Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
The Iceman Cometh Part 2
By: Andrew Doherty
AS before, a lack of control was in evidence and the first chance of the half went to Mansfield when on 15, a chip put Mick Boulding in but the ball was cleared away off the line for a corner. There was a momentary concern about a penalty being given when Barnes flattened Boulding but it was not given.
There seemed to be more chance of frostbite than a goal. On 54, a flick on by Jones to North won a corner for Grimsby. Toner sent in a weak effort and Hegarty fired high and wide to maintain the status quo. Another Jones lay-off, this time to Hird on 55, resulted in North connecting with the defender’s head. On 56, North was fouled 25 yards out, but of course the free-kick was wasted. On 59, Mansfield made a substitution. Surely not evidence of any tactics? I didn’t record the details because I couldn’t see it making any difference to anything. I was wrong about this.
On 61, North and Hegarty had blocked attempts. The ball returned to the left side, and Hegarty ran up the line, sending in a powerful and pinpoint cross for Jones to provide a perfect and unstoppable header from 6 yards. Grimsby Town 1, Mansfield Town 0. Grimsby gained some momentum from this goal, and a free-kick from 30 yards out on 64 was scrambled away. On 66, Jones again slipped a neat ball into the path of North who appeared to be stiff-armed on the 20 yard line but no foul was given.
On 70, Grimsby put a few passes together but the move broke down with no-one to receive the ball from Jones. Then Hird laid off to Bolland who won a corner. Grimsby were looking more like a team now with Jones the Controller central to each move. Mansfield had a couple of attacks on 73 when Brown shot just wide and then Grimsby conceded a free-kick 25 yards out but Jones helped out at the back this time. The Dock Tower meanwhile looked resplendent in the distance, with what looked like an illuminated fishing net. Marvellous. Better than the football. To be fair, Grimsby were starting to get the passing going and had a further chance on 75 when a big Barnes clearance almost fell for North at the other end.
Toner helped out on 79 with some dogged defending, and Barnes gathered the resultant corner with ease. On 80 minutes, Grimsby had an excellent move involving Hegarty, Hird and North, who slipped the ball to Bolland. The shot was miscued. On 82, Butler and Taylor came on for Jones and North. Grimsby continued to battle and Toner won possession before Hegarty won a corner. Mansfield had a series of three corners on 86, which came as a surprise as Grimsby had dominated most of the half so far.
On 89, Boshell was tripped 25 yards out but Grimsby’s midfield fiddled and lost possession. Mansfield raced upfield and themselves won a free-kick on the edge of Grimsby’s penalty area, as three minutes added time was announced. Mcintosh floated his free-kick over the bar. Grimsby then gained possession and headed towards the corner flag. The final whistle blew. Grimsby Town 1, Mansfield Town 0.
Final Verdict. Grimsby deserved to win after dominating play in the second half. The players starting to support each other and a passing game developed after a long wait. There was never any shortage of determination from Grimsby’s midfield trio, and there were touches of skill from Hird, Hegarty and North. Bennett in defence deserves praise for handling Quick Mick Boulding for another reliable display in a reshuffled defence. My Man of the Match once again was Gary Jones who was the one Grimsby player who throughout the game showed class and control.
The problem I now had was getting up and walking. I was frozen to the spot. Having overcome this barrier, I discovered a modern-day problem, as my cold fingers tried to text my mates with the result. Still, it was worth the sacrifice. Feeling like the Iceman, I came, I saw and we conquered. 3 points, and as always, a nice day in Cleethorpes.
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