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Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Grimsby Reserves 1 Stoke Reserves 1
By: Paul Holmes
SUN, Sand (well 50 metres away) and dozens of 8 year olds running around and shouting. What better way to spend a summers afternoon. A very, very youthful Town second string entertained (sort of) their Stoke equivalents on the opening day of the Avon Insurance League.
With fixtures against the likes of Scunthorpe, Doncaster and York, Stoke are one of the more high profile teams in Townâ€™s league.
Town warmed up in the basking heat, at one point 21 players were warming up which made it difficult to guess the team. A lack of a team sheet until 30 minutes into the first half made things harder than I would have liked. Whilst most of the team consisted of rookies who signed at the end of May, a few youth players also took their place in the team. Osset Albionâ€™s Steven Downes, who had a trial last year also played down the left wing. Osset have had a lot of interest regarding Downes from a euphoria of Nationwide teams, Leeds United were also rumoured to be interested in the pint sized winger.
Town lined up as follows.
Ben Chapman did play at Centre Back, this is no mistake!
From the off Town attacked with Downes causing problems down the flanks. Mansaram used his speed and strength but the physical Stoke defence gave as good as they got. Former Charlton YT Simon Ford got forward several times all game and looked very dangerous. Ford brought the ball forward on regular occasions and was comfortable whilst running at people.
Town struck first with the most basic of goals, Route 1. Chapman played a long play over the defence for Darren Mansaram to run on to it, round the keeper and slot into an empty net.
Stokeâ€™s first real chance of the half came when Thordason ran onto a through ball whilst the Town back four stood still expecting the linesman to raise the flag for offside. Thordason approached Ermes but, despite several dummies could not throw the Dutchman. Ermes managed to get a half block which fell back to Thordason who after much waiting was dispossessed by Ben Chapman who cleared to safety.
5 minutes before the break Stoke equalised. Chris Iwelumo was played the ball in the box with his back to goal. Ex Sunderland man David Morgan shadowed Iwelumo who went down, from the faintest of contacts, like heâ€™s been shot. Amazingly the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Iwelumo immediately picked the ball up and placed it on the spot. From there he sent Ermes the wrong way to make the game 1-1.
Around this time Ian Ward received a knock after a goal mouth scramble. After much treatment Ward was replaced by the youth teamâ€™s Wes Parker.
Pretty uneventful in all so I'll just go through the highlights.
Chris Bolder (brother of Derbyâ€™s Adam) had a little scuffle with a Stoke player which was quite funny, the ref didn't even seem bothered.
- Simon Ford displaying great twists and turns in the Stoke box.
- Chris Thompson bettering Fordâ€™s effort by weaving through 4 Stoke players to start an attack.
- David Morgansâ€™ deep crosses, these caused problems all game
- Robbie Busscherâ€™s constant tracking back to win the ball.
- Thordason missing a great chance to win the game for Stoke in the dying minutes
- Ross Thompson and Giovanni Carchedi replacing Sam Thorne and Chris Thompson respectively
- Ermes - 7 Looked commanding in his box but apart from stopping Thordarson had little to do
- Ward - 7 Playing well until injured
- Morgan - 7 Dangerous crosses all game
- Chapman - 8 Surprisingly good at Centre Back.
- Ford - 8 Strong in the air and dangerous going forward
- Thorne - 6 Mainly absent but showed some nice touches
- Bolder - 6 Same as Thorne
- Busscher - 8 Strong in the tackle and good engine
- Downes - 7 Good display and caused many problems
- Mansaram - 7 Strength and speed caused problems and a good goal
- C.Thompson - 7 Excellent touches but didn't really get into the box enough
- Parker - 6 Solid but distribution was a bit poor.
R.Thomspon and Carchedi didn't really have time to merit a rating as it would be unfair. Neither made any mistakes though. Thomspson looked good as did Carchedi.
Man of the Match
Simon Ford gets the nod for me as he looked so strong in the air and looked like a striker when forward.
Stoke fielded a very dangerous left winger called M.Goodfellow who looked excellent running with the ball and when cutting inside.
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