League Two Form Guide
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Derby Report Card
By: Dr Fishy
DR Fishy returns again this week to give you his verdict on the Mariners' fantastic 3-1 win at Derby, a game which marked Townâ€™s first back-to-back victories of the season and Grimsbyâ€™s biggest away win since the 1997/98 season.
The Welsh â€˜keeper had a reasonably quiet afternoon, having only being stretched a few times from long range shots. He had to claim quite a few crosses, in both halves but apart from that was untroubled and had a solid game in goal.
Playing at right back, he seemed much more comfortable than in the centre. However, it took him 45 minutes to get used to this, having a pretty poor first half. But in the second, he looked much more solid, and kept Derby wingback Paul Boertien much more quiet with some fine blocks and challenges.
Another excellent game in charge of the back four for the Cape Verde International. Yet again, he won everything in the air and was commanding on the floor too. Would have been disappointed that he didnâ€™t do more to stop Derbyâ€™s goal when he was tracking back, but any mis-timed challenge on the tricky Lee Morris would have seen him sent off. His partnership with Simon Ford now looks extremely solid.
Another competent performance from the young defender who fully complemented the aggressive style of his partner, Santos, with some neat and tidy defending. Was not seen as often as Santos, but did his job, leaving Groves with no other option but to keep Ford and Santos at the back for the next game, at least.
Made his return from action at left back and was also made the Marinerâ€™s captain. It was his blocked clearance that led to Derbyâ€™s goal and he therefore would be disappointed that it was not more accurate. Given problems by Barton and McLeod all afternoon and struggled with the pace of the game. Had a much more solid last 20 minutes and did well to play 90 minutes after being out of action for the last three months.
Making his first start since October, Cooke had an influential game and was his parried shot that led to Osterâ€™s first goal. Was a threat to the Derby defence down the right hand side in the first half, making some telling crosses and linking up well with Mansaram. Can count himself unlucky that it was he that was substituted in a tactical swap with Parker.
Another excellent game for the Scottish midfielder who made the significant link between midfield and attack with some darting runs and good passes. Played almost towards the left of the midfield five, but was given freedom to roam from side to side if need be. He tracked back well and was one of Townâ€™s better players.
Returning to the midfield, marshalling the likes of Ward and Parker well. The player boss made some important challenges and was extremely steady in the centre of the park. He nearly had a goal when a header of his flashed wide in the second half. Looked more like the Groves of old.
Surely one of the most pleasing performances for the Mariners playing in an unaccustomed role in the centre of midfield. He was another player for the Mariners who worked hard to get the ball and made sure he didnâ€™t give it away. He had a hand in the Mariners first goal, and his solid performance in the Town midfield will certainly have given Town boss Paul Groves food for thought.
Undoubtedly Townâ€™s star player, although he was hard pushed by the likes of Mansaram, Ward and Santos. In this game, Osterâ€™s class shone through. He was involved in Townâ€™s every move, and whilst scoring two goals of his own, released Soames for the Marinerâ€™s final goal. Was alert to see the Derbyâ€™s keepers positioning in their goal and punished him with a superb free-kick. Surely his best game in a Town shirt since his return to Cleethorpes.
Had an excellent game for the Mariners on his own up front. When the Mariners plumped the ball forward, Mansaram often made it stick and took the fight to Derby with his tireless running and sheer strength to hold the ball up. He combined extremely well with the likes of Oster and Campbell, playing as if he had been a lone striker for the whole of his career.
Wes Parker (On for Terry Cooke)
The young defender came of for Terry Cooke after about ten minutes of the second half, in a move to freeze Giorgi Kinkladze out of the game. Parker himself was rarely seen, but more importantly, Kinkladze was rarely seen causing damage to the Town defence. A stroke of tactical genius from the Town bench!
Chris Bolder (On for Iain Ward)
The tigerish midfielder, who we have heard so much about but seen so little of, came on for the Mariners with 15-20 minutes to go and had a very good game in the Mariners midfield. He made some excellent tackles and even got forward to join the Marinersâ€™s attack. It was his crucial challenge on Rob Lee that led to the Mariners third goal. Only a half time substitution by Derby prevented him locking horns with his brother, Adam Bolder who of course plays for Derby.
David Soames (On for Darren Mansaram)
Who would have thought that little "Digger" would come on with three minutes to go and get his first senior goal for the Mariners? And it was not an easy goal. When he had the ball just over the half way line, he still had two Derby defenders and a keeper to beat. Despite nearly being chopped down by a Derby defender, when other strikers would have fallen in a heap to try and get a penalty, he kept going through sheer perseverance and scored that sealing third goal. Yet another genius decision from the Town bench, making him the first substitute under Groves to actually come on and score!
Special Note Of Praise For Mr P Wilkinson
It was wonderful performance from the Mariners, with every player playing their heart out. However, the most pleasing aspect of the game was undoubtedly the performances of the likes of Mansaram, Soames, Parker, Ward and Bolder, all of whom had great games for Town. Credit must undoubtedly go to Paul Wilkinson for the development of these players. As reserve team manager, he has developed these people into first team players and yesterday showed the importance of a good youth system and having an excellent coach to bring talent up through the ranks. Last season, we saw Michael Boulding grow into an excellent striker for Town after looking rusty when he first arrived. Similarly this season, Mansaram has developed into a fine striker and yesterday gave his best performance for Town up front on his own. But it was team performance as much as anything that earned the three points and one that must be repeated if Town are to survive this year.
|A*||This is almost impossible to achieve as I will refuse to give anyone this grade - unless they score six goals and get opposing players sent off.|
|A||This is more possible to achieve, although the player must have had a brilliant game i.e. he can't have put a foot wrong all match.|
|A-||The player must have performed superbly, setting up goals, scoring goals, making match-winning tackles etc.|
|B+||The player played to a very high standard indeed having been influential throughout the 90 minutes.|
|B||This can be achieved if the player had a very good game overall but could be forgiven for making one or two minor mistakes.|
|B-||The player put in a performance worthy of special mention for his efforts on the pitch or otherwise having a good game.|
|C+||A mark for players who have had an average game but at the same time played well in patches and may have had an impact on the final score.|
|C||An average performance but not worthy of being dropped for the next game - a competent performance.|
|C-||Start thinking about the player's attitude and commitment on the pitch. Showed little effort and was probably invisible for most of the match.|
|D+||Poor game and realistically shouldn't feature in the next game.|
|D||This player shouldn't be playing in the near future.|
|D-||The player deserves to be fined for his abysmal performance|
|E||The player should be sacked|
|F||And then shot|
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