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Reserves Destroy Pool

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 22/02/2001

Grimsby Town's second string today destroyed a poor Hartlepool team 3-0 in the return leg of the Avon Insurance Cup. Having lost the first match 1-0 Town were keen to defeat their opponents and did so easily. Town fielded a very strong team, which lined up as follows.

Croudson
WardRavenSmith.RGallimore
BuckleyPoutonBlackMcCarver
AllenRowan

The attendance was at least double the average mainly due to half-term holiday, a large proportion of the crowd was young children. Once again Alan Buckley was in the crowd talking to his favourite player Paul Groves, this chat may have been a general chat but Groves would be a favourite to become Buckley's right hand man if, according to rumours, Buckley returned to management (Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe are just a few teams who have been suggested).

From the off Town were the more positive team but despite having most of the play, few chances were created. Kingsley Black started to dictate play from early on. Half way through the second half Black played a neat one-two with Allen before skipping past a defender, rounding the keeper and slotting in form a tight angle, a great piece of individual skill. The remainder of the second half was pretty much a non-event and I was glad of my cup of tea.

The teams returned for the second half with no substitutions, now Town really started to stamp their authority on the game. Rowan was causing the Hartlepool defence no end of problems with his direct running, much in the same way that a certain Mr Lester was renowned for. Finally Rowan got his reward when an Adam Buckley skipped past his man to deliver a near post cross which Rowan side footed towards the goal, while the keeper could only parry into the net. Rowan continued to cause problems all through the game.

Bradley Allen who had a quiet first half started to show some nice touches. Paul Raven appeared to have pulled his hamstring after lunging after a wayward ball, after 5 minutes of trying to run the injury off he was replaced by Matthew Bloomer. Moments later Bradley Allen received a knock to his ankle and seemed to be in some pain, after receiving treatment from Paul Mitchell he carried on and hopefully his ankle problem hasn't flared up again. Moments later Ada! m Buckley fired a loose shot which flew into the Osmond and snapped the back of a seat off the frame (honest)!

20 minutes from time Towns third goal came when Rowan was played through, rounded the onrushing keeper and slotted the ball into an empty net from 20 yards out. Towards the end of the game Alan Pouton was replaced, one assumes Pouton will be in 18 or so that travel to Nottingham for the weekend game at Forest.

Summary of Game

Good second half made up for a so-so first half. Good performances all round. Good to see Allen and Pouton getting a run out. Young Johnny Rowan continued to impress and reminds me more and more of Jack Lester each week. Kingsley Black again produced another faultless performance in the centre, after several of these performances, as well as scoring regular goals, Kingsley has pushed himself back into the first team plans.

Ratings

Croudson - 7 Little to do, organised defence well but an easy afternoon.
Ward - 7 Solid and got forward well
Gallimore - 7 Faultless and provided good crosses all afternoon
Smith.R - 7 Strong in the air and classy on the floor
Raven - 7 Made some good forward runs, unlucky to get injured
Buckley - 6.5 Good in patches (Broken chair incident was good though)
McCarver - 6 Showed some good touches but knocked off the ball easy.
Black - 8 Excellent goal and a scheming performance
Pouton - 7 Ran all game and made some crucial tackles
Allen - 7 Workman like performance with some clever touches
Rowan - 8 A real handful, took his goals excellently.

Man of the Match

Tough one this, between Rowan and Black and I really can't decide. Both were excellent and caused problems all game. Rowan gets the nod, no Kingsley does, no Rowan..... OK I call this one a draw.

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