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24Newport County12-87

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Grimsby 0 Wimbledon 0

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 14/08/2002

GRIMSBY Town registered their first points of the season tonight despite a bore-draw against Wimbledon at Blundell Park in front of a disappointing crowd of 4635 fans, 19 from Wimbledon.

Hopes were high going into the game but the enthusiasm drained from most upon hearing the line-up. No changes from Saturday's defeat to Norwich other than Jonathan Rowan replacing Paul Robinson, who Wimbledon refused permission to play. Youth striker Darren Mansaram was on the bench as Paul Groves looked to youth to boost his small squad.

The game started brightly enough with 'Livvo' leading the way, winning the high balls, bullying the Wimbledon defenders, chasing down loose balls. Mmmm this was looking good.

OK that's it, Livvo's had enough he needs a rest now. Still Town ploughed on though with Campbell and Pouton charging forward from midfield. Kelvin Davis in the Wimbledon goal was made to work, but not very hard with shots straight at him and crosses/corners too close to him.

Terry Cooke had the first serious effort at goal with a 30-yard drive but Davis saved well. Another 20 minutes remained but it was all downhill from here. No chances created at either end before the ref put us out of our misery, for 15 minutes at least.

As the teams came out, eyes seemed to be waiting to see if Coldicott and Livingstone, who both had looked poor came out. They did. With no changes by either side the game got back into its boring phase and at times felt more like a pre-season friendly.

Jonny Rowan's tireless running almost paid off when he took advantage of a mix-up to be faced one-on-one with Davis. "GO ON JONNY". Straight at the keeper and away. Everyone chose this point to tell the person next to them what they would have done in that situation.

Former Blackpool striker Adam Nowland came close with a 20-yard shot as The Dons started to make an impact with Patrick Agyemang causing Groves and McDermott problems.

The fans were by now screaming out for a change, literally. Finally Darren Barnard stripped off to get ready. Up came the board. Would it be Coldicott? Would it be Campbell like in the Norwich game? Hang on.....its...its No. 7! That's Pouton! Big Al took one look at the board and turned away. The board stayed up Pouton walked away. Now whether Pouton refused to leave or a mix-up between the bench and the guy who operates the board (4th official is his title I believe), I don't know and am not prepared to speculate. Either way it was farcical.

Pouton then seem spurred on and picked the ball up and beat his man, and another. Now just for the easy cross. Oh first come the step-overs. Chance gone.

Changes were made late on first with Jevons replacing Rowan and then a minute later Barnard replacing Cooke. From the off Jevons looked keen and almost snatched the win. From a Campbell cross he tried to slot it into the net but went woefully wide and then with seconds remaining picking the ball up in his own half and running two Dons defenders inside out before a great cross, no-one in the box though.

The game ended with mainly silence but a few boo's were heard around the ground.

Overall a poor performance both from the team and from the bench, changes should have been made earlier and even the changes that were eventually made were the wrong ones. Improvement is needed.

Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Groves, Chettle, Gallimore, Cooke, (Barnard, 84), Coldicott, Pouton, Campbell, Livingstone, Rowan (Jevons, 83 )
Subs not used: Hughes, Ford, Mansaram

Wimbledon: Davis, Darlington, Willmott, Williams, Hawkins, McAnuff, Francis, Andersen, Nowland (Gray, 66), Shipperley, Agyemang
Subs not used: Heald, Gier, Tapp, Karlsson.

Attendance: 4,625

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