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17/02 Bristol City Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 18/02/2004

DAWS and Coldicott were completely outmanoeuvred by nimbler, fitter, younger push-me, pull-me opponents. Town were unable to get hold of the ball for more than a couple of seconds, and when they did, there was no-one to pass to, just a big bloke in red haring towards them.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Bristol City (h)

Grimsby Town 1 Bristol City 2
17 Feb 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Ooh, Town won a corner, and Ford headed it over. Nice break from the steady stream of red pouring towards the Pontoon.

After about 10 minutes Town managed to keep possession for at least 10 seconds, being the time it took Crowe to take a throw in. Flung back to Crane underneath the Stones/Findus/Smiths stand around the half way line, it was only a matter of seconds before Town would implode. Crane looked up, saw Young alone on the left and very deliberately turned his body, swung his right boot and chipped a slow pass to him. Wilkshire saw this and, from about 10 yards inside his own half, sprinted forward. By the time the ball arrived at Young’s feet Wilkshire had too. Young tried to dribble his way out of danger. He failed, Wilkshire mugged him and zoomed down the wing, crossing in to the centre where Crane stretched and strained to head out for a corner. The ball was curled at pace towards the centre of the goalmouth, where MILLER raced in front of his marker and thudded a powerful header into the top left hand corner. Coles’ impeding of Davison worked a treat, sowing the seeds of panic and confusion. Or should that be adding to the panic and confusion, it’s already there, isn’t it.

And then it started to lash down with rain.

Fortunately for Town, Bristol seemed to switch off a bit after scoring, for though still stern and strong in tackle, they didn’t exactly put themselves out in attack. Alternatively, Town got stuck in and fought their way back into the match. Choose your spectacles very carefully when deciding which to believe. On the quarter hour the usual awful refereeing decision appeared. The ball was nodded onto Rankin on the centre right edge of the Bristol Area. With his back to goal he rolled, rocked and rolled again past his marker. With a black and white shirt held in a Bristol hand and a red stockinged boot outstretched and clipping our temporary Isaiah, the crowd rose for a penalty. The referee pointed towards the penalty spot and then over for a goal kick. A staggeringly bad decision. The Town players went ballistic and the crowd was so stunned it lost its booing voice. Thirty seconds later he gave a free kick against Rankin for clearly winning the ball. The Town fans collectively decided that the ref was not top-notch, or something similar.

About five minutes later he eventually awarded Town a free kick for a foul on Rankin, about 25 yards out on the left. The ball was touched to Anderson who leathered a shot goalwards, skimming off the end of the wall and scooting across the face of goal and out for a corner. The corner was curled into the near post and there was a small scramblette inside the 6 yards area, with the ball hoofed away from near the goal line. In terms of Town attacking that was the best yet. Not much was it. Rankin looked pesky and pert, but Mansaram, well, you know, I know, we all know, he’s the chicken who left his head in Doncaster.

A couple of minutes later we nearly had another captain comedy own goal. Bristol just chipped a cross from deep towards the centre of the penalty area. Davison came off his line, without shouting, Ford rose and guided the ball towards where Davison had been. Result - Davison pootering off towards the Spurn lighthouse while the ball trolled its way slowly towards the right hand post. Peacock skipped between these two unhappy newlyweds and Ford tutted before cantering off in pursuit.

Campbellyellow card


Hamiltonyellow card53 mins
Jevons54 mins
Soames84 mins


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From a yard or two out, just wide of goal, Ford clipped the ball against Peacock for a goal kick. This was just the most theatrical of a whole series of gaffes and gadfly defending inside the Town penalty area. Hesitant, fearful, minds in a tizz, if in doubt get it out!. Except Crane, who managed to make the wrong decision every time. Hoofing when he should have passed, passing into danger when a Neanderthal thwack was required; he was the rottenest banana in the fruit basket that was Town’s defence. Let’s, like the referee, ignore the handballs by Young and Ford inside the Town area. We saw no ships. Or perhaps he was confused by the scrolling teamsheet on the scoreboard, for it was stuck on fast play.

On the half hour Rankin was sent clear down the inside right. He beat one, cut inside another and voomed into the penalty area. About a dozen yards out, just wide of goal he pulled his right boot back and....what a fantastic tackle to clear the ball. A few islands of one-eyed hopeful Town fans claimed a penalty, but heh-heh, they were young and inexperienced in these things. Why waste your energy. We wise old fools who remember tight shorts and bubble perms, and possibly tight perms and bubble shorts, wouldn’t bother with such outrageous flights of fancy. Oh, a penalty! The Bristol players complained of course, as did their fans, but then again they hadn’t insisted on the referee making a correct decision a quarter of an hour earlier. Swings and roundabouts, sirs. ANDERSON puffed out his little chest, placed the ball on the spot and wellied it low to the ‘keeper’s right, the buttercup boy plunging that way too. My, what a bright scoreboard, it was like being in a modern discotheque, all flashing strobe effects and teenagers with their hands in the air.

The rest of the half was played satisfactorily away from the Pontoon for long periods. Not much good happened, but we are reduced to being excited by players not falling over too often. And then one did. As Town built a breakaway down the centre, Rankin was hauled down on the half way line, way, way, way off the ball. Play continued and eventually the linesman called the referee over. A sending off perhaps? No, just a yellow card. I didn’t see anything, so it should have been a red card, obviously. The Town fans were getting mighty restless with the referee for his inability to see Bristol nudges and pushes, but imagineering fouls by Town. Oh look, here we are again, another non-foul, and a free kick to Bristol City, 25 yards out on their right. Flirtingly curled into the box, Crane took one giant leap for Cranekind and miscued a header across Davison, the ball lolloping a foot past the left hand post as Wilkshire decided not to stretch out his leg and score, which was nice of him. Davison caught the corner, the half ended.

Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Bristol City 1

At least that was over. Bristol looked like scoring every time they approached our spindly thicket of dying juniper bushes. That they didn’t was entirely down to good fortune and diffidence on their part. It is difficult to say who was the worst Town defender, Ford or Crane, though Ford did, once or twice, manage to make clearances. Young looked like a new born giraffe, totally unable to deal with Wilkshire. Luckily for Town Bristol only attacked down their right in the first 10 minutes. As the half wore on Daws and Coldicott managed to impose themselves upon Doherty and Tinnion, but only enough to stop Bristol. Town pressed, but there were just fleeting moments of danger created. A Campbell surge and cross, an Anderson dribble, Rankin bulldozing through. Crosses over the top, but mainly cut out at the near post. Plenty of corners, but I can’t recall Phillips making a save.

Town were doing well to hold on to their coattails, it could have been a lot worse.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"If they wanted to they could Hartlepool us".
"Shove it in the mixer".
"Where’s Ernie Beckett’s, I’ve never been abroad?".
"I’d be happy if we stopped this now".
"You can’t have two men called Nicky at Town, it’s not a boutique".
"Is he the swinger or the antiques dealer? Is there a difference?".

The report continues in the Second Half.

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