Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
The Rot Stops Here.
By: Ian Townsend
GRIMSBY Town opened up their season against a Rochdale team hoping to go one better than their Play-off Final defeat this timer around. For their part Town were hoping to avoid what would be a dispiriting eighth competitive match defeat on the bounce.
Town opened with a formation of:
Stockdale, Heywood, Hope, Newey
Till, Hunt, Heslop, Llewellyn
So a bit of a baptism by fire for Heslop with Taylor being preferred to North to the surprise of a lot of people in the Pontoon
On the bench: Montgomery, Bennett, Hegarty, Bore and North.
The £5.00 discount had ensured a better than expected turn-out with a good following from over the Pennines and there was a reasonable atmosphere.
The opening exchanges were fairly cagey but Town’s defence set their stall out with some important challenges and blocks from the new back four particularly Heywood who looks like he will be very hard to knock off the ball, something sadly missing last season.
In midfield James Hunt was getting about his business and he won some sustained applause for two crunching tackles inside a minute to break up Dale attacks.
To be honest Town didn't show much going forward until the 10 minute mark when good work by Heslop freed Taylor but the youngster’s cross was poor. Town had a couple of free kicks in potentially good positions but both came to nothing as we looked short of ideas up the park. Rochdale came back as they tried to grab a hold of the game and a quick succession of dangerous free kicks were dealt with comfortably by the back four. From the last of these a header back required Hope to throw himself at the resulting shot to deflect the ball high and wide. Back came Town and good work by Taylor set up Butler who dallied and he was closed down before any real danger could be created. A couple of minutes later Butler was played in down the right hand channel. He cut in and tried a near post shot which the keeper couldn't hold resulting in a corner. The resulting corner hit to the back post went marginally over the head of Hope who'd positioned himself well.
Around the half hour mark Stockdale had to be alert as initial indecision in the home box left Le Fondre with half a chance and he whipped the ball away for a corner.
Town tried to step their game up a bit and good work by Till, Taylor and Butler ended with Newey putting a cross shot on the roof of the net.
The first half rather petered out with neither side creating much against two competent defences.
Half Time: Town 0 Rochdale 0
The report continues in the Second Half
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