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Hull City 0 Grimsby Town 1
By: Paul Holmes
ONCE again came that now annual pre-season game where we trek across the Humber to field a weakened team against our local rivals.....this time was different though. We didn't look crap!
Injuries meant that Paul Groves was once again forced to field a mix of youngsters, trialists and first teamers. In goal was Aidan Davison. Iain Ward, Greg Young, Mike Edwards and Darren Barnard formed the defence. Iain Armstrong, Matt O'Halloran, Chris Bolder and Stuart Campbell lined up in the midfield with Jonny Rowan and Michael Boulding in attack.
Ex-Mariner Jamie Forrester was on the bench for the Tigers, as was man of the moment Neil Mann (also an ex-Mariner).
The game itself took time to get going, Town were in charge for most of the first half with some neat clever play down both flanks. Anderson in particular looked a class above with several dangerous runs, more of this when the season starts hopefully.
Despite looking shaking early on, Barnard was showing his class at left back and was linking up well with Derby trialist O'Halloran. Barnard linked up with O'Halloran to provide the first clear cut chance of the game. Barnard's cross was met early by Boulding who could only glance the ball over the goal. The breakthrough was not far away though
It was a cross field run by Barnard that led to the goal. The Welsh international was dragged down about 25 yards out from Paul Musselwhite's goal. Anderson took the free kick which was heading for the goal until Musselwhite's palming onto the bar. First to react was Boulding who headed into the empty net. The goal was the first scored by a Town striker this pre-season.
With the goal came confidence. O'Hallaron and Anderson threatened to run riot on the Hull defence with their skilful play and quick feet. Despite dominating the play, another opening wasn't created leaving the game at 1-0 as the half-time whistle went.
Town emerged with a few changes, whilst Mann came on for Hull to a good ovation from the whole ground. Mann in fact looked Hull's best player. His direct running down the left side caused problems for Ward who has yet to master the art of defending. One can only feel that his future in the game lies away from the defence.
The introduction of Graham Hockless midway through the second half gave Town the added dimension needed in attack. Drifting in from the right wing, he provided a great deal of creativity against his hometown club. It was the youngsters through balls that created 2 chances for Rowan and one for Mansaram. Rowan lacked confidence in both, losing out to the defender on one and unable to beat the grounded Fettis on the second. Mansaram's effort was the same old story of everything right but the finish. Both are in need of a goal before the season starts.
Hull almost grabbed a draw late on but Williams wasted a good chance by firing wide. The victory was the least Town deserved after showing their class for most of the game.
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