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Who’s The Dadi? Tranmere Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 30/11/2003

A grey, windy old day with around 150 Tranmerians nestling nicely within the shack that is the Osmond Stand.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Tranmere (h)

Grimsby Town 0 Tranmere Rovers 1
29 Nov 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

The wind, a great return of an old friend, whistling diagonally down the pitch into the open corner between Pontoon and Police Box, bending that corner flag’s ear like a harridan short changed by the bus driver. The other corner flags occasionally rocked, like Huey Lewis and the News. Nothing too heavy, barely perceptible, and of little consequence. It’s hip to be square.

The Town fans huddled behind whatever shelter they could find, avoiding contact with that wind; it plays havoc with carefully constructed hair you know. Was there anybody here? Would anyone turn up? Ladies’ Day, not quite like Ascot is it? Ah, here we are, two ladies diddly-di-di-dee. Two Hinge and Brackets, brave lads, roaming the streets with the Mighty Mariner like a Press Gang styled by Hieronymus Bosch. Not too far away from a normal night out in Nunsthorpe, with a greasy chip buttie, really. Still, the club were trying, it brought a few smiles to a few faces, and a lot of goose pimples to Hinge’s legs.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. Well, don’t you know, the same as last week. The players warmed up gingerly in anoraks (or "training tops" as the style conscious youth of today like to call them) and their only amusement was, presumably, the same as the crowd’s - will the top heavy Mighty Mariner topple in the breeze, rolling, rolling, rolling like tumbleweed across a comedy desert.

Tranmere looked to be a pretty hefty side, with dour written across their foreheads in invisible ink, or is that latent anti-Little feeling coming out there? Well, can you forgive him those boring post match interviews on Radio Humberside? And worst of all Tranmere ran out in yellow, far too reminiscent of Stockport for my liking. Why don’t they wear red? We beat teams in red at home, and have never lost to opponents who play in pink with purple spots, come to think of it.

1st half

Town kicked off towards the Pontoon, tapping the ball to Barnard who let fly from just inside the Town half. The ball drifted, nay, loped lazily a couple of yards wide of Achterberg’s left hand post. That rather summed up what was to follow from Town; good intentions poorly executed, Tranmere unfazed. Achterberg ambled after the ball, creakily plucking it from a damp spot and shuffing even more slowly back towards his goal. Yes that’s right, time wasting in the first minute, for which the old Friesian cow was roundly heckled. Fortunately, standards in the Pontoon have been raised recently and no-one sang songs about two world wars and one world cup to him. He was, though, warned about his future conduct, with the ghost of Livvo past invoked in an attempt to un-nerve him.

The goalkick sailed up, hung in the air and dived out of touch via Crane’s head. Town quickly regained possession with Crane walloping the ball down the Town right. Boulding scampered after the ball with the Tranmere defenders standing and staring. Achterberg crept out of his area and looked to be caught betwixt and between. Rather than stepping inside, Boulding decided to slow down and tap the ball at the goalkeeper, allowing him to clear. A minute later Boulding was again released, this time down the left. Sit back down, cross blocked easily. Another minute, Boulding yet again behind the defence with Achterberg forced to hare out of his area. The ball trickled slowly towards the bye-line just outside the penalty area. Achterberg shielded the ball by holding his arms out wide and doing a little Zorba dance to his left, right, then left again, forcing Boulding to run around Spurn Point Lighthouse in an attempt to get to the ball.

Barnardyellow card


Groves79 mins
Cas77 mins
Mansaram84 mins


Kevin Friend


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The report continues in Part Two.

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