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21/08 Rushden Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 22/08/2004

MORE Town pressing, more Town attempts to humiliate the opposition. Town were toying with Rushden, like a slightly arrogant uncle in the back garden.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Reports > Rushden (a)

Nene Park

Rushden and Diamonds 1 Grimsby Town 0
21 Aug 2004, Coca Cola League 2

Waiting for the little ‘un to run, but stretching that adult leg forward and back, rolling it through the legs and making the toddler fall on his backside, crying in frustration. Don’t be cruel uncle Towny, let the boy have the ball.

Aaah, Macca nicking the ball, Reddy surging towards goal, upended on the edge of the area. Gordon waived away the little people and curled a shot over the wall and just over the bar. Five minutes gone and the locals were sub-silent, their team barely touching the ball, brushed aside casually in the tackle, spun into madness by the magic swirling Town ship, their senses have been stripped.

This is too easy.

Ooooooh, that’s nice. They have the ball. Nice passing, pretty too. And pretty ineffective. A cross, headed clear, but still, it is their ball, it would be churlish to keep it for 90 minutes. And on 9 minutes they had a shot: some bloke cut in from the right and dragged a bumbler a couple of yards wide of the near post. Williams unfussed, the Town fans unperturbed.

Ah, that’s better, Town swaggering forward, Reddy dropping deep, spinning, surging down the centre right, dappling a pass behind the defence. Who’s that whirl? Why it’s Mr Jason Crowe zazooming across from the left, unseen by the locals. Behind, free, just Turley to beat, Crowe tried to wrench the ball back across the keeper in one movement. He had time, he had space but Crowe succeeding only in tapping the ball straight at Turley, who had gotten himself in a terrible position, neither here nor there, just in-between. And again, Town, Town ,Town: stop the bout ref, they’re punch drunk already. A corner from the right headed back across goal by one of our centre backs. Bouncity, bouncity, bouncity, bounce across the face of goal, past the post. Parkinson chased it, hooked it back towards goal, over the keeper and...panic, confusion and no goal. Reddy appeared to hook the ball off the line. Are we so cocky we want to do their defending for them?

On the quarter hour, yes, only 15 minutes gone and I’m bored of this already. Score godammit! Ah, here it is. A monochrome blur of movement causing our hosts to have a migraine. Reddy, McDermott, Reddy again behind the defence crossing and Crowe raced in to hook a swinging blue jean shot just over the angle of post and bar from about a dozen yards out. Ah, here it wasn’t.

Can you hear the kazoos now?

The game dribbled into nothingness. An empty shell, tedious, without any tension, the massed Mariners becoming a little annoyed by this murder without a body. A couple of bookings, a few free kicks, Rushden had the ball again. Then Town got it back, playing Olé football, without plunging the spear into the confused bull’s body. Sestanovich was especially infuriating, surging infield, attracting defenders to him but passing to the last Rushdenian when two or more Town players were free inside the area. Repeat that scene every five minutes, like an annoying fax machine on auto-dial.

Twenty minutes of direness; so, so dull, so, so devoid of noise. C’mon, c’mon Town, stop taking it easy. Purr again: their inside is out, their outside is in as Parkinson twizzled free down the left touchline, taking one stride and flashing a low cross through the 6 yards box. Reddy raised a boot, Macca strained an old sinew. Close. What were Rushden up to? Not much, they had some free kicks and a few corners which caused mild interest. Williams even came out and caught a couple of their more inaccurate chips.

Anthony Williams
Justin Whittle
Simon Ramsden
Dean Gordon
John McDermott
Thomas Pinault
Terry Fleming
Jason Crowe
Andy Parkinsonyellow card
Michael Reddy
Ashley Sestanovich


Stacy Coldicott89 mins
Ronnie Bull81 mins
Darren Mansaram73 mins
Greg Young
Clint Marcelle


Jarnail Singh


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There were moments when they looked likely to nearly shoot, but a Town boot or backside arrived without there being undue cause for concern. The Town defenders even started to indulge in some playful total football when clearing: little triangles around an attacker with Williams even getting involved in this exhibition of one-touch passing and moving inside the Town penalty area.

As the half ended Town went up to second gear again. A corner floated in and Reddy headed softly into the arms of Turley from the centre of goal. And that was it. It was a stroll, a charabanc trip to Skegness, a jolly by the Nene, but we wouldn’t be giving anyone a crate of beer: there had been no outstanding shooting, red stockinged leader. There were other Town shots: Sestanovich had a 30 yard wobbler; Pinault an attempt to chip the goalkeeper who was on his line. Take confidence a bit too far and it strays towards arrogance.

All disrespect to Rushden but they did play pleasantly when allowed the ball. They were physically a bit weak, a team that will dissolve under a heavy barrage, but they did try to play football as we know it, Jim. They were just inferior to Town. The shame is that the Town players knew it too and played like they were already three up. Carefree can lead to careless.

Half time: Rushden and Diamonds 0 Grimsby Town 0

But if you wish to accentuate the positive, then Town simply overran Rushden for most of the half. It could be construed as being a fine performance so far, just without any of those goal things which statisticians and be-suited administrators seem to think are important. What happened to beauty! To art! Do they count for nothing? At 0-0, I suggest they do.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Rushden are as dangerous as my cat."
"D’you think he bought that shirt on e-bay?"
"We should be four up by now "
"A day at the races or a trip to Rushden? No contest - stay at home"
"It was like this last season, and look what happened."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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