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Foiled By The Mac Attack Part 2
By: Andrew Doherty
PETERBOROUGH won a corner within a minute. Once again Town’s passing went astray and possession was lost on 49. Mackail-Smith drifted up the left side and put over a long cross to McLean whose low shot was mishit but accurate, so much so that it ran wide to Barnes’s right and into the bottom corner. Grimsby 0, Peterborough 2.
Peterborough continued to play all the intricate football. On 51, McLean was tripped outside the box. Keates’s shot was curled and came off the bar, and Town were lucky that no-one could get on the end of the resultant low cross. On 54, Hegarty and Butler came on for Bore and Toner. Town had their first decent shot on 57 when North turned and fired over. Peterborough were breaking well and Barnes was put under pressure.
Peterborough were the more dangerous team, but Hegarty had a chance on 59, only to be thwarted by a slick defence. North then won a free kick after hassling a defender into a handball. Newey crossed long to Tough Guy Fenton who headed back to Atkinson but the header was weak. Town were ineffective. Peterborough were impressive. We were being outplayed and confidence was lacking. I texted our distinguished editor to this effect for information and psychological support. "The Roman Empire in its final catastrophic days" came back the reply. Inevitably we then scored. On 62, Bolland out in a great cross field ball to Bennett on the right. A cross was swung over and Butler showed great composure, firing in from 10 yards out. Grimsby 1, Peterborough 2.
There was a chance on 63 to equalise after a defensive mix-up. Hyde floated a ball in close on 64, but since the substitutions Town were showing more urgency and having more play in Peterborough’s half thanks to Butler and North. Jarman continued to show intent. On 69, Town’s defence fell over each other. Newton fired a shot in and Barnes saved to his left. Then, on 72 Peterborough had another breakaway. Town were static as McLean laid the ball off to Mackail-Smith who chased off like a racehorse down the left and through the middle, firing in a low shot which Barnes couldn’t stop. Grimsby 1, Peterborough 3.
Town tried to get back and Jarman had a determined effort on 74, and Butler won a free kick. Clarke’s curler struck the crossbar and dropped down, for McLean to clear for a corner. On 76, Rendell came on for McLean. On 78, Peterborough attacked again and Mackail-Smith’s spectacular overhead kick went wide. No defender was near him. Town were finding each other with their passes at this stage, but were never safe from Peterborough’s attacking combination. On 80, Williams ran down the left and crossed to the unmarked Rendell, who hit an accurate low shot from outside the box, through the defence and into the net. Grimsby 1, Peterborough 4.
Tough Guy Fenton then upended a defender in the corner on 83 and got a yellow card. The tide was out. There were no ships. There wasn’t much football either, at least from Town’s point of view. On 85, Hegarty crossed but Bennett blasted wildly over the bar. On 86, Jarman and Butler linked up, and Butler’s finish went just over. Another dangerous move involving 4 or 5 Peterborough players was cut out by Newey, after the beleaguered Town again conceded too much space. On 93, Newey was tripped, after making a commendable effort, and earned a free kick but it was all too late at this stage of the game. The final whistle went. Grimsby Town 1, Peterborough United 4. The few Town supporters trooped away disconsolately.
Final verdict. The second half was an improvement over the first, in which Town had no penetration and Peterborough showed all the flair. In the second, the substitutions and the 4 - 4 - 2 formation which resulted from having Butler and North up front meant that we played more ball in the Peterborough half. Town were more threatening but were also more vulnerable to the break, at which Peterborough excelled. We lacked a Gary Jones type player to hold the ball while support gathered. Of the Town players, Jarman and Butler played as if they cared, Bolland showed his usual determination and Hegarty added a dimension. Jarman was my Man of the Match for his display. Overall though, this was very poor, the performance lacked bite and we were outplayed. Peterborough had a number of impressive performers. Their "Mac Attack" of Mickail-Smith and McLeod, along with Boyd, Williams and numerous others, exposed Town’s frailties with ease.
Jollity prevailed on the train home. No, this had nothing to do with football, but was a sign that the day trippers to Cleethorpes had a good time. Disappointing is the only diplomatic way to describe the Town performance. We did score and hit the bar but for the other 89 ½ minutes, there was hardly a scrap of satisfaction or entertainment. Just frustration and the air of inevitability as nothing materialised. My children wouldn’t have enjoyed it if they’d been there. They had a lucky escape. There weren’t even any ships to watch either. Roll on next season ... and, hey, Revis, we get the chance to go to Dagenham again.
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