Tonight sees a return to The Hawthorns to see the tenants, Grimsby Borough play their first game of the year against Leeds Carnegie. Apparently this gives me a bracketed tick in the world of groundhopping, the first time I've done this I think. The turnstiles are not open tonight and you go through the players entrance and pay at the table set up just inside. The floodlights are not all on and the players have to warm up outside the ground to try and preserve the pitch.
The game starts off very scrappy on the bobbly pitch, but Carnegie gradually take charge of the game with their neat passing play. Carnegie have several chances to go ahead but have to wait until 37 minutes to take the lead through Harrison to go in at half time 1-0 up. Grimsby certainly looked rusty in the first half but came back after only four minutes of the second half to equalise through King. This seemed to lift Borough and they were looking likely to score again. However, Carnegie continued with their neat football and worked their way back into the game and gradually took control of the game again. They regained the lead on 78 minutes with a goal from Ross. They made it 3-1 two minutes later through Chilaka who showed strength and clinical finishing. That was that or so I thought. Borough rallied and made several chances before pulling it back to 3-2 on 85 minutes with a goal from Brown. Carnegie had an uncomfortable last five minutes with Borough having a glorious chance to draw level with a good header from Newby drawing a terrific save from Carnegies keeper.
This is the second time I've seen Carnegie this season and I have to say that they are great team to watch, always passing the ball and working hard for each other. Well done.
Grimsby Borough 2-3 Leeds Carnegie