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20/01 Wrexham 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 21/01/2004

NO changes were made by either team at half time. But Town were clearly stoked up at half time, for they set about a now relaxed and radiant Wrexham with vigour, if not much skill. Town players ran quickly, closing down the opposition, forcing the ball back, forcing errors.

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

Grimsby Town 1 Wrexham 3
20 Jan 2004, Nationwide League Division 2
Within a minute Anderson had bundled his way through the centre, little legs pumping, thrashing and causing mayhem. Determination caused mild panic in their centre backs, the ball ping-ponging between shins and landing at Onuora’s feet 20 yards out on the centre right of goal. Iffy saw glory, visions that mortals cannot even dream of. He curled a left footed shot towards the top right hand corner of the goal. The ball sailed, drifted, curled and skimmed the top of the bar and out for a goal kick.

Wrexham were pinned back, Town doing what they did at Port Vale after half time, playing properly when it was too late. Crosses, corners, throw-ins, the crowd behind the team, supporting, braying for something, something to hold on to, a glimmer of hope to take to bed. After about five minutes, McDermott exchanged passes down the right, cut in and smacked a low drive goalwards. The ball took a slight deflection off a defender and spun slowly towards Dibble at the near post, the vim and verve taken away by the Welsh socks. Thirty seconds later Town again, Crowe crossing, Onoura heading, the ball dropping into Dibble’s hands. Even false hope is something these days.

Now, must be, a goal.... Daws curled a pass down the left hand touchline and Boulding scurried free, fending off Carey. Into the penalty area, he looked up and rolled a superb cross into the middle of the goal, perhaps five yards out. Jevons, unmarked - a simple tap in? No, a defender slid in, Jevons missed the ball and it continued across goal, rolling, rolling, rolling, rawhide beyond the far post. Crowe retrieved, jinked, swung his pants and clipped a cross into the centre. Onoura, eight yards out, leant back and headed powerfully goalwards. The ball hit Jevons on the back of the head and looped just wide of the right hand post.

Still Town pressed, Daws and Crowe finally asserting themselves, Daws especially as a blocker and retriever, Crowe the dribbler, the fetcher and carrier. Anderson prominent, less horrendous, clearly trying his little heart out, but only slightly more effectively. Onoura setting a blistering pace... for him, throwing himself at every cross. On the hour a Town free kick was awarded after Daws was tripped on the centre right. Howls of rage form the Town faithful as Crowe had the ball and was running at goal, 35 yards out. Daws clipped the free kick into the far post. A towering header from Anderson back across goal to Onoura, about eight yards out, who glanced a header over the angle of post and bar.

Onoura and Anderson were immediately replaced by Mansaram and Hamilton, with Hamilton appearing to play on the left of midfield, initially as a direct replacement for Anderson who had moved there at half time, but this seemed to change to having Jevons drifting behind the front two. Ah-ha the Kingsley Black Hole returns. This changed the game. Wrexham scored again.

Just after the substitutions, Carlos Edwards won the ball inside his own half and played it infield to Thomas (I think). Super Carlos sprinted down the wing and the ball was dinked, first time towards the corner flag. Young, startled, caught in an indeterminate position betwixt and between, attempted to head the ball, but missed. Edwards was free, unimpeded and had the remaining land in North East Lincolnshire as his domain. On he went, down the touchline, with Young trying, but failing, to get back. No-one came towards him, so Edwards zoomed along the bye-line penetrating deep into the area, tapping a short pass back to ARMSTRONG, a few yards out in the centre, who seemed to miss hit the ball between several Town players and in. Seats tipped, anger visible, some supporters went home.



Hamilton60 mins
Mansaram60 mins


Grant Hegley
(Bishop's Stortford)


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Ten minutes of staring into the abyss was suddenly broken when Town put together a rather superb move. One touch passing involving Hamilton, Daws, Young and perhaps even Boulding, saw the ball flipped down and through the left, with Mansaram being sent free behind the defence towards the end of the Stones/Smiths/Findus Stand. He looked up! He looked up! He crossed! Perfectly into the centre and JEVONS, a dozen yards out, headed firmly down, the ball sliding underneath Dibbles ample stomach. The falsest of false hopes. Pure Town.

A couple of minutes later more excitement. Mansaram did one of his patented meanders through life, the universe and everything. Twisting, left, turning right, spinning round, and beating at least three defenders, he travelled the world: starting just outside the penalty box and looping around via Skegness into the left of the area and towards the bye line. We stood up, he failed to look up and from a narrowish angle about 8 yards wide Mansaram belted the ball at head height across the face of goal. Town got a corner out of it when it should have been a goal. One just couldn’t help drawing comparisons with Wrexham’s third goal, Edwards looked up and passed; Mansaram closed his eyes and hoped. Hope. No, not that word again! Banish it from Blundell Park, should we rename it Dante’s Infurneaux?

Anymore to tell you? Well, Wrexham had breakaways, usually ended by the offside flag, or our Edwards. They were incisive and very dangerous when breaking. I don’t recall any shots going through to Davison, but they didn’t need any more goals, did they. Coasting along in neutral, happy to sit back and watch Town lump the ball forward towards little men, spindly men, and invisible men. And don’t you just know it, Hamilton had his best game in a Town shirt. An able body, silky, lithe, confident, linking, jinking, everything he was supposed to be, but hasn’t been yet. What a waste. In the 82nd minute, Hamilton broke up a Wrexham attack on the edge of the Town area and was the umbilical chord for Town as they swooshed upfield, making four perfect first time passes to keep that Latin American cha-cha-cha rhythm going. Mansaram was enthusiastic in the extreme, darting everywhere, trying to do everything. We held our heads in our hands when he completely missed his attempt at a long range shot. I think he ended up kicking his own hand. Jevons, on the Town right 12 yards out, passed a first time shot into Dibble’s arms. Edwards, our Edwards, almost sneaked through when a free kick dropped at his feet on the edge of the area. The ball squirmed off the turf and just managed to reach Dibble before Edwards’ boot swung it in.

In added time a corner on the right was swung into the near post and Jevons, eight yards out, rose, glanced the ball, and shrugged as his header skipped off the crossbar and straight out to a Wrexham player. The game ended with Young volleying Poutonianly wide and Mansaramianly high. Ooo, can’t mention that name beginning with P, too many people will cry. Over, out, gone? Who knows? Many wish. What a pretty pass we are in, cashless, Casless, hopeless. We need a team, with a team ethos. That’s the second division for you. Town need a leader on the pitch, there is no personality, it’s so soulless.

An act of catharsis is required. We can’t wait for luck to come back from its round the world trip, can we?

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Ironically Town’s best was called Edwards, just like for them. Despite three goals conceded, Mike Edwards was a staunch rock, the defeat would have been far worse had he been absent. He was head and foot above the rest.

Markie’s UnMan of the Match

He would plump for one of the Burberry caps singing "sack the board". They didn’t have the wit to come up with an original chant - "Wake Me Up Before You Go Groves" perhaps? See, it’s easy, just a bit of imagination required. They can have that one for free, I won’t charge royalties. On the pitch, it was a toss up between Anderson’s first half performance and Young throughout. We all felt sorry for Young, totally out of his depth as an emergency left back against the Jackal. He stood in the wrong places, missed tackles and generally made one pine for the days of Gallimore.

Official Warning

G Hegley. Apart from a couple of inconsistent applications of "advantage" he wasn’t conspicuous. A short period of foul aversion in the second half threatened to get the crowd going, but he soon settled back into adequacy, so he gets a paranormal 5.786.

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