Football: Rufus rouses Charlton's spirit

Grimsby Town 2 Charlton Athletic 5

ALAN CURBISHLEY may not have access to Murdoch's millions but perhaps he does have something money just can't buy - a team with indomitable spirit.

Evidence of it was further furnished last night as his enthusiastic promotion chasers twice won and lost a lead, yet still managed to run out impressive winners and move to within a point of the Sky-backed Nationwide First Division leaders, Manchester City, whom they meet next week.

It all came together in a thrilling 15-minute spell midway through the second half when goals from Andy Hunt, Clive Mendonca and a Paul Groves own goal condemned Grimsby to their third successive defeat.

Yet earlier it looked as though Richard Rufus would prove to be the unlikely Charlton show-stealer on a ground that tends to bring the devil out in him. On his last visit here, two years ago Rufus was sent off. This time he made his improbable mark with two first-half goals. They both bore the mark of simplicity itself even though they appeared to leave Grimsby's defence utterly bamboozled.

The first, after 13 minutes, followed a corner never properly cleared. When Mark Kinsella, the taker, returned deep into the box, the athletic Rufus scored with an angled header.

The same Charlton pair worked a similar routine after 36 minutes of impressive action to punish the home defence for a second time. On this occasion they were not even afforded the opportunity to react to Kinsella's dead ball kick. Rufus rose to it and headed beyond the goalkeeper, Danny Coyne.

Grimsby's consolation was that they had briefly broken Charlton's hold on the game, equalising after 25 minutes through a Lee Ashcroft penalty following Greg Shields' clumsy challenge on David Smith.

It seemed there might have been something in this match to cheer the hapless home manager, Alan Buckley. Kevin Donovan reinforced that feeling a minute into the second half, combining with Ashcroft before driving past Sasa Ilic.

However Charlton are a side who feed off self-belief, so it was no surprise when for a third time they went ahead courtesy of the former Grimsby favourite, Clive Mendonca, who forced home a Kinsella corner.

On a damp night that was the moment the heavens opened for Grimsby who went further behind when Andy Hunt sidefooted in from Mendonca's pass before Chris Powell contrived to produce the fifth at Groves' expense.

Grimsby Town (4-4-2): Coyne; Butterfield , R Smith (Burnett 40), Lever, Gallimore; Donovan, Groves, Hamilton (Allen 71), D Smith; Ashcroft, Lester. Substitutes not used: Buckley, Black, Croudson (gk).

Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Ilic; Shields, Youds (Brown 86), Rufus, Powell; Stuart, Jones, Kinsella (Salako 83), Robinson; Mendonca, Hunt. Substitutes not used: Barness, Newton, Pringle.

Referee: G Frankland (Middlesbrough).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'