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Thin Ice: Port Vale Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 18/01/2004

A chill clear day in the ceramic bedpan of the Potteries, with around 200 or so Town followers and supporters behind the goal (to the left as seen on TV). Nice to see that the multi-storey car park is taking shape, now with added seating.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Port Vale (a)

Vale Park

Port Vale 5 Grimsby Town 1
17 Jan 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Last century it was just a carcass, now it’s half a stand. I suppose that’s what a financial crisis does - pickles a club in time, warts and all. You don’t get them at Tescos, though there are speciality shops in London which, for a suitable price, would supply them for that fancy dinner party you are planning.

The brave new world of the Poutonless Town has finally arrived, though the bitterest pill was sweetened by the sight of Daws trumbling around in an extra large number 7 shirt. The animal farm of the Bouldingless Town was also previewed. Eek, no mercurial Mick. Eek, eek, what’s the ghost of misses past doing parked outside the ground, mobile phone pressed to right ear, chuckling merrily? We haven’t signed him again have we? Well, it sure looked like Livvo. Must have been, too tight to pay for the car park.

Town lined up in striped shirts, ballooning white shorts and red socks (aka stockings circa 1957) in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. As expected, Crowe stood to the left of the centre backs in the vague area that Darren Barnard usually occupies. There was nothing remarkable to report about the warm up, though attention was diverted by the sight of three plump foam approximation of Bugs Bunny, Tigger the Tiger and a snowman. I have no idea why. The match was sponsored by a "refrigerated and ambient delivery" company. Ah, yes, refrigerated = snowman. Err, Bugs Bunny? Ambient? Perhaps that’s what ambient delivery means - your parcel is handed over by someone in a huge cartoon costume.

And today’s programme faux pas? - the Town badge was printed throughout with a big orange "Dixon" underneath it

1st half

Town kicked off away from the clumped Townites with McDermott curling a pass down the wing to Onoura, who promptly fell over and headed the ball out of play. Well, at least it’s a variation on the theme. From the off, Vale had a few corners, which didn’t trouble. Flung in, headed out. No shots, no chances. Vale buzzed about a bit, with McPhee a little pest and Brooker bruising his way forward. A few little flutters, but nothing serious. The pitch was surprisingly bumpy, the grass seeming a little long too, so the ball kept bobbling about. But nothing to worry about just yet. Having said that, I would like Jason Crowe to tackle.

Ah that’s better, Town started to pass to each other, with Anderson and Jevons hugging the wings and flipping in semi-dangerous crosses, knocked out for corners. Interesting goalkeeper they have, he just won’t come off his line. After abut five minutes, Groves stooped at the far post, about a dozen yards out and headed firmly towards the bottom right hand corner. Brain scooped the ball up easily. A couple of minutes later Town got another corner on the left. Anderson whacked it high to the far post and Onuora, way, way out, leant back and powerfully headed just over the bar. Hey, this ain’t too bad. Nothing special, but ok. Daws and Groves were looking relatively solid in the centre, tapping a steady supply of passes out to the wings. Shall we overlook the crazy world of Darren Mansaram upfront.



Young70 mins
Hamilton85 mins


Alan Kaye


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