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What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?

As per this season
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Murphy’s Law: Blackpool Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 13/04/2004

A warm, slightly hazy Monday afternoon in Cleethorpes, so close your eyes and drift away to another land where the trees and the sea are accidentally blue. Around 250 or so Blackpuddians did some industrial spying in the Osmond Stand.

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

Grimsby Town 0 Blackpool 2
12 Apr 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Blackpool Tower or Dock Tower: now which is the prettiest? There isn’t any atmosphere in the ground these days, not even a low hum of chatter. In short there’s no buzz. Dead, stuffed, it’s an ex-crowd watching an ex-team.

The pre-match warm up had an added routine, for before the game of shinball the whole squad indulged in what can only be described as introductory passing skills session 1 (under eights only). One player dribbled, passed to another a dozen yards away, received the ball back and passed it forward. Yes, as simple as that. The sort of thing done in primary schools. You may well raise an eyebrow or two, but it happened, right there on Blundell Park. The supporters took the opportunity to play name that poltroon. Some, those who hadn’t been for a couple of weeks, were mystified, some say perplexed. They needn’t be embarrassed, so were the regulars, and probably the players too. Who? What? Where? The three questions raised every week, but never answered.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. Ford and Crowe were in their now "usual" out-of-positions, with Bolder in the centre of midfield. Yes, that’s knackered old warhorse up front with the French Mansaram. You know, that’s just three players who played against Blackpool in September, and we thought that was only half the real Town team.

We did have time for worries.

Blackpool’s shirts outshone the stewards for luminosity, whilst their central midfielder, Donnelly, was the subject of much discussion up in rock and pop corner. Whose head lives in hair like this? An early shot at Rod Stewart was dismissed, for the hair was too bulbous. With shades of Alan Biley and a touch of Roger Taylor, the jury settled on Paul Nicholas. Donnelly was off to his grandma’s party tonight.

1st half

Town kicked off towards the Blackpool supporters and tried to run through the middle, foundering after three yards and two passes as Coldicott was dispossessed inside the centre circle. The ball didn’t go out of play for ages either. This was not football as we have come to know it.

Within a minute or so Warhurst received a whack on the back of his head when jumping for a header near the Police Box. He was led off the pitch by the referee and was absent for a couple of minutes as he was sponged down and vast amounts of blue Vaseline was applied to his bonce. This was one of Town’s more cohesive moments.

Another minute, another tackle by the tangerine dreamers, another Town player injured. So Blackpool were up for it then? No, they just kept fouling, which was one way of ensuring they didn’t have to run around too much. The game kept being stopped for little fouls, for players falling awkwardly and was just dire. It was played at sub-human pace. A stroll in the sun, holidays almost upon them. After about, ooh I don’t know, say 11 hours of recreational perambulation, Warhurst spun away down the Town right, near the corner of the penalty area. He twisted past a defender and crossed into the centre of the goalmouth. Antoine-Curier, about eight yards out, flicked a free header several feet wide of the right hand post. In earth time this was about seven minutes into this alleged competitive game of association football. Blackpool had been down to ten men at this stage, and immediately brought on a little lad, Burns. Mr Burns, Burnsey at full back. Or we could call him Eunice. What’s up doc? Don’t you get it? You have to keep your mind active, otherwise we’d become zombified by half time. The clues are there.

Jevonsyellow card


Hockless61 mins
Soames57 mins


Graham Laws
(Whitley Bay)


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The report continues in Part Two.

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