Stevenage came within a whisker of snatching all three points at Grimsby Town - conceding an equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time.

They had survived a penalty against them in the first half at Blundell Park but when Jake Reeves pounced with 11 minutes, it was beginning to look like the perfect away day.

But Niall Maher bundled in a corner late on to leave the sides level in what had been a pulsating contest.

There were two changes for Stevenage. Jake Taylor's injury ruled him out and he was replaced by Jake Reeves.

Another midfielder moved down to the bench, Arthur Read, with Saxon Earley coming in.

There were only six subs too. Jordan Roberts did travel was serving the third and final game of his suspension, picked up at Gateshead.

Earley took his place at left-back in what turned out to be a back four, Terence Vancooten and Max Clark pushed forward.

And it was down the Boro left that Grimsby had chances in the opening stages.

Michee' Efete was the main reason for that but for all his runs forward, the Mariners struggled to get a clear sight of goal.

The right-wing-back for the home side had their only real chance, heading a cross over the top.

At the other end Clark was given a chance to put his side in front when a bounce bamboozled Efete.

He poked it wide of the target though.

Dan Sweeney had done well to control a volley but put it straight at the keeper and the same fate befell Danny Rose who would have scored had he put his well-hit shot either side of Max Crocombe.

Taye Ashby-Hammond was central to a lot of the late drama in the first half.

A sliced clearance gave Andy Smith a sight of goal but he delayed long enough to give the keeper the chance to save the rebound.

The Boro man then made the foul as Grimsby found themselves in behind on a two-on-one.

The keeper redemeed himself by flinging himself to his right to push the penalty away.

He had no chance a few moments later when Otis Khan curled a beauty from the edge of the area past the keeper.

It bounced off the post and when it rolled along the face, Vancooten's challenge put John McAtee off enough to put the rebound wide.

Too often though Stevenage were caught out in midfield and it had Steve Evans hopping mad at times.

They also failed to capitalise on a number of good crossing chances with the Grimsby defence dealing with them all in relative comfort.

The tactical changes for Boro came midway through the half after the two sides had turned up the intensity.

Both went at each other like prize-fighters slugging it out toe to toe in a car park.

A head injury to Rose heralded the changes and Jamie Reid and David Amoo made a difference.

That was especially true when the latter crossed for the former, who opted against taking a shot and laid it to Reeves to guide a bending shot in off the post.

Luke Norris forced Crocombe into a save at his near post but the final 10 minutes of normal time saw the home side pushed Boro back.

Stevenage did well to deal with the bombardment but a mix-up proved costly from a corner and Maher poked the ball inside the near post for the draw. 


Stevenage:Ashby-Hammond, James-Wildin, Clark (Amoo 68), Reeves, Piergianni, Sweeney, Norris, Vancooten, Gilbey, Earley, Rose (Reid 68).

Subs (not used): Chapman, Campbell, Smith, Read.

Goal: Reeves 79

Booked: Piergianni 48, Earley 80


Grimsby Town: Crocombe, Efete, Green, Waterfall, McAtee, Khan (Symonds 74), Clifton, Morris (Kiernan 84), Amos, Smith (Orsi 84), Maher.

Subs (not used): Hunt, Holohan, Richardson, Khouri.

Goal: Maher 90+1

Booked: Green 42


HT: Grimsby Town 0 Stevenage 0

Referee: Tom Reeves (Coventry)

Attendance: 6,022 (128 from Stevenage)