The Grimsby Town FC

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Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


24/02 Luton Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 25/02/2004

AH, there we are, something’s happening here. As usual Town were defending dreadfully. Just what are they doing? Where are they? Who area they? Why are they? Is that fair?

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

Grimsby Town 3 Luton Town 2
24 Feb 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Not to Barnard or Armstrong it isn’t, especially Armstrong who was by far the best Town player in the first half. He tackles! He passes! He tries! The "other two", I am still shuddering at the very thought of them and the ball being in perfect disharmony. Ford was Ford - dilatory, languid, calm, spaced out man. Crane was incapable of jumping, heading, tackling, moving. Armstrong spent a lot of time covering for the wayward blubbering blabberboy. I am just avoiding the parting of the red sea that set up Luton’s first chance, from which they should have scored. Like a particularly well cooked parsnip, Town just melted away down the centre. There was nothing there, the defence zig-zagged across the pitch, a huge space 40 yards out into which a Luton midfielder strode. Onwards he ran, back came the cavalry and he rolled the ball out to their left, where some little bloke (who was probably Robinson) sneaked in behind where Ford would have been if he’d been McDermott. Robinson took the ball on and from about a dozen yards out and wide of goal he thwacked a shot at shoulder height, which Davison parried aside for a corner. The corner wasn’t so much dealt with as accidented away.

I can’t keep away from it any longer. After 19 minutes, in other words the usual length of time it takes for Town to crumple, Town crumpled. Head tennis down the Luton right, Armstrong beaten, the ball flicked on, another flick and Nicholls was sent free behind Barnard. He looked up and saw whole sheets of orange spread out before him inside the penalty area. Nicholls passed to HOWARD, near the penalty spot and totally unmarked, who leathered a shot via Ford’s shins and Davison’s knees into the bottom left hand corner. Cue the remnants of the disaffected venting as much of their spleen as they had left in the direction of the directors’ box. Even the fury was lacking in passion, being just a Pavlovian response. Someone tutted, another curled a lip, others sought solace in their Mars bars.

The rest of the half was abysmal, in all respects. Luton should have scored more, Town may even have had shots that almost went close to being near to approaching a goal. Not the one that Morten Harket was standing in mind, but the ones down Sussex Rec. Sometime, in the great splodge of nothingness that sandwiched the goal and half time, Howard had another shot well saved by Davison. Roaming the savannah, the wildebeest Howard trundled past Crane as Nicholls, on the edge of the area, tipped the ball between Barnard and Armstrong. Drifting to the left of goal and, from a narrow angle, Howard blatted the ball at the ailing Aidan from perhaps six yards out. Just before half time Town were in a pickling tizz when Crane and Davison stood and stared at each other as the ball bloppity-blopped into the area, down the centre. Harry left it to Sally, Sally left it to Harry and then the vicar arrived in the form of Enoch Longlegs. Panic, collisions, flapping, arguing, a right royal mess up. Urrgh, another fine mess Olly, with Ford making a fantastic last ditch tackle to whip the ball away from Showunmi, totally and utterly unmarked around the penalty spot. The build up had seen Town shredded, a huge gaping hole down the centre into which Nicholls caressed the ball.

Town did have efforts, you know. No, really, they did.



Soames77 mins
Jevonsgoalgoal23 mins
Thorpe88 mins


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Let me delve into the very back of the echoing cave that contains memories of sweet, sweet Town moments. Ah, yes, I remember, a hazelnut in every bite! No, that’s something else. Coldicott hit a shot way over the bar from the left edge of the penalty area. Hardly worth mentioning, was it? Later, he surged to the left bye-line, racing on to a flick and trick by Rankin, and slammed a low shot towards the near post, which Hyldgaard plopped onto without much fuss. Anything else? Jevons blasted a free kick way, way over the bar from about 25 yards. Jevons? What? Oh yes, he replaced the limping Anderson after 22 minutes in a straight swap which pleased the Jevonista fan club. And finally Cyril, towards the end of the half, a Town player crossed from the right, Jevons, at the far post, headed firmly down in to the 6 yards box and a defender wellied clear. Mansaram was motionless, watching events from a yard or two away.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Luton Town 1

That’s the first half, filleted for bones, wiped down with disinfectant to save you from disease. Awful. Lacking any creativity going forward, lacking gumption in defence, Daws and Coldicott were forced to run around like madmen to try and plug the gaps. Campbell was again invisible, hiding in the middle of the muddle, leaving Ford to stew in his own juices. Crane seems to be getting worse, regressing to the point where he physically shrinks during a game. And it must be reported, with great sadness, that Darren Mansaram failed in his trial for the Tap and Spile Sunday Second XI. He just got in the way and Town would have been better off with 10 men.

But at least Armstrong looked any good, passing to people in the same coloured shirts. What has it come to - adequacy lauded as excellence. Is this the nadir? Or just the next nadir?

The team was booed off by those few who scoured their intestines and found the last dregs of interest. Losing to a limited Luton, Town lying in the wreckage, the ambulance approaching. Is it too late?

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Why is it that only goalkeepers are rent boys and not right backs?"
"I see the Burberry apes are back."
"I could have been listening to my Dad sing about trawlers instead of watching this."
"One day Jevons will score with his backside."
"She used to sit with the boy who had his ear in the radiator."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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