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Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
29/11 Tranmere 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made by either team at half time. The game kicked off, then stopped for a couple of minutes as Navarro was squashed by Hamilton.
Grimsby Town 0 Tranmere Rovers 1
Those mighty Mariners supporters really got behind the team, calling for Cas and Jevons with the hint of a boo Within a couple of minutes Jevons came on for Anderson, which only half pleased the Anderson baiter at the very back of the Pontoon. Now what formation Town were playing wasnâ€™t clear, as Jevons popped up here, there and everywhere. The ball also popped up here, there and everywhere, but not at the same time. Jevons did flick Boulding through on the left. Boulding just ran into three defenders, he was having one of his headless chicken without a head days. With twelve minutes left Case replaced Hamilton to a huge cheer. Equal parts for Cas coming on and for Hamilton finally being taken off. Still the Town formation was indescribable, blokes up at the other end in pretty Bridget Riley op art patterns. There was a half chance for Jevons when he stooped at the near post and headed way over the bar after Town took a quick free kick on the left.
Ah, Jevonsâ€™ moment had come. A free kick to Town, 25 yards out. Expectations high, the Town fans stood ready to acclaim this fallen star. But would it be Barnard, would it be Des, weâ€™d just have to wait and see. Jevons curled it against the shins of the last man in the wall for a corner. Corner wasted. Sit down again, apart from you fickle fans whoâ€™d given up and started to walk out with over five minutes left. Another substitution, Mansaram for Onuora and who knows what they were up to down at the Osmond End. Crane was permanently up front, challenging Jevons and Mansaram for every cross. Crosses came in, no headers were won. Passes were flicked on, but Tranmere stood in a row along the edge of the their penalty area, scooping up danger in their yellow plastic bin bags. Ooh! No. A through ball towards the corner of the penalty area, Achterberg out, Achterberg fly kicking, Achterberg missing. The ball squirmed out sideways straight to a defender as Boulding lurked.
Despite all the time wasting, all the substitutions and a two minute delay caused by an injury, just three minutes of added time was allowed. During the first of these, Tranmere broke away down their right, got in behind the Town defence and crossed over Davison to the far post. Dadi, unmarked, stretched and toe ended the ball over the bar from about six yards out. With the last kick of the game Town were given a free kick, 25yards out, in the centre. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, would Jevons justify his white boots? He carefully took aim and curled the ball around the wall towards the bottom left hand corner. The ball arrowed, curled, zoomed, dipped towards the empty net. Suddenly a hand appeared, Achterberg flying solo across the Atlantic to spectacularly, magnificently punch the ball away.
And then the game ended.
Truly a dreadful game, and not just down to the weather. The wind subsided in the second half, to be replaced by thin drizzling rain, so the conditions werenâ€™t that bad in the end. Tranmere strangled the game, and who can blame them for that, denying Town space near goal, they forced Town to be cute, to be clever, or be strong. Town were none of these. A badly misfiring midfield engine didnâ€™t help (are Crowe and Hamilton the Wankel rotary engine of professional football?), but a bone-headed reliance on Bouldingâ€™s pace was the main culprit. On the three occasions Town passed and moved they carved Tranmere apart.
Neither side deserved victory, but Tranmere deserved a draw more than Town. Maybe Town need a season of mid-table nothingness to make them angry enough to succeed, or maybe they just need that old Pouton drive in the middle. In the meantime, perhaps Town should play his two rottweilers.
So one step back again on the crazy path towards mediocrity.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Only two candidates for that fictitious laurel wreath. McDermott tried his best to get the players going, making many a surge down the wing. However, the man of the moment for Town was Michael Edwards, sometimes doing two jobs at once. Without him Tranmere would have scored more. Proactive rather than reactive, what a lucky dip heâ€™s been.
K A Friend. No, his surname is far too easy a fish to fry, and thatâ€™s what most Town fans would want to do with him. Went out of his way to annoy the homesters with his indulgence of Achterbergâ€™s time wasting from the off. He was unnecessarily fussy and very quick to blow his whistle. He didnâ€™t ruin a bad game, but didnâ€™t give it a chance to be any better. Why is it that referees in this division make a point of not being homers? They doth protest too much, eh? Score? Well, 4.684 would be an approximation of appropriateness.
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