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15/11 Stockport Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 16/11/2003

ISN’T this fun, eight minutes of sauntering, it’s only a matter of time before all our wrongs are righted.

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

Grimsby Town 1 Stockport County 1
15 Nov 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

Yeah, of course, this is New Town, who seem to believe that 10 minutes of dominance will be enough for the heathens to wilt, bow before their greatness and hand all their belongings over in deference. Town zapped Stockport with their sirens, and the boats did part for a while, but the supposed inferiors didn’t worship at the altar of Anderson. Stockport had started to break away with some organisation, using Wilbraham as a mobile menace, a wall to bounce off, and Young had, twice, to make sweeping Lever-like tackles on Gibb. He made up in tackling what he didn’t have in positioning, though let’s skirt over the time he almost stood on the ball inside the penalty area as Gibb harried at the far post.

After about 10 minutes, the game fell apart. Whistle, whistle, hack, harry. The ball was in the air all the time, the referee stopping play when players asked for free kicks, and the crowd were so bored, so unenthused, that one could almost hear a collective sigh. Stockport pressed, pressurised and almost scored, should have scored. A series of crosses and flicks ended with Young clearing for a corner on their right. A Town fan shouted "Challinor" and some Pontoonites began to boo, not realising he wasn’t on the pitch, being just a substitute. Oh what a wheeze. The corner was chipped to the near post and a big bloke grazed the ball over Davison, arcing across the face of goal and into a huge, huge gap. In rushed Clare and three Town defenders. All lunged, feet and heads disappearing into a mess of manhood, and the ball hit something and gently bounced off the face of the cross bar, and away from goal. The consensus was that Clare had headed the ball and had been distracted by Edwards’ big feet.

Stockport continued to hassle the Town midfielders and to attack, cheeky pups that they are. Dull, dull, dull for us Townites, watching a turgid mess unfold in front of us. Town didn’t help themselves with a pathological desire to launch Boulding behind the Stockport defence at every opportunity. Onoura was completely immobile, like Livvo without the psychosis. And Town’s defenders started to make dreadful errors. Crane stood on the ball on the edge of the penalty area, effectively passing it to Wilbraham, who was, fortunately, dilatory. Edwards zoomed over, safety guaranteed. A minute or so later Crane cushioned a header to Edwards just inside the penalty area. The ball reared up and struck Edwards on the right hand. Silent Pontoon, looks askance towards the green men, play carried on. More County pressure, more rubbish defending by Town. Crane, under no pressure, headed directly to Wilbraham inside the penalty area and the ball was worked sideways across. Crowe knocked the ball to Hamilton, who promptly passed it to a Stockport player, straight in front of goal. Frustration mounting, groaning audible, and that was just from Davison. Eventually a Stockport player fell 30 yards out on the left, towards the corner of the penalty area. The free kick was taken from where the payer landed, so that was 25 yards out. Town lined up in an approximation of a wall, with holes everywhere, and disagreement about who goes where. The free kick was curled low towards the near post, with Campbell’s ankles diverting the ball into the side netting for a corner.

The game got worse, with not even some silly nonsense to liven it up, and I am referring to Daly, who gave Davison a little back-heel after the once and future king of the goalmouth caught a cross. Stockport started to fall over badly, irking the duffel-coated Pontoonites into shouting "cheat" and "rubbish". Put them together and you get an accurate description - they were rubbish cheats. The linesmen were incredibly weak, with the one in front of the Main Stand not raising his flag until the referee had pointed, leading to several moments of them standing and staring at each other.

Hamiltonyellow card


Cas68 mins
Jevons89 mins
Mansaramgoal64 mins


Martin Atkinson


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Town got a couple of throw-ins simply because Onoura was the first man to the ball, claiming the ball for Grimsby by sticking a little fish faced flag on top. Hah, the Norwegians didn’t get here first! A disintegrating lump of nonsense was unfolding before us. Ah, but what was it? You have three options to chose from: was it (a) the match as a whole, (b) Des Hamilton or (c) a copy of the GET on to which tea had been spilled.

What was that? A Town attack? Yes! Another, what felt like one whole week after the last one. In other words, around the half hour mark. A long high ball towards Onuora reached its target. A flick on and Anderson, on the edge of the area to the centre left, tipped the ball behind the defence and slapped a left footed thwacker a foot or so over the angle of bar and near post. A few minutes later a cross from the Town right sailed over all to Anderson, about a dozen yards out. He sidled back to his right foot, twisted and curled another shot over the angle of bar and far post. Isolated moments in a sea of drudgery, for the ball was either in the air, or on the toe end of a Stockport player. Oh, one very tiny fact, the Stockport goalkeeper was replaced after about 35 minutes. He shook his hands in pain and limped off. I think he fell awkwardly when catching a useless cross from some Town player or other. The replacement goalkeeper was Colgan, who looked suspiciously like the Colgan Town had on loan years ago. It must be the same one, as he appeared to be extremely comfortable sitting on the bench at Blundell Park.

With about 10 minutes to go before this turgid dross ground to a halt, Town re-enacted an early Mack Sennet short, when Stockport simply punted the ball over the top towards the left edge of the Town area. Young trotted, then sprinted, Edwards gracefully glided across the turf and Davison came off his line and out of his area. Oh dear, Gibb got there first as the Town players looked at each other, giving nods and winks but no clues as to who would actually deal with danger. Luckily Gibb’s cross (there was at least one striker unmarked on the edge of the area in front of a very open goal) was blocked by a combination of Edwards’ feet, Davison’s shins and Young’s hope against hope. A couple of minutes later more awful defending by Town allowed a cross to sweep through the area from their right to a little lad on the left. Welsh, about a dozen yards out and about the same again wide of goal, let fly with a zinging shot which Davison tipped over the bar. Fortunately the shot had gone straight at Davison.

Wahey, Town again, nice of them to drop in and say hello, wasn’t it. Crane ambled forward, looked up and saw no movement. Only one thing to do in those circumstances, lump it long. From about 40 yards out on the Town right, he hit an excellent diagonal pass over the defence. Boulding sneaked behind his marker and was free about half a dozen yards out just beyond the far post. The goalkeeper was espied flapping on his line as the defender fell. Boulding carefully steered a left footed volley just past the Ron Ramsden’s advert. In other words, the ball ended up wider of the goal than when it started its crazy journey of discovery. Any more? Not from Town. Just more time for Town to collapse in defence, allowing a throw on their right to be played back to the full back, who curled a teasing, tantalising cross through the 6 yards box. Davison took one step forward, one step back (a bit like Town’s season) and the central defenders hesitated. Daly strode forward and the combined personalities of Edwards and Crane squished Daly. A-tissue, a-tissue, they all fell down, and Edwards eventually got up and strolled off with the ball.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Stockport County 0

There were three minutes of added time and thankfully it ended. Wake me up before you go-go. Have I missed anything out? A lot of rubbish, quite frankly. And that penalty appeal in the 31st minute. A deep cross into the Town area, beyond the far post. Crane, Wilbraham and McDermott jumped. Up went Crane’s hand, away went the ball. "Handball" shouted a confused Pontoonite. He was quickly silenced by means of the "usual methods". He won’t wear a cagoule again. Town were extremely fortunate to be level, having defended like four Ashley Ficklings on an ice rink. Only Wilbraham’s insistence on taking two touches allowed International Rescue, in the form of Edwards, to arrive

To sum up - it filled Blundell Park with inertia.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"We should de-commission Hamilton now".
"There’s a stuffed puffin in Town’s trophy cabinet".
"Stockport have done very well not to score".
"Is that ordnance or your soup?".
"Nice to see the crowds back"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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