The Grimsby Town FC


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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


17/01 Port Vale Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 18/01/2004

OH, a shot from Vale. Ahh, that’s ok, it’s from outside the box, drivelling inoffensively across the thick luscious green, green grass of Burslem and safely into the arms of Mary, I mean Davison. Let ‘em shoot from long range. And it seems they had the same idea.

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

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

Jevons, jigging, jingling infield past three defenders and looping a half volley towards the top right hand corner from near the corner of the penalty area. Brain sailed into the sun, and the band began to play as he clutched the ball without too much difficulty. It’s all going well, so far, isn’t it, quarter of an hour gone and Town having slightly the better of the game. A Vale punt forward, some head tennis in the centre and the ball nodded out of the box.


The ball dropped to Lipa, just outside the box on their centre right. LIPA smacked a right footed volley through a great big wedge of players and into the bottom left hand corner. Davison was unsighted, and the shot was perfect. Yet another fine goal scored against Town. Attempts were made within the Town support to attach blame, but these fizzled out, for it was just a darn fine shot.

A couple of minutes later Vale attacked again, winning a corner. Again there seemed little danger, just a cross lumped into the far post and headed out of the box, clunked back in and ..offside!. No, play on. COLLINS lurking 20 yards out in the middle, twisted and thavumped a tremendous right-footed volley into the right hand corner of the net. A more concerted attempt was made to apportion blame, and the conclusion was that Groves must "sort it", though the it wasn’t defined. Clearly, he must stop Port Vale scoring superb goals.

Town started to wobble a bit, with the locals feeling right chipper. Tackles were not made, hesitation crept in and pressure was exerted. Vale should have scored again when Bridge-Wilkinson was allowed to saunter free after Brooker had drifted behind Crowe. The Buckley reject clipped a wonderfully flighted cross into the space between Davison and the defence. Davison came off his line and McPhee raced in and looped a header over Davison. The ball slowly dropped....onto the roof of the net. A couple of minutes later Jevons and Crowe dawdled and dithered, barely bothering to move their former Premiership standard legs, allowing a Valiant to cross unimpeded. Paynter, a double barrel-chested striker beyond the far post, rose above McDermott and headed firmly into the side netting. Davison wagged his finger at McDermott.

And then the game settled back into its former pattern, with Town calming matters, or should that be the old heads in the centre, Groves and Daws, controlling the ball and passing it. An unusual concept, one that might catch on one day with the youngsters. Town had a little bit of pressure, with a few almost moments. Mansarm almost free inside the box, but his control was terrible. Corner won. Jevons, almost a free header at the far post. Anderson almost free inside the box. Crosses, almost to Town heads. Not quite. With about 10 minutes left to half time Vale had a half attack, managing to get about 10 yards inside the Town half. Ford chased the ball out to the right, with McPhee in hot pursuit. Nah, no danger there, go and have a pie. No, don’t sink below your seat, Ford entered the twilight zone. Suddenly the ball bounced behind him. Shall we be kind and assume the ball hit a huge divot? Whatever. It was disaster, for Ford was now heading towards Macclesfield, whilst McPhee and ball were merrily heading towards the bright lights of the big city. McPhee was about 40 yards out, but on the touchline.



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Hamilton85 mins


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He set off towards goal, sucking Edwards, McDermott and Crowe towards him as he zoomed forwards. As he approached the edge of the penalty area he saw a friendly face unmarked on their right. Mr BRIDGE-WILKINSON took one touch, looked up and, from the edge of the penalty area dinked a delicate chip over Davison and into the centre of the goal. Some Town fans exploded with rage, the majority simply expelled what air they had left in their lungs and applauded a quite brilliantly taken goal. Just think Hoddle against Watford all those years ago.

The Town fans were all of a tither, confused, not knowing who to blame for what, and in that confusion quite a few missed the statutory moment of false hope. From the kick off, Town flew at Vale down the left. A dink, a head on, a turn, a one-two and Crowe was free behind the full back, inside the area. He crossed low into the near post, perhaps a dozen yards out, where JEVONS superbly steered a volley into the top left hand corner. Game on!

Well, not quite. Game dulled down more like, drifting towards half time with only the crumbling confidence of Simon Ford to occupy the mind. The poor delicate flower wilted, his knees almost knocking whenever the ball went near him, which was often as the front two were incapable of holding onto the ball. Or in Onuora’s case, getting near it. The referee didn’t help by deciding that whenever Iffy did get the ball he must have fouled. Can we complain about that, sounds right doesn’t it? There wasn’t much going on, save another bit of rubbish defending by Anderson, who effectively flicked the ball out to the unmarked Paynter 20 yards out. Fortunately, Paynter completely miss hit the shot, though Davison still managed to struggle across his line and finger tip the ball away for a corner. And how can I forget Davison’s fly kick straight at Brooker, the ball ballooning off the striker’s back, Crowe cleared.

Somewhere close to 3:50, with many wondering where all this added time had come from, Davison come off his line and collected a through ball. Ah, surely last kick of the half, just a drop kick forward and time for some serious introspection into some cheap instant coffee. McPhee stood around near Davison as the blue-shirted oldster walked towards the edge of the area. Thump! A fly kick forward. Why is the linesman waving his flag? A free kick to Vale, right on the edge of the area, right in the centre. Seems Davison had managed to carry the ball out of his area in the process of drop kicking. Oh yeah, Groves out, sort it Grovesie. It’s your fault Furneaux for selling Pouton. Or how about Davison was silly, and Town a little unlucky? How often do linesman flag for those small technical infringements? All the Town players came back into the area. A huge wall was stretched in front of Davison, with Lipa left unmarked to the right. Vale tried the subtle approach, tapping the ball sideways and getting someone to whack it as hard as possible. You never know, their luck might be in. It was. The ball hit a Town player in the wall, diverting from left to right, bouncing down, spinning up and over Davison, onto the face of the crossbar, dropping vertically onto the line at the foot of the right hand post. Straight at the feet of PAYNTER who bundled it in from a yard out. From our perfect angle behind the gaol he appeared to have got in front of Ford before the free kick was struck, but hey, we don’t get too many favours from linesman. All in all a bit of a freak goal to end a freaky half.

Half time: Port Vale 4 Grimsby Town 1

4-1 down, a stuffing, a terrible performance, gutless? Not really, three brilliantly struck goals and a complete farce of a freak of a fun filled fourth. Vale were a better team, with a couple of very good forwards, but in a normal game 2-0 would have been ever so slightly kind to them at half time. It was all very strange, but then again, when your luck’s out...

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Adding water only makes fish wet."
"I’m fed up of seeing great goals zooming past Davo."
"I’m so excited by Turkish ballet."
"I think I’d even have Buckley back now."
"It’s not you who’s the away jinx, it’s the players"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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