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Grimsby lose 1-0 against Bradford at Blundell Park

By: Richard Lord
Date: 03/02/2002

GRIMSBY TOWN this afternoon were victims of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bradford City at Blundell Park. The game threatened to get out of hand after the referee lost control of the game, particularly in the first half after he sent off Robert Taylor which proved to be the turning point of the game.

Pouton and McDermott made returns to the side, and Raven stepped in for the suspended Groves at the back. Gallimore was preferred at left back. Coldicott, Campbell and Willems were in midfield, and Boulding partnered Taylor up front.

Grimsby attacked the away fans in the first half but it was Bradford who took the game to the Mariners. The game flowed from end to end until the referee entered the matter. His constant stop-starting threatened to spoil the game.

When John McDermott fairly won a header in front of the Lower John Smith's the game and the performance of the referee went downhill in a vertical fashion. Pouton was in the book earlier for what seemed to be a fairly innocuous challenge.

As the fans lost their temper, Grimsby began to take a grip of the game after some pressure from the Bantams. They had several long-range shots saved rather comfortably by Coyne.

Then the turning point arrived when a high ball entered the Bradford area. Taylor and a Bradford defender tussled for the ball and the keeper came out and collected. The Wolves loan striker then seemed to kick out at his opposing player in front of the away fans.

The referee produced a red card, much to the amazement of the home supporters.

Then just before the whistle went for half time, Raven was a victim to an arm in the face, but the referee had no idea and let the incident pass without even talking to the Bradford player.

In the second half Town looked lightweight up front, with Boulding being the lone man having to chase everything that came his way. It took about 10 minutes for the team to adjust and gradually the midfield began to push up and assist Boulding.

Then on the hour mark, a free kick was given outside of the box but then the referee proceeded to move the ball forward a further ten yards after McDermott protested. Carbone lifted his effort high into the top corner of the net, beating Coyne in goal.

That sparked off incidents in the home stands and some fans were ejected from the ground and the situation could have grown out of hand. The referee was subject to booing for the rest of the match for an inept performance.

Manager Groves was struggling to contain his anger after the final whistle when speaking on Radio Humberside. It was a performance worthy of at least a point, but Town have to settle for none after a dubious refereeing performance.

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