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08/01 Bolton 1st Half
By: David Peasgood
Grimsby Town 0 Bolton Wanderers 2
08 Jan 2000, FA Cup
The day started chilly and finished very very cold with a biting easterly wind. Bolton warmed up with their coach taking them through team exercises and running to and fro across the pitch. Town played amongst themselves or stood around chatting. Towns line up was bizarre. we heard rumour that Groves and Gally were out, and then saw them walk across the pitch in civvies to presumably greet sponsors in the Inn on the park so that was that. Butterfield on the bench and yet Chapman playing seemed an odd choice. Lester and Ash up front without Allen is what I'm used to with AB now, and Pouton to command midfield seemed a tadge scary. However.
We held our own for first 15 mins and had most of the ball, albeit our tactic was a standard header out by Lever to Coldicott, Coldicott hoof up to Lester and hope Lester could make something of it. In truth Lester was very alive today and able to get crosses in, but sadly 9 out of 10 were to Bolton defenders with the GTFC attack nowhere. After this bright start though it all went AWOL. The Bolton goal was Coyne's fault. Everyone around me in the Pontoon thought so anyway. We could all see the Icelander get the ball and look for space on his right foot, we could all see he had only 'his' bottom left hand corner to aim at, and we could all see Coyne stood still on his line. The shot wasn't that strong. Coyne stood far to central and when he dived couldn't quite reach the ball though got his palm to it. After that and until 75 minutes we were tactically inept. Where Bolton went directly down the flanks or played balls down the channels for players to run onto, we played left to right and backwards. Bolton played balls into space for defenders to run onto and we played to peoples feet for them to then try and pass the defender. Fair do's Allen on for Lester after just half an hour gave the kid a good run out, and we saw the little fella turn and twist and get a couple of shots in, but it was all such a struggle. The 2nd Bolton goal was a classic. Town fannied around for about 10 minutes getting nowhere around the box with pissy little triangles and then winning throw-ins (which seemed to them a major success) then all of a sudden a lightning Bolton break, right down to the Osmond touchline, cross along the face of goal and easy sidefoot in. 30 seconds from us attacking their box to a goal. Dead Easy.
Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Bolton Wanderers 1
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