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12/04 Blackpool 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 13/04/2004

BLACKPOOL kicked off and please wake me when something happens. what? Oh, Bolder, sent free down the right, near the corner flag. Why are people standing up? Like we’re going to score?

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

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

Bolder twisted and managed to pass the ball to the Blackpool ‘keeper at the foot of his near post. Beep. Beep. The radar detected a low flying Warhurst on the very limits of the range. Oh yes, the Blackpool goalkeeper. If Prince George had a pair of enormous trousers to please the ladies then Barnes is a wow down St Annes way with his enormous shirt. Who ate all the pies? The man who wore the jersey before him. I doubt whether he’d ever grow into it, but a family of four could use it as a windbreak.

The Town fans became increasingly agitated, one last harrumph before relegation. "We want Mogodon, say we want Mogodon" was a fittingly ironic and perceptive chant, though sources close to the seat of the powwow in the singing ringing tree corner claim they were chanting "We want Hockless on". I really must get my ears de-waxed. Fettis dropped the ball when attempting to throw it out, in a Sprakeian moment of high farce. The Blackpuddle players are too young, so hadn’t even contemplated such an event - the ball was cleared frantically. Town were getting worse, with absolutely nothing for the desperate fan to hang on to. No passing, no movement, no thought. They were like Black and White rabbits, and you know they’re going to fall.

After about seven minutes of dismal drooling Sheron ran off down the left hand side after Crane had failed to mug the balding battler. On and on he went, pursued by Crowe who eventually bundled the ball out for a corner. The corner was swung out and it grazed a tangerine head and drifted slowly away from goal towards the bye-line. Antoine-Curier jogged after the ball, shielding it as it rumbled away slowly for a goal kick. Except the ball didn’t go out. Near the edge of the penalty area the Blackpool player hooked his leg around the feeble Frenchman, dragged the ball infield and tipped a cross into the centre of the penalty area. A load of heads went up and COID nodded the ball goalwards and, apparently, in. Antoine-Curier buried his head in his hands and several Town players gesticulated at him, as did a couple of thousand local residents. A couple of minutes later Soames replaced the pusillanimous Parisian, to a huge, sarcastic ovation. Au revoir Monsieur Curier, you will be remembered, if we need to scare the children.

The crowd began to vent individual fury, with Law being compared unfavourably, not to a summers day, but with a list of previous failing managers. There were even calls of support for Rodger, and one lone voice for He That Shall Not Be Mentioned. Hire that caravan in the Fitties Mr Furneax - it’s 1988 an all that.

The rest of the game was just an exercise in clockwatching. Not one person within Blundell Park believed that Town would score, let alone fight back. Fight? A word that has been erased from the dictionary. With half an hour left Hockless was finally unleashed, replacing Anderson. What can one small boy do? His first intervention was to jink past a defender, flip a pass to Warhurst and the rest dribbles away in to the sea. Warhurst backed off, shielding the ball for Soames to run past or shoot. Was he an assassin or soldier? Soames was neither, not even a grocery clerk sent to collect the bill. Blackpool had another attack. They nearly scored. They didn’t though. Blinkhorn, some kind of substitute brought on sometime during this so called match, drizzled a shot across the face of goal. Apart from a miss-hit clearance by Fettis which hit Sheron smack in the middle of his forehead and looped straight back into his arms, Blackpool didn’t have another go at goal. At least, I don’t remember them doing so, they may have done but, like the Town players, we Town fans may have been abducted by aliens during the second half.

Jevonsyellow card


Hockless61 mins
Soames57 mins


Graham Laws
(Whitley Bay)


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You want blood and guts from Town - you got ‘em. Warhurst‘s wound opened up again and he had blood flowing down behind his left ear. Oh the guts bit. None of that, I am afraid. As the game wore on Jevons went more and more into the centre, leaving Town without any width on the left; the game was congealed in the middle. No space, no chances created. Crane headed a free kick wide, Ford glanced a Hockless corner 25 yards wide, Jevons clanked a free kick from about 30 yards straight at the ‘keeper. Jevons smoothed a gentle cross through the 6 yard box towards Hockless but Eunice Burns kneed the ball away for a corner. Or handballed it as the Pontoon claimed, even before the ball had reached the little luminous lollipop.

The moment that finally nailed down the coffin came with 20 minutes left. Jevons sweetly kissed the ball down the left and Soames set off after the ball, barging the big centre back towards the ladies toilet near the bye-line, just outside the area. He advanced along the bye-line, saw Warhurst at the near post and slowly rolled the ball towards the wandering minstrel on the edge of the 6 yards box. A Blackpool defender stretched and nicked the ball away without too much fuss.

That’s it. I’m not kidding, that’s it. No more. Twenty minutes of pish-posh tosh. Our visitors gaily skipping around, having a whale of a time in midfield, whilst Town increasingly imploded, the players coalescing into an amorphous black and white blob in the middle of the pitch. Jevons occasionally drifted through for momentary almost moments, but his flicked pass was often just a bit too hard for Warhurst, who visibly slowed, his legs no longer able to move. He’s just too old, there’s no more to say. You get old, you canna hack it anymore and then your career dies. Town’s utter wretchedness was laid out for all to see by a free kick towards the end. In the centre about 30 yards out, no-one went up to take it. Finally Crowe wandered up, looked up, opened his arms wide, shrugged his shoulder and just chipped it forward, the ball sailing out for a goal kick.

Other moments to sum up the abject horrendisity? At the end, Warhurst curled in a dangerous cross to the far post. No Town player was within 10 yards of the ball, the crowd just jeered and laughed as Warhurst looked in disgust at the rest of the team. In normal times you’d be chortling at Warhurst’s bee swatting incident when he won a free kick by swiping the ball forward whilst ridding himself of that imaginary bumble bee near his ear. But you aren’t laughing, and neither were we.

There was some added time, during which Blackpool players tried to waste time in the corner. Why bother? The whole game had been one big waste of time. The game was strangely bereft of tension or pace. Blackpool had turned up to fulfil their obligation to complete the fixture list and a more vigorous and passionate team than Town would have walked all over them. But Town allowed them to have the ball, and Blackpool were good enough to show us a few party tricks.

Analysis not required, reconstruction is. Again. If you want a weak punning excuse then Murphy’s Law applied here. But it goes deeper than mere "luck". The players shoved in as an emergency hadn’t a clue what they were supposed to be doing, and neither did the more established ones. They had to look to see where people were, and more often than not players were caught betwixt and between, neither up nor down, left nor right: piggies in the middle. No empathy, no telepathy, all lost in a fog of confusion.

Of the management team only Rodger showed any passion, any emotion, any animation. He’s one of the few to stand on his feet, one of the few Town people left and that was the buzz as we trudged wearily out of the Theatre of Woes. Nail the Thundercliffe Manifesto to the gates of Blundell Park - where is our team, where is our Grimsby. We sit there waiting for the real Grimsby Town to run out, not the surrogate band. The board are now finding out where we fans really stand.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Jevons gets a big mention for his effort, which rather faded in the last quarter of an hour. But in lieu of any outstanding performances then the default position this season is Mike Edwards. Oh Edwards you tried for us, but there is a Swansea.

Markie’s UnMan of the Match

That unmentionable Frenchman gets half a gong, but Chris Bolder gets the full whack. The worst thing is, he really, really tried. Its not his fault he’s a victim of the Peter Principle.

Official Warning

G Law. Another match where the referee was incidental, only required to start and stop the game . He got a bit of gip from the Blackpool supporters for giving so many free kicks to Town. He had to, they kept fouling! He was very lenient and seemed to operate a three fouls and you’re booked system. But, apart from that, I can’t find much to complain about. So he gets 7.428.

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