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What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?

As per this season
Just for L1/L2 sides
Invite Conference sides


06/09 Peterborough 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 07/09/2003

NO changes were made by either team at half time, at least not in personnel. Town started with much more gusto, being quicker to fling the ball forward, but also with a little more control. In short, they passed it quickly.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Peterborough (h)

Grimsby Town 1 Peterborough United 1
06 Sep 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

Within a minute Town had had a jolly decent effort on goal. Cas bounded down the wing and flung in an excellent cross to the near post. Rowan and Gill, about 10 yards out, challenged and the ball zoomed a foot or so past the near post. Elements of the Pontoon claimed handball, as there was a hand near the ball, though it was difficult to tell whose. So it was obviously a penalty. Five minutes of tedium followed, but at a faster pace and with less Town errors than the first half ennui. So higher quality boredom, which is what we pay our money for, after all. Ah, another nearly moment when something almost happened. A Cas corner from the right fizzed over the clump of players in the centre and beyond the far post. Groves stretched out his right boot around his marker and managed to volley the ball into the ground. The ball bounced high and Tyler had to leap up and tip it over for another corner. The Town fans shrugged off their torpor and were actually getting behind the team; you know, support, positive statements. They really tried and finally the unreserved seaters were doing their thing, and it did seem to galvanise the players and keep them going. There was a bit of momentum building up, with Peterborough occasional visitors to Davison’s bouncy castle. They got close enough to say hello a couple of times, which was nice considering they’d come all that way. Actually, that’s a bit harsh, they had several excellent breakaways, where they outnumbered the Town defence, but they always messed it up with a stupid pass, or stumble, or Crane would simply stand in the way in "thou shalt not pass" mode. They even hit the post, but the offside flag had long been raised.

After an hour Bolder was put out of our misery, being replaced by Hockless, who trotted out to the left wing. This resulted in Campbell officially playing as a central midfielder, though all this did was acknowledge the geographic reality. From this moment the game really did swing Town’s way, for instantly there was balance, and there seemed enough Town players on the pitch. Hockless had superb control and confidence, which enabled the rest of the team to have confidence in him. He was often the outlet for clearances, and the instigator of Town attacks. He never gave the ball away and was extremely positive in everything he did. In short, which he is, the Town fans liked him.

Town surged forward, though without much goal threat. Boulding was sent free down the left, twisting, turning and twisting again past his marker and into the penalty area. Gill held Boulding’s shirt, leaning, pulling and hauling all at the same time. The referee waved play on and the ball rolled out to Groves, who completely miss-hit a shot from 20 yards, the ball hobbling a few yards wide of the near post. Tyler took ages to take the goalkick, thus incurring the wrath of the untamed Pontoons wits, who surprisingly didn’t comment upon his enormous shorts or sing "we can see your knickers", opting for a more basic and time worn insult. It isn’t wise to wear dark underwear with light skimpy shorts. Campbell surged, fell over, spun and miss-hit a shot from 25 yards. It wouldn’t have been a loss to not know that, but let’s be completest about these things, eh? Mm, ah, let me think, Boulding? Ah yes, set free down the right, he outpaced a tubby marker and scuffed a right foot shot across the face of goal. It would have been nice if he’d looked up and crossed to Rowan, but he didn’t. Hockless clipped a free kick from the left side of the penalty area, close to the bye line, into the centre and Groves, leaning back, headed a foot over the bar. And many, many more nearly moments, when a Town player was almost through. Boulding and Rowan began to cause problems, principally because they, and the Town midfield, started to move.

Casyellow card


Hockless62 mins
Soames87 mins


Paul Danson


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The game was exclusively down in front of the Pontoon, with hardly any Peterborough attacks. Davison made perhaps two saves, both from shots from outside the area. Comfortably close, easily dealt with, no cause for concern. But still Town hadn’t forced Tyler to do anything spectacular, nor even average. Nor anything really. Then they did, as Groves raced forward and cushion headed down from the central edge of the area. Tyler flew off his line and blocked as Campbell slid in. The ball skimmed forward and was lost in a haze of flying feet and waving arms. Cas twice crossed into the Pontoon and the game seemed to be slipping slowly, quietly away. The crowd still roared Town on, especially when an attempted Rowan hook shot rolled across the chest of a Peterborough defender, but we didn’t get that decision, so there was no way they would get a penalty when Crane’s huge chest diverted away a scrambled shot down at the Osmond End. You wouldn’t find more than 200 people in Blundell Park who would even think it may have been a penalty. Nor when McKenzie did a humiliatingly poor dive when not challenged by any Town defender.

There was a little bit of kicking and slapping when Legg kicked Cas when the referee wasn’t looking, with Cas pushing the old flinger in the chest. Both were booked. And oh the scoreboard irony: when a Peterborough player stayed down injured the scoreboard put up the graphic of an ambulance coming on to the pitch. How very droll. All of which is leading to the only moment that any of you idle readers are interested in. With about 10 minutes left Peterborough attacked down the left, with Town seemingly outnumbered. Daftly the striker headed towards the clump of Town defenders rather than passing to the unmarked winger. Ford, then Groves stopped this nonsense, with the ball falling to Edwards a few yards outside the penalty area, near the centre. Edwards wellied a straight "pass" right down the middle of the pitch. The ball didn’t hesitate or deviate as it dissected the two centre backs. Suddenly Boulding was alone. He waited for the ball to arrive and scooped it on, not losing momentum as he hurried off towards goal. BOULDING held off a defender and, when just inside the penalty area, poked the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs. Ultimately a deserved equaliser and wasn’t everyone happy, apart from those 200 Peterboroughians.

From the kick off Town regained possession and gained confidence, for Edwards did a drag back heel clearance down the touchline to Hockless. Woah, now there’s fancy. The momentum was with Town, but there weren’t any chances created. Rowan was replaced by Soames with 5 minutes left, about 10 minutes after he first clutched his elbow and grimaced. Soames scuffled around in sub Daryl Clare fashion. He won a free kick and a throw in. In injury time Town again claimed a penalty. A long throw was lumped in from the right, Groves headed on across the face of goal and the ball rolled behind Boulding. Tantalising, teasing the ball rolled slowly across with no-one beyond Boulding, who tried to turn but it appeared as though his shirt was being pulled. He fell, his arms raised to the heavens, the Pontoon roared, the referee ignored and that was that.

In the context of the game Town got away with it, being a disjointed shambles for an hour when any decent opposition would have scored three. There was little, ultimately, to cheer, apart from the determination to plough on regardless of the quality. The ball was given away easily, with lazy chips upfield, with the front two easily muscled away from the ball. There was a lack of organisation through the midfield, which exposed the defence to overlapping wing backs and tricky wingers. Town had been tactically outmanoeuvred by Barry Fry, perhaps the least impressive boast in the history of football. However, the last 30 minutes redeemed matters, as the removal of Bolder made everyone’s life more pleasant, and Hockless rocked.

So, if you missed it, you saved some money and a lot of nervous energy. Unlike the Giant’s Causeway it was neither worth seeing, nor going to see. Town are prone to losing games like this one, but a t least they didn’t this time, which is good. Always end on a positive note.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Nobody excelled, with many a wayward Mariner thrashing around the pitch like a beached porpoise. Davison made one excellent save and several calm interceptions, but, on the balance of probabilities, Michael Boulding, is the unanimous choice of the absent Nicko, for being a tireless worker and the goal scorer. Without him Town wouldn’t have scored, and would, therefore have lost. So it’s him.

Official Warning

Allegedly P Danson. Generally not too bad, he missed many a foul claimed by Town fans and perhaps could have given a penalty or two. He was ok in a negative way - he never looked likely to send someone off. A perfectly reasonable 6.203 to the man in green

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