Grimsby Town 2
Salisbury City 0
INCONSISTENT Salisbury City surrendered on the road for the 11th time as their return to Blundell Park put a dent in their quest for promotion to the Football League.
It was déjà vu for the visitors after a shambolic start, similarly to Southport two-weeks ago, fell behind inside two minutes and conceded late on to drive them out of the play-off zone.
They were left scratching their heads when a well-timed through ball found an onside Craig Disley, who provided a cute finish, from an acute angle, to open the scoring in a sunny Cleethorpes.
The unsettled visitors took a while to find their stride but were steadily improving with some good linkup play from the Sinclair brothers which led to Theo Lewis’s speculative effort on goal.
Despite being able to dictate possession for periods of the first half, they were still stretched by Town and had to be cautious of their frontmen’s prowess. Lennell John-Lewis nearly added to Disley’s early strike but was denied by a last ditch block from Angus MacDonald.
The open encounter attracted chances from both sides with City, recently returning from a short-break in Malta, testing James McKeown with strikes from Glenn Wilson and Clovis Kamdjo.
The introduction of Chris McPhee and Jamie White bolstered City’s attacking options in the final third but, consequently, left gaping holes in the closing 20 minutes.
Will Puddy did fantastically well to keep out Alex Rodman’s blasted drive from four yards and then he speared the rebound wide.
City were living on the edge and in the 82nd minute Rodman found his clinical knack in front of goal with a thumping drive for a healthy advantage.
Ryan Brett went close in stoppage time but, by then, it was too late to play catch-up.
“It wasn’t a positive performance and we didn’t deserve anything,” said head coach Mikey Harris of sixth-placed Salisbury.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb by conceding early on. I said to the lads at half time you now have to climb that mountain, and they didn’t.”
“For me, Grimsby were full value for their win.
“We desperately want to stay in the top five but will have to improve considerably if we want to do that.”
Salisbury host runaway leaders Luton Town on Saturday (3pm). The Hatters are en-route to outnumbering the home fans with 700 tickets already being sold.
Salisbury (4-4-1-1): Puddy, Amankwaah, MacDonald, Wilson (c), Brett, S.Sinclair, Lewis (McPhee, 55), Kamdjo (White, 72), Frear, R.Sinclair, Fitchett.
Subs not used: Bittner, Wellard, Clarke.
Referee: Darren Handley.