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07/03 Wolves 1st Half
By: David Peasgood
Grimsby Town 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
07 Mar 2000, Nationwide League Division 1
A rather poor crowd of 5400-ish with about 800 from the midlands saw a nevertheless exciting victory for the mariners last night. This was a game in which neat passing football and delicate tactics were thrown to the winds and replaced by an old fashioned blood and guts performance reminiscent of many previous fixtures against this old enemy. On this occasion it all went right and it was down to a 100% team effort with everyone chipping in together. How often does it happen that a cobbled together team with injuries to key players combine to produce a whole that is far greater than their individual abilities. In fairness though we were assisted by an un-wolves-like ability to squander every chance they had.
As per usual Town kicked off towards the Osmond end. The first 10 mins looked like we were going to be up against it as wolves had most possession though never really penetrated or forced any key saves. Lever was looking strong from early on and got on the end of most loose balls to clear for corners or throw-ins or general fly-hacks anywhere. A couple of times he took the ball from under Coynes nose when the goalie maybe should have called for it.
From 10 minutes and for the rest of the half the game turned. Slowly town took control of midfield with Coldicott playing brilliant. He was always chasing and closing men down, making great sliding tackles and winning possession. Pouton had his best midfield game I've seen from him and gave midfield a strength which the groves, coldicott combo have lacked lately. Balls were played to both wings readily and good crosses in from Donovan especially caused trouble for wolves all round with town forcing quite a few corners and pegging wolves back well into their own half.
The goal on 27 mins was sublime. A quick through ball from coldicott set pouton (i think) clear on the right wing and a fast accurate cross into the box was met by Nicholls and headed back across to the edge of the right hand corner of the box where CLARE came storming in and hit a powerful volley, (a difficult shot with the ball seeming to bounce up about 2 foot off the deck) straight into the top left hand corner of the net.
In the next 2 minutes we could have made it two but for a good save from Oakes in the Wolves goal, then on 30 mins Nicholls and Muscat were booked for some off the ball argument. A minute later and Muscat felled Nicholls right in front of the dug-out with a clear punch (which i never saw but friends in the main stand did) which the 4th official (sat in front of them) and the 3 main officials all missed. A near fight, 4 minute delay and frankly a poor show by the ref in controlling things, resulted. The result was a drop kick which produced a rare wolves break.
The rest of the half was still towns game apart from one hesitant moment when groves and lever left the ball to each other and akinbye raced through on goal being shadowed by lever and groves. Coyne came out well and smothered the ball at the big forwards feet. It was wolves last chance of the half and town got a standing half time ovation after 4 mins injury time.
Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
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