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Reserves WBA Cup Defeat
By: Paul Holmes
IN a very poor Avon Insurance League Cup game, Grimsby Town's second string went down 2-1 to their WBA counterparts. To say that this game was poor is an understatement!
Think of the worst first team game this season (Rotherham, Gillingham, Watford etc) then times it by 10 and your somewhere near the level of this game. The pitch was also cut in a strange manner. Instead of the light and dark strips of grass it was the cut and uncut strips.
Town lined up in the traditional 4-4-2 style as follows
West Brom fielded a very, very young team that brought me to the conclusion that it was definitely half-term. The only recognisable name was that of the Goalkeepers, Chris Adamson, who I think was on-loan at Scunthorpe last season. A few of the West Brom team had an unusual name with two Joshua's, Tamika McAndawire starting and Daniel Carey-Bertram. Hey if Tony Butcher has the grabs on the hair then I get the names!
The first half was the worst of the two, if that's possible. I don't think Ermes touched the ball more than ten times. Town were controlling the game but created virtually nothing. Darren Mansaran caused problems but nothing to write home about. Town's best chance came after Bolder plated a good ball out wide to Hockless who played a deep cross for Thompson who made poor contact. Hockless was Townâ€™s chief creator with several mazy runs which sadly came to nothing. Only other incident that I really remember was a late tackle by Paul Raven on Joshua Perry, the ref chose to ignore it despite Perry staying down and the protestâ€™s of Admason in goal. Having stayed down for a good 30 seconds Perry jumped up and sprinted 50 yards after the ball, a scene more familiar in Serie A or La Liga.
Half Time: Grimsby 0 WBA 0
No changes were made at half-time and the second half was a vast improvement on the first, still boring though.
I remember Mansaran creating a chance for himself before shooting wide early on. Hockless then repeated this after a good dummy in the box.
15 minutes in the game changed as WBA coach Gary Skelton, former player with Sheff Wed and Bristol C, introduced Daniel Carey Bertram. After only a few minutes Bertram had made an impact with a beautiful half volley from 25 yards beating Ermes to give WBA the lead.
10 minutes later the lead was doubled after a dubious penalty decision following a tackle by Paul Raven on Richard Adams inside the box. Matt Scott stepped up to take the kick . A poor effort was well saved by Ermes only for the referee to order the kick to be taken again for an unknown reason. Scott again stepped up before the very vocal Skelton told someone else to take it. Matt Turner then managed to send Ermes the wrong way.
Soon after Town made some changes with Gary Moran replacing Robbie Busscher. Moran went to right back and Ward moved into midfield. Shortly afterwards Freddie Cass and Ross Thompson were introduced replacing Hockless and Stephen Downes.
Town had a free kick 30 yards out which David Morgan skied in a Menno esque fashion.
Townâ€™s reply was a mere consolation. Cass, who impressed in a short spell, cut inside and played a delightful ball through for Mansaran who expertly rounded the keeper before scoring from a tight angle.
West Brom were no staring to panic but with 1 minute to go Town were never going to create anything. Had the goal come earlier Extra Time might have been on the cards. Despite deserving to lose Town can fell hard done by as the penalty should never have been, never mind taken twice.
Full Time Town 1 WBA 2
Whether Town are still in the cup or not is a mystery as no-one seems to know the format. Having lost in this competition to Lincoln Town still carried on.
Ermes - 7 Faultless for the goals and was unlucky to face two penalty's
Ward - 6 Seemed all over the place and struggled to play the ball in the long grass
Morgan - 6 Solid at the back but game Hockless no support
Raven - 7 Came through game well and tired his best to marshal the troops.
Ford - 6 Ventured forward on occasions but struggled to pass in the long grass
Downes - 6 Nice touches but no real venom in his play
Hockless - 8 Best of the bunch, mazy runs were good
Bolder - 6 Another who found the grass hard to pass in. Battled well
Busscher - 6 Tired early but played well enough
Mansanam - 7 Nice goal and gave 110%
C.Thompson - 6 Offered little support but showed his talent when he did.
None of the subs really played long enough for me to rate them but Cass looked excellent, Ross Thompson made a couple of good tackles and Gary Moran was solid at the back
Man of the Match
Graham Hockless takes the coveted award. His runs were Towns only real threat and I imagine the watching Lennie Lawrence would have been impressed
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