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Men Against Boys

By: Martin Copass
Date: 19/04/2004

THE rearranged reserve game against league leaders took place this afternoon, but it was a case of men against boys as Town fielded another team of youngsters.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reserve Reports > Hartleool (h)

There were very few people in the crowd for this afternoon’s rearranged reserve fixture against league leaders Hartlepool United, and as in the previous couple of games, Graham Rodger fielded a very young team. The visitors had a familiar face in their line-up, in the form of striker Paul Robinson. Also in the visitors line-up was Gavin Strachan, the son of ex-Southampton manager Gordon Strachan.

When you are playing against the league leaders, a good start is always a must, and Town got off to the worst possible start when a mix up between the defence and the keeper allowed Hartlepool to take the lead with not even a minute of the game gone. As with the previous few games the young Town side battled hard with plenty of enthusiasm, but it was always the visitors who looked like scoring again as they peppered the Town goal with shots from all distances. There was little in the way of goalmouth action up the other end, and the visitor’s keeper cannot have had a much quieter match all season. During the half, Town had to make two substitutions, with Andy Ward and Michael Smith replacing Huckett and Wheeler.

The second half was not much different as Hartlepool pushed forward in the hope of adding to their solitary goal, and this they did after 65 minutes with a firmly struck shot from the edge of the box. Shortly after this, Town’s only effort on target came from striker Liam Nimmo, but there were further efforts from the visitors, and it was no surprise when they scored a third after 81 minutes, although again it was down to poor defending by Town. With just two minutes to go, Matthew Stares replaced Joe Lightowler, but this made no difference, and the visitors ran out easy 3-0 winners.

Although it is good experience for the youngsters, one can only wonder as to why certain first team players that aren't playing in the first eleven for the first team are not getting a run out in the reserves.

The reserves play again on Wednesday, when they visit near neighbours Scunthorpe United, and then their final home game is next Wednesday against Doncaster Rovers.

Town Chittock, Hyam, Ward, Newton, Wheeler, Chamberlain, Huckett, Hildred, Nimmo, Lightowler, Heggarty.

Subs Stares, Howard, Ward, Parker L, Smith.

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