FOOTBALL: A BIZARRE strike from Marc McNulty helped guide Coventry City to a second successive League Two victory on Saturday afternoon in Grimsby.
The Sky Blues defeated the Lincolnshire outfit 2-0 following goals from McNulty and Jack Grimmer, both off-season signings.
Another three points puts Mark Robins’ men top of League Two by a clear two points after two games, with nearest rivals Mansfield, Wycombe, Barnet, Morecombe, Swindon, and Exeter on four points.
Though Coventry dominated possession and denied Grimsby the chance to hit one shot on target, the manner in how their opening goal occurred proved controversial.
Former Sky Blues defender Nathan Clarke appeared to kick the ball back to Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown after a free kick was awarded inside the home side’s half.
But his pass appeared to have been the free kick itself, and McNulty wasted no time in claiming possession before rounding McKeown to put the Sky Blues ahead.
Prior to the opening goal, a goalless first half saw neither side able to find a way through in the early stages with chances at a premium.
Grimsby’s Sam Jones was presented with the game’s first clear cut chance after 16 minutes. A twisting run from Sikiri Dembele sliced the City midfield in half and allowed Jones space in area but his placed effort rolled wide of the far post.
McNulty was confident enough to try a few speculative efforts from distance, on one occasion reacting first to a Jodi Jones free-kick that came back off the wall but the Scottish striker’s dipping volley could only fall wide.
Jones would soon force a strong save from McKeown by cutting inside on his left and firing low to the keepers right.
Hat-trick hero from last week Jodi Jones continued to cause problems for Grimsby while Peter Vincenti was unlucky not to score from close range following a cross from McNulty.
McNulty’s controversial opening goal following before Jack Grimmer doubled the Sky Blues’ lead just 13 minutes later when a well worked set piece from a corner found the head of Grimmer.
Grimsby’s miserable afternoon got worse moments from time when midfielder James Berrett picked up a second yellow card following a late challenge on Liam Kelly.
The Sky Blues are next in action on Saturday afternoon, August 19, at home against Newport County. Kick off is at 3pm.
Grimsby Town XI: McKeown (GK), Davies, Dixon, Clarke (C), Collins, Berrett, Rose, Jones, Summerfield (Jaiyesimi 71′), Cardwell (Hooper 67′), Dembele (Bolarinwa 82′).
Coventry City XI: O’Brien (GK), Grimmer, Willis (Hyam 72′), McDonald, Stokes, Kelly, Doyle (C), Jones (Nazon 87′), McNulty, Vincenti, Beavon (Andreu 79′).
Attendance: 6,767 (1,357)