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Town 0 Reading 3

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 05/10/2002

TOWN crashed to their second consecutive 3-0 home defeat this afternoon against a far superior Reading side.

With Tony Gallimore suspended Darren Barnard dropped back to left-back. Neither Paul Groves and Steve Chettle regained fitness leaving Simon Ford to partner Paul Raven on his first start of the season. Terry Cooke started on the right wing with Stuart Campbell switching to the left. Paul Robinson was surprisingly dropped to the bench to make way for the returning Steve Kabba. Youth team striker Darren Mansaram kept his place.

From the kick-off Reading's attack was obvious- get the ball out to the big, powerful and pacy Tony Rougier on the right wing. Darren Barnard was far from equal to him and was beat time and time again. It was Rougier who created Reading's opener on 14 minutes. The winger's flick-on was met by Andy Hughes who beat Danny Coyne from the edge of the box.

Town briefly responded with Mansaram and Campbell combining down the left but little support restricted the threat. The game was more or less over upon Reading's second on 30 minutes. A long ball over the top left the Town defence static with Coyne undecided on whether to come or stay. Nicky Forster ran onto the ball and his clever shimmy took him past Coyne before slotting into the empty net. As soon as the ball hit the net around 100 Town fans headed for the exit!

The second half saw Town have the greater possession but they failed to make it count. Barnard's free-kick, which was well saved by Ashdown, the closest to a goal.

In a bid to change the game George Santos was brought on for Terry Cooke. Paul Robinson then replaced Darren Mansaram soon after. Santos went up front in a three-man attack but the constant high balls failed to give the new recruit any chance.

The only real contribution Santos made was that of a booking for a challenge from behind. The Mariners had their best attacking spell in the final 5 minutes with Robinson the main creator. With bodies pushed forward Danny Coyne's goal was exposed. It was however a freak goal that resulted in the 3-0 score line. Alan Pouton went in for a 50/50 challenge with a Reading player. Pouton's massive deflection looped high in the air and over Danny Coyne and into the net.

In all honesty 3-0 was a lot fairer than 2-0. Reading were far from spectacular but the Town performance was no way near good enough. The impression given from most of the player's effort was one of submission to relegation already.

Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Raven, Ford, Barnard, Campbell, Coldicott, Pouton, Cooke, Kabba, Mansaram.
Subs: Robinson, Rowan, Santos, Allaway, Ward.

Reading: Ashdown, Murty, Williams, Upson, Shorey, Newman, Hughes, Watson, Salako, Forster, Rougier.
Subs: Butler, Cureton, Harper, Henderson, Young.

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