Market Rasen Town 0 Grimsby Borough Reserves 1
After last week’s disappointing showing against near neighbours Nettleham, in which Rasen’s defensive frailties were consistently exposed, it was the turn of the Rasen forward line to fall short of expectations when high-flying Grimsby Borough came to Rase Park.
Drew Norburn replaced Aaron Greenbeck at the centre of defence, James Bennett reverted to left back and Kyle Paul got a start along with Adam Brumpton in a three-man attack with Ian Williams. Nathan Smith, Jason Hall and Andy Belt missed the game due to injury and unavailability.
After a shaky start, due to a lengthy lay-off, Norburn gradually got rid of his ring-rust to provide a solid rearguard with defensive partner Dave Hone and restricted the visitors to shots from distance. From two of these shots Dale Christie produced top-quality saves, including an acrobatic tip over the bar from Toyne’s dipping volley.
Rasen manager Brumpton would have been disappointed in his normally reliable forward line, who were unable to create worthwhile openings in the first period.
Rasen’s midfield three of Lowman, Osbourne and Rutherford arguably had the better of midfield exchanges throughout the game. But against the run of play, Grimsby Borough took the lead when Toyne nodded home from a corner midway through the second period.
Rasen looked for a reply and Kyle Paul nearly produced it with two excellent crosses from the left flank, which brought some last ditch defending from the visitors.
Scott Lowman will feel he could have done better when Matt Rutherford crossed from the left in the closing stages to see Lowman head over the bar from 12 yards out.
With the game petering out, Rasen can look to the positives of a much better defensive display, midfield dominance and the promise of livewire Nathan Smith returning for their midweek trip to Louth United tonight, Wednesday, 7.45pm kick-off). This is followed by a tough cup fixture this Saturday, when Skegness Town return to Rase Park for a 1.30pm kick-off.