Elder, the ball came back to Connell who in turn fed Brown. The young midfielder, on loan from Fulham, progressed to the right-side of the penalty area, twisting two defenders and firing a low, hard shot into the bottom corner, with Barnes rooted, to send the 120 Bees fans into raptures.
The Bees were to see out the remaining 10 minutes, with the only real action of note seeing Barnes save well from a trademark Poole free-kick, and gained a deserved three points against a Grimsby team who appeared to have one eye on next weeks JPT final at Wembley.
Brentford: Brown; Pead, Bennett, Osborne, Dickson; Shakes (W Brown 75 mins), O'Connor, Mousinho, Poole; Connell (Reid 85 mins), Elder
Subs (not used): Hamer, Heywood, Sankofa
Bookings: Pead (40 mins)
Attendance: 4620 (120 Bees Fans)
Written by David Enstone