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Reserves Tame Shrews
By: Paul Holmes
An unusually large gate of around 40 people watched Grimsby Town reserves gain a good 3-1 victory over a strong Shrewsbury Town. Town's opponents fielded several first team regulars which proved to be a good test for many of Town's youngsters.
In the Mariners starting line-up were Hull trialist's Graham Hockless and Chris Bolder along with Q.P.R trialist Brad-Pierce Wright. Town lined up as follows in an unusual 3-5-2 system as follows.
In goal for Shrewsbury was ex Liverpool youngster Ian Dunabavin while leading the front line was awkward striker Chris Freestone (pictured). Town started on the back foot and were obviously having problems adjusting to the new formation with Steve Croudson being forced to make several world class saves.
It came as no surprise when Shrewsbury got a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot but the effort crashed against Steve Croudson's post and away to safety. The miss seemed to have inspired town and 10 minutes later took the lead through Jeffrey. The former Newcastle forward was played through by Ian Ward and he confidently slotted the ball past the on rushing Dunabavin. The goal was quite similar to his goal against Palace earlier in the season. Not a lot happened until half time apart from Lennie Lawrence's mobile phone going off for the millionth time in the game.
Not long after the break another penalty was awarded to Shrewsbury which this time was tucked away by Steve Jagielka to bring the scores level. However from there the game was one way traffic as the Mariners dominated. Adam Buckley saw one free kick whisper wide and Matthew Bloomer nearly headed in from a Dave Smith corner only to see his effort cleared off the line by Kevin Seabury. When Town did take the lead it came through a worthy goal. Some nice build up play involving Jeffrey and Buckley led to Dave Smith curling in a peach of a shot from 25 yards out.
Not long afterwards Ben Chapman went one better with another cracker from 25-30 yards, by this time the crowd was going wild with some of them actually politely applauding the goal. With around 15 minutes to go Peter Handyside hobbled off to replaced by Darren Mansaran, a big strong striker who was explosively fast, he was however raced into second when Gally raced across the pitch upon hearing that the Imperial had finally opened. Seriously though Mansaran looked decent enough, but never really got a chance, and looked very similar to Nicky Kennerdale ability-wise. Kennerdale had a trial with town late last year and despite looking very good in a reserve game, no more has been seen or heard of him.
Brad-Pierce Wright looked very like a very distinguished defender and was very strong in the air, linked up with other players well. Graham Hockless had an OK game but looks very similar to what we already have in an area that most feel we don't need improving. Chris Bolder didn't do a lot and to be honest I can't remember him doing much at all.
Brad-Pierce Wright having a great first game, the continued progress of both Ian Ward and Matthew Bloomer who both had excellent games. Also Steve Croudson had another great performance and if Danny Coyne were not in the from of his life, Croudson would probably be No 1.
Ben Chapman who seems to have stepped back a year as his head has sunk and I suspect he knows that his future lies elsewhere. Adam Buckley had his first bad game for a long while although he was trying to play as the anchorman in a very lightweight 3 man midfield. Peter Handyside going off injured, despite the fact that we are well covered at centre back Pete's name would always be a welcome addition to any team sheet.
This is a close one between Wright and Croudson but Croudson just pips it for several fantastic saves that kept us in the game
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