The Grimsby Town FC

Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


24/02 Luton 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 25/02/2004

NO changes were made by either team at half time. And off with an oomph. Within a minute Town nearly, then should, have scored. A corner from the left, half cleared to Campbell in the centre on the edge of the area.

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

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

The ball dropped, Campbell took a step back and thwacked a drive through a big bundle of players. Hilda saw the ball late and took off to his right, brilliantly parrying it out towards Mansaram. Gangling, dawdling, otherwordly, the ball bounded twice straight to him, but Dazzler was starstruck, perhaps transfixed by fear. He didn’t move a muscle until the ball was almost at his feet, then his nose twitched as he bemoaned his ill-fortune - those pesky Lutonites wouldn’t let him score from just 6 yards out.

Luton went down the other end and sort of nearly got close to Davison, but even enough to get their own supporters up off their cold backsides. But what’s this? Barnard taking the goalkicks? Davison hobbling around his area, immobile, a duck waiting to be shot. Gulp, it’s going to be a long half.

How curious, Town were all over Luton, hassling, harrying, snarling at every little orangina. Daws and Coldicott clamped the middle of the pitch, Luton pressed back and back and back. Rankin sprinting in bursts, causing minor peril, major mayhem. Luton passing the ball out of play, or directly to Town players. And Mansaram. Get up on your feet, Rankin sent down the middle by Jevons, barging past two defenders. Into the area, in the centre, his foot pulled back and....a marvellous tackle by Coyne, whisking the ball away as a goal was imminent. Rankin again, nearly, almost, getting closer, closer. Luton began to twang.

More, more, more, how do we like it? Town tightened the noose, a clearance, back to Armstrong near the half way line. He chested the ball down, fending off Showumni, looked up and hit an exquisite pass over to Jevons on the left wing. The ball drifted over the full back onto Jevons’ big toe, near the corner of the penalty area. The Phil-o-philes cooed as Jevons lifted the ball over the defender, sending him out to Ramsdens to collect some cream buns. JEVONS drifted into the area, across the area, wrong footing a further defender, before neatly curling the ball into the bottom left hand corner. A stunning goal that sat embarrassingly in the footballing quicksand that is Division Two.

Still Town surged on, and on, the passion that was missing in the first half arrived at last, Coldicott dumping Showumni down the players tunnel, Daws chasing, chasing, chasing the ball, hounding the persecuted hat-people. Rankin, again, muscular, magnificent, bursting past and through, into the area, across the area, drifting to the right and zooming a shot to the near post from about eight yards out. The ball ballooned off Hyldgaard’s shins and out for a throw in under the Police Box. To Luton! The ball must have brushed Rankin’s ego on the way out.

Have Luton had an attack? Oh, yes. No idea who it was, so far, far in the distance, but he drifted around a couple of Town "tackles" on the centre and right, before rolling infield and curling a shot a foot or so wide of Davison’s left hand post. It may have been close, it may not. It didn’t go in, that’s a fact, Jack. Didn’t bother Town too unduly, back they came, with another breakaway sending Rankin fizzing through, collecting defenders like Green Shield Stamps. Off to the right he went, round and round in circles, grinding to halt under the Police Box as Mansaram became involved.



Soames77 mins
Jevonsgoalgoal23 mins
Thorpe88 mins


Carl Boyeson


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The ball was played back to Daws, who tippled the ball forward to Ranking, just outside the area. Rankin turned and realised there was a massive space into which he could run. So he did, hurtling in to the area with several defenders converging. The ball dribbled away so Rankin decided to have a little lie down, to rest after his exertions. Penalty! Wahey! I suppose Rankin is only a loanee, so he doesn’t count as a Town player. That’s why we got it!! Who would take it? Barnard? No, Rosemary the telephone operator? No, he’s stepping out, he’s Phil Jevons. The referee took an age to sort out some non-existent encroaching, standing in Jevons’ way. Up he strolled and JEVONS rolled the ball into the very right side of the goal, as Greenock Morten plunged to the right. Twenty minutes left, plenty of time to throw a collective wobbler.

With this, Town decided to put their feet up a bit, the switch was turned off and Luton began to get the ball, began to pass it, began to threaten. Uuuurgh. Two men free inside the area as Enoch rumbled his way down the left. Thanks, lad, for shooting straight at Davison. Uuuuuuurrrgghh, again. Two more players totally unmarked in the middle of the area. Phew, crossed into Crane’s big bad boots. Wibble - Showumni wriggled past a couple of challenges and only Crane’s sliding manliness hoofed the ball out of the 6 yards box. Wobble - Ford dragged across to the centre after a Crane mistake, the ball played out to Robinson, on the edge of the area, unmarked, free as a bird, alone with his thoughts. Here it comes, here comes the fright. Robinson carefully placed a shot 3 yards wide of Davison’s right hand post. It was far easier to score, it takes great skill to miss by that much from so close with Hopalong Cassidy in goal.

Rock and roll, Luton camped out on the Town land trying to their soul free. With Town’s defence that’s a given. Oooh, a header at the far post, Davison tipping the ball over the bar as it threatened to crawl over his hop, skip and jump. It’s coming, it’s coming. We knew it, they knew, everybody knew it. And here it is. With 10 minutes left Town had a throw in on the right, deep inside their own half. Mansaram and a defender had a bit of a shoving match, the referee had words. Luton very slowly made their final two substitutions, which confused the tannoy announcer, who never did work out who the third man was. The referee appeared to bring the throw in forward a few yards. It was flung up, headed back by Luton as Howard turned his marker on the right edge of the penalty area Thaddump! HOWARD hit an instant half volley which dipped at Davison’s feet at the near post and went in off some part of the injured, immobile ‘keeper’s body. Down to injury that one.

I forgot to tell you one vital bit of information here. Coldicott, the awesome pumping powerhouse, was replaced by Soames after 75 minutes. Soames scurried around ineffectively on the right wing as Campbell moved to the centre. Apparently. I think I require video evidence before I am prepared to believe that Campbell played the last 15 minutes in the middle of the pitch. Or even on the pitch. Luton were able to swarm around the Town nest at will, only their own incompetencies stopped them scoring. They could be relied upon to make the wrong decision. And with five minutes left Thorpe replaced the court jester, Mansaram. Deep into the three minutes of added time, Thorpe won two headers and was fouled twenty five or so yards out, on the centre left; a perfect position for a right-footed curler. Jevons hovered (for he doesn’t merely walk upon turf) whilst Barnard waddled. Jevons ran over the ball, Barnard curled the free kick into the tantalising space between goalkeeper and defenders. Hilda came off his line, a big bunch of players jumped at him. Bounce, bounce, bounce, onto his space hopper leapt the startled SIMON FORD, who just managed to glance the ball over the goalkeeper and into the top right hand corner of the goal. Ford soaked up the adoration of his long standing admirers in the Pontoon, the crowd couldn’t stop laughing, and ten seconds later the game ended.

So this is where all that luck went, hiding away ready for us in the last few weeks of the season. A win is a win. Let’s look at the package, not the contents, eh? Jevons, the novelty toy, may keep you amused for a few moments, but the goods are stale, almost inedible. The good news was that Daws and Coldicott managed to exert some control for about half an hour before their legs turned to mush. Rankin, in little bursts, is a handful and Armstrong looked a very assured playmaking defender (well against Luton anyway). And of course Jevons applied that little bit of magic needed to blind the evil goblins. But the rest of it was appalling really. What got Town through was good fortune and some determination by over half the team. That wallpaper is still very thin though, you can still see the cracks.

Who’d have thought Pacy Stacy would be Town’s talisman, the most important cog in the wheel.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Jevons gave a little masterclass in conjuring, but overall Craig Armstrong was invaluable at the back. He was surprisingly good.

Markie’s UnMan of the Match

Several contenders, the official missing person that is Stuart Campbell, for one. The chuckle brothers, Ford and Crane, for two. The Donny Dreamer, Darren Mansaram, just couldn’t do anything right. How he lasted for 85 minutes is the eighth wonder of the ancient world.

Official Warning

Mr C Boyeson. Ah, payback time for the Doncaster disaster. What a penalty decision! Can we have him for every home game, for a homester he is. A little pedantic with a strong desire to confuse. He managed to book just one player all night, for kicking the ball away at a throw in. Most incredibly the booked player wasn’t Tony Crane. He gets a disgracefully high score of 7.863, purely because Town finally got a rubbish decision in our favour.

Two fascinating linesmen, one always gave offside, but never flagged for the ball being out of play. He missed at least three clear dribbles out of play by Town players, infuriating the Bedfordshire battlers. Strange days indeed.

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