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Sheff Utd 2 Grimsby 1 - Mini Report
By: Paul Holmes
DESPITE taking an early lead and playing the better football, Town came away from Bramall Lane empty handed.
Town lined up as expected with Simon Ford at left back. The rest of the team lined up as they started at Coventry with Kabba and Robinson up front.
Town survived a few early scares. John-Paul McGovern, on loan from Celtic, creating problems down the left only for Carl Asaba to head over/wide. Town started to play the stuff of last season with nice quick one touch play.
The play was rewarded in the 8th minute when Steve Kabba crossed for Paul Robinson to score, despite Paddy Kenny's best efforts in goal. Now as I remember it was Kabba who crossed but every report I've read says it was in fact Stuart Campbell. Well to be honest I can't remember that well who it was, so take your pick!
After the goal Town really started playing some classy stuff, Ford and McDermott were working over-time on the wings with Cambell drifting inwards and Barnard just drifting. The middle pairing of Pouton and Coldicott bossed one of the divisions best midfield with ease. Robinson and Kabba were dropping a bit too deep but the link-up play was a la Allen and Boulding.
United offered threats in bits and bobs with Peschisolido looking dangerous when allowed to run at Groves or Chettle.
Half-time came at the right time for Town with the play starting to switch over and Coyne having to make some first class saves
The second half was sadly the same old story. Instead of pushing forward and bullying, Pouton and Coldicott sat deep as did the wingers leaving the strikers to come back and almost play in midfield at times. When we did get the ball it was a case of 'hoofing' it up the field, more often than not in an area of pitch miles away from a Town player. When given the ball on the floor Kabba and Robinson looked capable and a spell of 3 corners and sustained possesion suggested we could actually win a game, providing Coyne continued his miracles.
However with about 15 minutes to go on comes Wayne Allison and Peter Ndlovu, one's a bit lump and the other is fast - two things we can't cope with headers and pace. The writing's on the wall, as Destiny's Child would have us believe. 10 minutes to go Allison is left unmarked from a corner and heads in. Biggest guy on the park and we manage to lose him! Somewhere before this Terry Cooke replaced the disappointing/lazy Darren Barnard.
Both Kabba and Robinson were on their knees and changes should have been made 15 minutes before, take them off now? Nah, wait till we're losing, silly!
3 minutes to go and a long ball Ten Heuvel heads it in and Michael Tonge slams home from 18 yards...Agghhhh so close. Subs on now? No, another few minutes yet - don't want to give them a chance do we? With a minute to go Mansaram and Rowan replace the exhausted Robinson and Kabba. Neither got a touch that I can remember though as the game was gone. Clutching at straws, the ref played only a minute off the three for injury time. In fact the ref and his two linesmen were shocking all night.
Like the Coventry game, hope can be taken but no points. Key points that must be addressed are the fact that we can't deal with pace/height through the middle, that's easy - play Ford as a centre back. Not so easy, Barnard is too lazy to play left wing!
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