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Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
Bring Me Sunshine - Part 2.
By: Ian Townsend
SO, it’s Saturday and here we are again in the second part of the biggest trilogy since "Lord of the Rings" when Town returned to Morecambe knowing that a good performance would provide a huge psychological boost ahead of Tuesday’s JPT second leg.
As expected AB shuffled his pack with notably no place in the starting line-up for Barnes, Newey - who at least made the bench - and Atkinson, Till, and North - who failed to make the 16.
The away support although understandably down from Tuesday were still in good voice as the teams came out.
Town lined up with:
- Montgomery in goal,
- A "back three" of Bennett, Fenton and Whittle,
- Five across the middle, Clarke, Bolland, Boshell, Hunt and Hegarty,
- And an intriguing looking partnership of Bore and Jones up front.
From the kick off Town set out their stall. Gone was the timidness of Tuesday as they used the width of the pitch to get players forward. Hegarty was the first to show with a good run down the left and cross which was taken smartly off Jones’ boot.
Then Bore signalled his intentions with a good run at two defenders who he left for dead before feeding Boshell who was unable to make anything of it.
A feature of the play was Town’s willingness to defend on the half way line, condensing the play into Morecambe’s half as the midfield provided much needed support for Jones and Bore.
At this point a word about Jonah. He is a massive player for Town and his ability to hold the ball and play his colleagues in was much in evidence early on.
As you would expect from a side managed by Sammy McIlroy it wasn't all one way and Blinkhorn turned Whittle in the box only for Boshell to cover and clear to safety.
Bolland (who looked back to something like his best throughout) was next to show with a dangerous looking cross which was headed behind for a Town corner.
On 13 minutes Hegarty again crossed from the left and the Morecambe keeper, significantly, was unable to hold it, but Town were unable to punish.
As Morecambe sought a reply Bennett was caught out leaving a cross in the box and only the presence of Fenton preventing real damage.
The writing was on the wall for Morecambe as Hunt (yes Hunt!!) played Bore in superbly. The young striker lifted the ball over the keeper but also unfortunately the bar. Morecambe tried to respond and more indecision in the Town box resulted in a Taylor snap shot which hit the outside of the post and ran to safety with Monty a spectator.
On 22 minutes came the breakthrough. BORE picked up the ball on the edge of Morecambe’s 18 yard box, rode two tackles before firing an unstoppable shot back across the keeper into the bottom left hand corner.
In an immediate reply Montgomery had to be alert to fingertip away a dangerous looking cross from the right.
However it was all Town and it was no surprise when on 25 minutes good work by Jones (who is nearly impossible to get off the ball) saw the ball dinked into the six yard box where BORE had the easiest of chances to double Town’s lead with a smart finish.
This had the travelling faithful in great voice and they reached new heights only a few minutes later when Blinkhorn swivelled in the Town box only to see his snap shot bounce off the inside of the post. It seemed that after Tuesday Town’s goal did have a charmed life. The fans clearly thought so as the chant of "You'll Never Score in this Goal" rang out loud and clear. That however signalled the start of Morecambe’s best part of the game and both Fenton and Whittle did well to clear under pressure.
A lull in proceedings brought the probably expected reference from Town fans to the Earthquake with a rendition of "We only win in earthquakes" quickly followed by "Earthquake Survivors!!"
Half time came with the Town being warmly applauded from the field.
Half Time: Morecambe 0 Grimsby Town 2.
The second half began with Morecambe showing more purpose and the defence had to be alert as several crosses came in from either side.
On 53 minutes a cross by Hegarty was sublimely dummied into the path of Jones by Bore and only a last ditch tackle prevented a further score.
As the game wore on a little frustration crept into Morecambe’s play and Blinkhorn was lucky to go unpunished for a trailing arm which caught Fenton full in the face.
The game was summed up on 56 minutes when following good work on the wing a cross came into Town’s box to be met by Hunter 4 yards out full on. Monty went down and beat the ball away in a reflex save that had the home forwards holding their heads.
Only two minutes later the game as a contest was over. Brilliant interplay by Boshell and Jones resulted in the latter chipping into the centre where Bore was only denied by a combination of keeper and post only for HEGARTY to smash the rebound high into the net to the obvious delight of all concerned.
Within a minute it was nearly four as Hegarty played Boshell in. The midfielder unselfishly squared to Bolland who took too long over his shot.
It was getting decidedly niggly as first Boshell was scythed down and then Bore had Adams studs scraped down his calf both without punishment.
With the game won Buckley made his first change on 80 minutes. Jones left the field to sustained applause. His replacement was to be.... .Butler.
Butler’s entry to the fray caused the Town fans some problems. The prevalent opinion seemed to be "We can't boo him" but neither did many (any?) applaud. Result? Almost total silence....Which lasted precisely 18 seconds as the corner came in and BUTLER swivelled , hitting an unstoppable shot between two defenders on the line.
The reaction of the Town players as he was mobbed suggested that their view of the situation is different to the fans.
The reaction of the fans was "Mind his back"
Definitely no way back for Morecambe as their fans streamed away. Buckley took the opportunity to take a look at Jarman who replaced Bore who left to rapturous applause.
The match petered out but not before Montgomery save smartly again at the foot of the post and Hegarty was replaced by Taylor.
Final Score: Morecambe 0 Grimsby Town 4.
A superb all-round performance which must have given Town the psychological advantage ahead of Tuesday. It also gives AB options which will keep McIlroy guessing.
I guess though that very few of the travelling fans thought that we are as good as at Wembley. Tuesday will be tough and Town will need to play at least as well as today to ensure progress.
Man of the Match
There are loads of contenders.
- Monty confidently dealt with everything they could throw at him. The point blank save was top drawer.
- Fenton bossed the backline to great effect.
- Hunt and Boshell worked very hard in midfield
- Jones just an awesome presence for his vision and ball control.
- In my mind though Peter Bore just did enough to nick it with a display that consigned the 13 months since Boston away to the rubbish bin of history. If this lad can maintain this level we are in for a much better next few seasons.
The future's bright.....the futures Black and White!!!!
Vote for your Man of the Match
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