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Mentioned Part 34
By: Rob Sedgwick
"No disrespect to the likes of Grimsby..."
wednesday 14th november
Liverpool v Grimsby Reports
From the Telegraph.
What this game lacked in goals it made up for in drama, Liverpool's vastly superior football prompting a quite unbelievable defensive display from their First Division visitors. In the final few seconds of normal time, Ben Chapman emulated his colleague when he too blocked a shot on the line, on this occasion from Vladimir Smicer.
It provided enormous entertainment, making the three-hour bus journey from Grimsby worthwhile not only for the 5,000 travelling supporters but the Grimsby branch of the Liverpool supporters' club.
From The Times
Liverpoolâ€™S supposed invincibility in cup competition was exposed in the most extraordinary fashion last night as Phil Jevons, a player turned away from Anfield as a teenager and released by Everton during the summer, scored a stunning goal in the final minute of extra time. Liverpool went tumbling out of the Worthington Cup at the first hurdle in arguably the greatest result in Grimsby Townâ€™s 123-year history.
Giant-killings in this competition are hardly rare, given the regard afforded it by some of the bigger clubs, but this was a classic. Liverpool, having won the trophy en route to their treble success last season, were in no mood to surrender it. If anything, their desperation to reach the fourth round allowed Jevons to provide the sucker punch, with a dipping 30-yard shot, in the final minute.
Only eight minutes earlier, Grimsby, without a win in their previous five matches, had seemed to be on their way out of the competition. Having rallied hard to force the contest into an extra half-hour, they fell behind to a Gary McAllister penalty ten minutes into extra time, but refused to accept defeat. Marlon Broomes, signed on loan because he cannot get a game at Blackburn Rovers, equalised in the 112th minute before Jevons, unforgettably, settled matters in the 120th.
"It was unbelievable," Jevons, 22, said. "Itâ€™s Roy of the Rovers stuff, the stuff that dreams are made of. I've just seen my family, who are all Liverpool supporters, and they are all absolutely overjoyed. It means a lot to me. I was here from when I was 11 to when I was 13 and they decided not to keep me, so I moved to Everton. I was there until the summer and I decided to take a step down, but with a view to taking a step up again. This shouldn't do me any harm."
Lennie Lawrence, one of the most experienced managers in the game, was moved to describe it as the greatest night in his career and possibly in the history of Grimsby. "Itâ€™s nights like that you're in football for, whether you're a player, a manager or a supporter," he said. "It must be one of the greatest nights in the history of the club and it certainly ranks as one of the best results, if not the best, in my career. Itâ€™s just like a dream. We've got a lot of young players who will never forget tonight."
Chief among those, of course, will be Jevons, the match-winner, but it will be memorable, too, for Danny Coyne, the former Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper, who made a number of superb saves, and for Danny Butterfield, who cleared three shots off the line as Liverpool laid siege to their goal. In true Anfield sporting tradition, the underdogs were given a moving ovation as they left the field with the applause of the home crowd, never mind 5,000 raucous souls from Humberside, ringing in their ears.
There were notable absentees in the home side - with Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler suspended, injured and unwell respectively - but theirs was a far stronger team than Manchester United or Arsenal would dream of fielding in the competition. Seven of the starting line-up were on international duty at the weekend, including Chris Kirkland, the England Under-21 goalkeeper, who was making his first appearance since his Â£5 million arrival from Coventry City in August. Kirkland was not troubled in a forgettable first half, but nor was Coyne as the lightweight attack of Jari Litmanen and Vladimir Smicer failed to make their presence felt. When they did threaten, they encountered great resistance, a sign of what was to come, from Butterfield, who produced two heroic goalline clearances in as many minutes to deny Litmanen and Frode Kippe before completing his "hat-trick" by keeping out Emile Heskey in the second half.
Heskeyâ€™s arrival as a substitute invigorated Liverpool. Litmanen produced an overhead kick, repelled at point-blank range by Coyne, before Butterfield somehow scooped away Heskeyâ€™s header.
The suspicion was that Liverpoolâ€™s class, experience and superior fitness would tell in extra time, and so it seemed as they took the lead in the hundredth minute. A careless handball by David Beharall allowed McAllister to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
Grimsby, though, were not to be denied as Broomes showed remarkable composure to level the scores with a crisp shot with eight minutes remaining. Lawrence was preparing for a penalty shoot-out when Jevons, picking up possession 30 yards from goal, unleashed a prodigious shot that arced over Kirkland and into the goal.
"Sometimes, you can blame yourselves for a match like this, but not tonight," GÃ©rard Houllier, the Liverpool manager, said. "Sometimes, you have to admit it just wasn't your night. It was Grimsbyâ€™s night. They were fantastic. They played like heroes and we have to congratulate them."
From the Mirror
David Beckham's goal for England against Greece may have captured the imagination of the country.
But it will take second place in Grimsby after Phil Jevons' moment of magic produced one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Worthington Cup.
There was one minute of extra- time remaining when Jevons let fly from 30 yards and the ball flew into the roof of the net over the despairing dive of Chris Kirkland.
Talk about a fairytale! Jevons, a Liverpool fan all his life, was released by the club as a youngster and joined arch-rivals Everton before moving on to Grimsby for Â£250,000 in the summer.
As long as he lives he will never forget his return to Anfield and the goal that smashed the myth that Liverpool are the Cup kings of England.
Last season they swept the board at home and abroad to collect three trophies â€” the Worthington Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
But Jevons, 22, showed them the exit door in their first defence of the Worthington Cup.
Spotted by Jonathan Parkes.
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