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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
17/02 Bristol City 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made at half time, though the start was held up as Bristol were one player short, possibly caught short.
Grimsby Town 1 Bristol City 2
About a dozen yards out, Campbell cracked a low shot towards goal. Phillips plunged to his right and just managed to get a finger tip on the ball and it bounced off the foot of the post and out back towards Mansaram. Town retrieved, Town crossed and the ball achingly, agonisingly curled between the far post and Rankin. Inches from glory, if only heâ€™d stuck his leg out.
Mansaram was replaced by Soames straight afterwards with about five or six minutes left. Thank goodness as, apart from that one moment a minute earlier, Mansaram had been terrible in the second half, getting in the way, managing to break up Town attacks just as effectively as the Bristol centre backs. Soames harried and hassled down the left touchline, muscling his way in front of a defender, robbing, ribbing, dribbling off into the distance. Inside, outside, a cross, cleared, back to Daws, stood in the centre, 25 yards out, who played a marvellously weighted first time pass through the tiniest of gaps between full back and centre back to Jevons. The white booted messiah opened up his body and sliced the ball across goal. The ball drifted closer, closer and missed the post by a matter of inches as Phillips feigned disinterest.
With a couple of minutes left Bristol actually managed to go near Townâ€™s goal. The defence rocked, Jevons, yes, Jevons, averted danger by covering for the hobbling Crowe. Just a couple of minutes, that all, thatâ€™s all we ask. Câ€™mon Town you can do it.
Hisssssssssssssssssssssssss. That deflating balloon again. Hamilton, for the first time in ages, made a tackle. The ball was played into a City player about 30 yards out on the centre right. Hamilton slid in from Tetney. The Bristol player was upended, Hamilton came away with the ball. Free kick, complaints, a booking for Hamilton. The ball was chipped to beyond the far post, and was headed back into the centre. Bouncing, bouncing, bodies around, someone leapt up and did a scissors kick. The ball disappeared into a bundle of players and into the net, somewhere on Davisonâ€™s right. BROWN had scored. From the moment Hamilton started his slide you could feel the goal coming.
Town huffed but that was it, a free kick in injury time brought momentary hope, ended by the linesman flagging for Crane being offside as Phillips collided with a defender. He wasnâ€™t. Thirty seconds later Town nearly attacking, ended by the linesman again flagging for a non-existent infringement. And then it was over.
In truth, Town were inferior and had less chances. Bristol were just better in all respects, but it could, probably should, have ended as a fortunate draw. Townâ€™s spirit deserved some reward and they had been ending the game strongly. There is no need to labour the point about the defence, it was as bad as it has ever been, but Town didnâ€™t cave in, so thatâ€™s two games running where theyâ€™ve tried.
Now if only we can stop the opposition scoring and score a few of our own, then thatâ€™s this football lark sorted. Easy.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
No-one was outstanding, some managed to achieve OK-ness. And thatâ€™s as far as it went. Rankin was a threat when the ball went near him (but not in the air, for he decided not to challenge after an hour), Daws was steady, but in a surprise move which will set the showbiz world buzzing itâ€™s Jason Crowe. For being the only defender who defended.
Markies Unman of the Match
A joint award to Townâ€™s twin peaks of despair, Messrs Crane and Ford. Crane hardly won a header, and Ford circled the earth, only occasionally was satellite contact made. They were just incapable of coping with the 20th Century (we have reached it in Grimsby, havenâ€™t we?) . They came in to our lives and then Townâ€™s life was over. Together they are beautiful, if you support the opposition.
M Jones. The whistle blew, breath baited, who knew which way heâ€™d point, least of all him. At first he seemed to be scared of upsetting Bristol, and then had a huge guilt trip over not giving an obvious penalty. Those Bristol fans were right, he didnâ€™t know what he was doing. Yes, we were all calling Mr Jones. After Saturdayâ€™s bile some generosity of spirit flows through Lincolnshire. He gets 3.826. How generous indeed.
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