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The Return of the Bogey Team
By: Rob Sedgwick
BOGEY side Stockport once again helped themselves to three points against the Mariners with a 1-0 victory over Grimsby at Blundell Park. If there was an element of fortune to County's double over Grimsby last year, on this occasion Stockport thoroughly deserved to win and should have done so by more.
With Isaiah Rankin ruled out with a late training ground injury, it paved the way for young striker Andy Taylor to make his first start, leaving new loan signing James Lambert on the bench. Veteran winger Peter Beagrie returned from injury to join Lambert as a substitute.
Stockport to their credit came to win the game and got plenty of players forward and every opportunity. They continued to do so even when they went a goal up.
Peter Bore had plenty of possession early on, and set up Taylor for an early chance. But it was Town's leading scorer who handled the ball in the penalty box to give Stockport an early penalty. The Grimsby protests were led by Tom Newey, who was pointlessly booked for protesting to the referee about his decision. The ball clearly struck Bore's arm, it was just a question of intent. Robinson, who scored a penalty in Stockport's previous game against Wrexham, stepped up, and hit a weakish shot towards Barnes's right hand side. Town's 'keeper (who presumably had watched the video) guessed the right way and got a hand to the ball, which was subsequently cleared. The Pontoon briefly flickered into life.
Town's best chance of the first half fell (I think) to Andy Taylor. A clever Gary Jones dummy allowed him to run into the box and shoot but his effort was blocked and the moment was lost.
Then Stockport scored. Fenton conceded a free kick in a dangerous position. The shot was intercepted, but fell to Keith Briggs on the edge of the box who unleashed a tremendous volley into the top right hand corner. It was unstoppable, and the away end erupted after half a second to absorb what had happened.
Stockport almost went two nil up when Bore completely failed to connect with a clearance on the edge of the box, presenting Le Fondre with the ball, but his shot whistled just past the post.
After the break Le Fondre was again presented with a gilt-edged chance but failed to convert it.
Town had a decent effort when a Gary Jones lay-off fell to the feet of Bore, but the defence blocked his shot on goal. Andy Taylor beat the offside trap from a free kick but failed to connect with a ball floated into the box narrowly over his head.
Meanwhile Stockport continued to look dangerous and create chances. Lawson and Beagrie came on with half an hour to go, but neither could break the deadlock and County managed to negotiate their way to the full time whistle.
Although it was an impossible goal to defend, Town barely created a full fledged chance in the whole of the game and can have little complaint about the final result. You can't win many games if you don't score goals.
Newey had a poor game, failing twice to let a basic ball run into touch and allowing the attacker to go round him and cross it, not closing down players on occasion, getting booked for protesting about a decision which did not involve him and above all for the poor quality of his dead ball at set pieces. Bore looked Town's most dangerous player and had a lot of possession, but his crosses were frequently poor and the defensive side of his game let him down mor than once. Taylor and Jones barely created anything between them, Lawson didn't look substantially better than anyone already in the squad and the rest of the team was mediocre. Justin Whittle was Mr Dependable at the back and wins Man of the Match by default.
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