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11/01 Northampton Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 12/01/2005

TEN minutes of relative tedium, just midfield bargings with no attacks of any consequence, but the hint of threat from Town. Reddy tireless, always out wide; Parkinson spinning like a weather vane in the breeze. It’s the ears that did it. Did you say ears Bert?

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Reports > Northampton (h)

Grimsby Town 1 Northampton Town 2
11 Jan 2005, Coca Cola League 2

A carefully placed ball down their right rolled towards the bye-line, Ramsden huckled the ball around and passed infield to Williams, just inside his area. Benjamin raced forward and the Pontoon panickers’ platoon were about to berate his Welshness when the clouds parted and a light shone down. A chorus sang: "La-la-la-la-la, hey! La-lalalala-la hey!***"

Williams sidestepped and rolled the ball between his legs, sending Benjamin sliding towards embarrassment, or Ramsden’s car park, take your pick. Another Cobbler approached, a shimmy, a feign to the right, a reverse pass to the left to Jones. Not quite the Time Warp but you get his drift, for feather boas and suspenders are not part of the Town kit these days. At least not at home. The Pontoon exploded with laughter and relief. Jones punted, Northampton won it back, raced to the bye-line and crossed dangerously. It didn’t go in. Either Williams caught it or someone headed it away. A moment of danger crumbling away like old cheese.

How long gone? Fifteen minutes if you want to know. And someone had a shot. On target. At a goal. Some neat interlinking and light shopping by the maroon Midlanders resulted in Rowson advancing up their centre left, 25 yards out. He swished his foot and the ball skidded softly to Williams, who clutched it very butterfingerly. Oh, it’s one of those nights.

Bull was still limping.

This occasionally interesting game of dodgeball shuffled on, with Town clearing towards the right touchline. Reddy raced after the ball, let it bounce, flicked his locks and hared along the touchline, holding off a defender. Onwards, onwards raced the Town terrier, to the bye-line, into a sliding tackle which halted him and sent the ball out for a corner. A half roar from the crowd: the mice that mumbled. Pinault clapped an outswinger towards the edge of the area, Crowe stooped and headed goalwards. REDDY, a few yards out at the far post, leapt up, leaned on a defender and graced the ball into the net with the merest of touches. Harper dissolved on his goal line, visibly shrinking as the laser beam throbbed from the floodlights. A few seconds later Town fans jumped up and shouted "hurrah". Who scored it: was it Gritton? The assumption was that it was the Gritster who’d scored, and who can tell those two apart at 100 paces, eh?

What a rubbish goal. Still, mustn’t grumble. Remember, Town win when they play poorly.

A few minutes later Reddy revved up again, superbly turning down the right, cutting infield, rumbling past one, two, three, a fourth defender, across the pitch into the area, past the final defender, on the left, a dozen yards out....and miss-hit a left foot shot straight at Harper. Wait, there’s more. Harper flapped the ball away from his knees towards Parkinson, but a defender reacted first and thrashed the ball away. Remember this incident for an interesting compare and contrast exercise later on.

I bet you didn’t know that people hunt around antique stalls for the back of cereal packets. They pay up to £2 for them. And there are two secret societies dedicated to this. There is a school of thought that claims that’s were Slade picked up Glen Downey. What’s become of England?

Anthony Williams
Terrell Forbes
Simon Ramsden
Rob Jones
John McDermott
Thomas Pinault
Jason Crowe
Ronnie Bull
Andy Parkinson
Martin Gritton
Michael Reddygoal


Greg Young56 mins
Ashley Sestanovich86 minsred card
Stacy Coldicott
Paul Fraser
Darren Mansaram


Paul Robinson
(East Yorkshire)


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Gritton, hello there! A drop-kick headed on loopily by our Celtic warrior who turned and volleyed from the car park at Ramsden’s. The ball wizzled up in the air, dropping nicely into Harper’s midriff. It looked good from the Pontoon, anyway. Oh, nice move, Town swaying down the right, Macca shooting straight at Harper. Firmly, but fairly. Within easy goalie-grabbing range. The hints are turning to suggestions.

Northampton looked dangerous on the break, passing well, moving better, but over-elaborate, always seeming to want a flick too far, a trick too many. And they hadn’t allowed Town inside their area much, blocking off and crowding out. Town’s efforts from open play were all longish range. Raids down the wings got as far as the bye-line and crosses were intercepted at the near post, or flicked from the far. They needed to be, for the ‘keeper looked wobbly. But who are we to cast such stones?

Another dreadful fly-kick by Harper swerved to Crowe about 40 yards out on the centre right. Crowe shinned the ball forward as Harper waddled back into the open goal. Pinault and McDermott closed the lock-gate on the Northampton narrowboat. Pinault, 30 yards out, bludgeoned the ball, it sliding a foot or so away from the left hand post. We oohed: we felt duty bound.

And that’s it for the first half. More Town raids which produced nothing but wafted shots and wayward crosses. Pressure exerted, but Cobblers unperturbed by the locals banging on the castle door demanding an explanation for all those noises and strange comings and goings. "Be off with you, it’s not your concern". So they all duly trouped away after one minute of time added for the sake of it.

Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Northampton Town 0
What an odd half, played in front of the Osmond Stand. Town territorially dominant, but only one goal. Town, as a whole, as individuals, were looking a bit hesitant. Fortune favoured at crucial times when Northampton got around to attacking. Little rebounds, mis-kicks, and some rotten decision making by the Northampton midfield all conspired to give the illusion of comfortable command. But they looked likely to score with the wind at their backs.

Bull still looked injured.

For once Slade’s half time team-talk would energise them. Wouldn’t it?

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"It hasn’t grown back yet then."
"What exactly is Parkinson’s best position?"
"There was an advert in the local Jobcentre for an 'Impostor', but I don’t look like Sammy Davis Jnr".
"Crowe has run into people, but forgotten the ball."
"I bought one of those new computers with celeriac chips in."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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