League Two Table
Question of the Week
How much would you accept for Omar Bogle?
By: Ian Townsend
ON a night when the weather again showed who’s boss, Grimsby Town played their second home match in a matter of days, against the team which must see us as their nemesis, Barnet.
A smallish looking crowd, nevertheless gave Town a warm welcome as they lined up in a fairly unfamiliar formation.
With injuries forcing Buckley’s hand he opted for a Four/Four/Two formation with:
The game started slowly with a feature being the way Town moved the ball about well although the final pass was a little lacking.
Grimsby were winning a lot in the air and, as at Morecambe for the league game, defended well up the field.
The crowd had to wait until the eleventh minute for the first real action. Butler moving well was brought down and from the free kick Barnet were only able to clear as far as Jones who, holding off three defenders fed Hegarty who’s powerful shot was deflected for a corner.
Hegarty launched the corner which swung dangerously into the heart of the Barnet box where Fenton rose to power a header down into the ground and again away for a corner. The fans could sense a breakthrough and thought they had achieved it from the resulting corner Fenton again headed down powerfully to force a third corner which unfortunately came to nothing.
Town were well on top and Butler who was instrumental in most of Town’s forays played a one/two with Clarke which was cleared for a throw.
When Barnet threatened briefly the Town defence protected Barnes’ goal and cleared the danger.
In the 22nd minute Jones put through by Butler went down in instalments in the box to win a free kick in a dangerous looking place to the right of the Pontoon goal. Clarke whipped the free kick beyond the far post where Bolland comically lost his footing to cheers from the Town faithful in the Pontoon.
By now the Town pressure was becoming somewhat relentless and after Jones was unlucky with a shot hit as he was falling it was obvious that a goal was just around the corner and what a goal it was!
On 28 minutes Butler again picked up the ball and played Hegarty in with a sublime reverse pass. The young midfielder took it in his stride and smacked a firm shot across the Barnet keeper into the far corner of the net.
There was to be no respite for the Londoners however as first Jones, Bolland and Jones fashioned an opening which was taken off Butler’s toe in a last ditch tackle and then Boshell screwed a shot wide just out of reach of Butler lurking at the far post.
On 42 minutes Town got their just reward for there attacking play when Butler was fed in the box where after holding off his "marker" swivelled slightly to strike an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from close range.
The reaction of the players confirmed that Butler has arrived.
The half petered out with Barnet despite some more forward movement being unable to break down the resolute Town backline.
Half Time: Town 2 Barnet 0
Unsurprisingly Buckley’s half time talk was short and the Town players were out for the second half a good five minutes before the opposition. Barnet seemed to have had a bit of a roasting as they started the second half with more purpose. It was up to Town to keep their concentration and the fans held their collective breath as in the 50th minute Fenton was caught trying to dribble the ball out but fortunately Barnet were unable to capitalise.
This heralded a small spell of Barnet pressure where first Newey had to be alert to tidy up and then Barnes had to come for the ball after at first seeming to hesitate.
In the 54th minute the game as a contest came to a conclusion as Bolland who looked back to his best in a strong running display charged down an attempted clearance running unchallenged to place the ball firmly passt the exposed keeper for a third goal for Town.
Within two minutes a great cross field ball from Bolland found Hegarty but he was unable to make anything of it.
On the hour mark after Barnet’s Yakubu had fired an opening over the bar, Barnes cleared his goal kick to Butler who moved inside and tried to lift a half volley over the Barnet keeper when a better option might have been Bolland unmarked on the right hand side.
Boshell then became the games first booking for a fairly overzealous challenge (62).
The game had gone off the boil a little but came to mlife again when Barnes made another excellent save from a powerful Yakubu header.
Buckley revelling in the luxury of a comfortable lead made his first substitution on 71 minutes when Taylor came on to replace Jones who had done his usual sterling job.
Then on 76 minutes Boshell was replaced by Till who looked "up for it" from the moment he took the field.
Rather surprisingly though given what had gone before Barnet made the next telling contribution to the game when a cross from the left found Cliff Akurang unmarked in the box and he powered a header past the exposed Barnes for 3-1.
This had the effect of waking Town up aghain and good work by Till fed Taylor who’s shot was well saved by Barnet’s keeper.
With 10 minutes to go it was again Till pinging the ball to the far post where it went just beyond Bennett who’d advanced unmarked.
Town looked to have another goal in them and it duly arrived in the 82nd. Minute when Till fed Bolland who in turn fed Taylor who hit an unstoppable shot across the keeper and into the far corner. 4-1 to Town.
One last move saw Bore on for the clearly tiring Butler who went off to a standing ovation from the majority of the crowd.
Town seemed content to see out the last few minutes and the deflated Bees were unable to fashion any sort of reply.
All in all a fine performance from the Town with periods of very good Buckley style passing and movement. Barnet however were very poor and must hate the sight of Grimsby Town.
Man of the match? I gave it to Butler who showed just what it is about Butler the footballer that made Alan Buckley want to sign him. His movement both with and without the ball was a joy to watch. His assist was sublime and his goal taken in real strikers style something that has all to often been missing this season.
It was a shame only just over 3000 were there to see it. The 42 from Barnet were in for a miserable home journey.
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