The Hatters rounded off August with a second successive match against newly-relegated Football League opponents, but had to settle for a share of the spoils in a tight, goalless encounter against Grimsby at Edgeley Park.
County took to the field under the floodlights in SK3, showing two changes from the starting line-up at Southend three evenings earlier – with Alex Reid and Ben Whitfield respectively replacing the injured Scott Quigley and Macauley Southam-Hales.
Chances were at a premium in the opening exchanges – with the inaugural opportunity of note created around the first half’s mid-point, courtesy of a low cross from the right by Jordan Keane towards Reid that David Longe-King did well to intercept and deflect around the near post.
Nine minutes before the break, good work on the right by Arjan Raikhy led to a delivery across the six-yard box with both Reid and acting skipper Paddy Madden in attendance – but neither member of the strike-force was able to connect well. And Reid, minutes later, could not convert a further potential chance after being set up by his captain.
The Hatters proceeded to earn two late first-half corners on the right – the second of which, in added time, fell to Madden who went close with a volley that fizzed past the far post.
HALF-TIME: County 0, Grimsby 0.
The visiting ‘Mariners’ heralded the start of the second half by earning their first corner, in front of a sell-out away contingent at the Railway End. And a couple of minutes later, they gave their supporters something further to cheer (albeit momentarily) when John McAtee had the ball in County’s net – only to be penalised for his foul on Keane during the build-up.
The Hatters then saw an effort of their own disallowed for offside, after Whitfield’s shot had deflected into the Cheadle End goal with just over 10 minutes of the new half played.
The end-to-end fare continued, with three second-half corners apiece – but without many clear-cut opportunities created in either final third, before added time when Madden headed wide of the far post a cross from the right by substitute Will Collar.
FULL-TIME: County 0, Grimsby 0.
Team (3-4-1-2): Hinchliffe; Keane, Palmer, Palmer; Whitfield (Collar, 82), Raikhy (Newby, 75), Croasdale, Rydel; Rooney; Reid (Walker, 69), Madden (Capt.).
Unused Subs: Hogan, Ross.
Man of the Match: Raikhy.
Attendance: 6,452 (1,200 away).
Reporter: Gareth Evans.
Photographer: Mike Petch.