The Grimsby Town FC

Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


20/01 Wrexham Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 21/01/2004

WREXHAM had a couple of dribbly shots from outside the area which forced Davison to bend his back to pick it up off the mud. Davison could have nipped home for a quick shower if he wanted too, and the shots would still be trundling towards the Pontoon.

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

Grimsby Town 1 Wrexham 3
20 Jan 2004, Nationwide League Division 2
Nothing shots, but dangerous moments, as Wrexham’s tactic of simply dribbling forward at the Town centre backs was a worrying development. After about a quarter of an hour, they simply ran quickly towards the Town goal and Thomas. 20 yards out in the centre, dinked the ball out from between his feet towards the top right hand corner. Davison flew across his goal and just managed to palm the ball away for a corner. An excellent save.

19 minutes gone, no goals. The season's improving already! Some nothingness in midfield, the ball played up towards the half way line. Wrexham’s lanky centre back, Lawrence, stepped forward and intercepted, knocking the ball to one his fellow crimson pirates. And on he rushed towards the penalty area. Ah-ha, we thought, Wrexham are going to punt a long cross to the far post. Ah-ha, they did. So, so obvious, so, so predictable that Town players allowed the cross to be made. Culprit? In this case Anderson, already the target for oral abuse by some Pontoon Stentors. The ball was played to Carlos Edwards midway inside the Town half, on their right. He miss-controlled the ball, hesitated and Anderson stood a couple of yards away hopping like an excited chicken. Seeing no challenge, Edwards looked up and selected which team-mate to cross to. In went the ball and LLEWELLYN, about twelve yards out, level with the far post, headed firmly across Davison and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Most of the crowd have gone way past the anger stage and just stared at the floor. Those roused to fury vented spleen at Anderson. He had a terrible, terrible first half where everything he did was wrong. You could almost see him getting feinter and feinter, receding into a small blur of black and white, a greying ghost. Or was that the rain?

A couple of minutes later Armstrong miss hit a shot straight at Davison from outside the area and Town, err, Town what? Won some throw-ins? Three or four minutes after disaster number 345 this season, disaster number 346 arrived. Carlos Edwards stripped a few more layers of skin off Young, with Anderson absent, Crowe who knows where. Level with the penalty area he clipped a low cross seemingly behind the onrushing Wrexham players. THOMAS took a couple of strides and caressed a first time right-footed shot towards goal. The ball delicately made its way through a bunch of players, ducking and diving to avoid heads and shoulders. It continued in a perfect parabola towards the top right hand corner, drifting, slowly drifting away from Davison’s desperate dive. The Pontoon silent, the only sounds were the ball rolling down the net, the water cascading off the nylon onto the sodden turf, followed by Davison’s slapping onto the ground, and a groan as he saw it go in. A few Town fans got up and went to the toilet, some bought a Kit-Kat, some called for the chairman’s assets, others tried a defiant rallying call behind the team.

Things nearly got worse very quickly. An under hit back pass from Young forced Davison to race out of his area and dribble past Armstrong. A through ball, Armstrong free, speeding towards Davison, drifting towards the Police Box. Inside the area, a shot, Edwards screeching across the turf deflected the ball towards the near post, whereupon Davison hurled himself to his left and parried the ball away for a corner. Spaces opening up everywhere, Town caving in, specially down the flanks. Why? Jevons and Anderson kept rushing to the centre, hiding in the huddle. Tactically, Town had been Tangoed.



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Anderson, poor, poor Anderson, the heckling adding to his inner turmoil, barely capable of running, backing off, frightened, a shot from 30 yards out, skipping seven yards past the right hand post. Why bother? Why? Young, left alone to fend for himself as Carlos the Jackal hunted his prey. Ford, finally Ford dissolving, with Groves apoplectic as the man on a mission from Mars backed off, and off, and off. Bring back Galli! Daws swiped away the danger. There were Town attacks, in the sense that Town players were inside the Wrexham penalty area, the ball too, sometimes going in the vague direction of the goal. But belief gone, huffing, puffing, failing to blow down the little pigs’ house, which had quite a bit of straw in if you peered at it for a few seconds.

The half drifting, the game sunk, the season marooned, all those marine metaphors bob, bob, bobbing along. A Jevons header, yawn. A Crowe header, eyelids dropping quicker than the ball into Dibble’s hands. Oo! The ball lobbed high, Onoura challenged the ‘keeper, the ball dropped, Jevons physically near, but mind far, far away. Sigh.

With a couple of minutes left Anderson curled a big, ballooning kick around the wall from about 25 yards. The ball zoomed back, but far too late, hitting the empty seats behind the goal with a splish and a splash. When’s half time? Now. Off they trouped to an ominous silence from the majority. Yes some boos, but only by a few knots of defiant angry young men.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Wrexham 2

Yet again a team was trouncing Town, and this one even had an outstanding individual. Carlos Edwards, fast, tricky, and on this showing way below his level. Would Barnard have made a difference? Probably, as he would at least have kicked him hard very early on. The really, really awful thing about it all was that there was no apparent tactical change to deal with the obvious threat. If there was, the players didn’t do what they were told to do. And as for attacking, forget about it. A few superficially fancy flicks from Mr Twinkltoes Jevons which only meant the ball got to Onuora, who at least was trying. Somehow Town have replaced Livingstone with a caricature - Livvo without the psychopathic elbows. Boulding did a couple of neat rolling, spinning turns out on the touchline, but as per usual his crosses just trundled into the shins of the first defender.

The fans? Well, a couple got ejected for having a scrap in the singing corner of the Pontoon. One of them got so animated he ended up punching a policeman. Overall it was the usual mixture of emotions, there is still no consensus over who is to blame. But everyone was certain "something must be done".

The soufflé hasn’t finished deflating.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

The Toilet held a 10 minute silence as a mark of respect following the death of hope.

The report continues in the Second Half.

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