League Two Table
Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
Maybe next week?
By: Jonathan Bell
TOWN fans headed to Rochdale in hope rather than expectation and minus the first ten minutes the worst team in the football league gave a decent account of themselves, despite going down 2-0.
Two quick things before I start:
- What has happened to Stockdale? He needs to play, Clarke is either a) not a right-back or b) not a footballer.
- I saw Bore and North in the off-licence before the game munching away on Wispas and Milky Bars. Nice to see my money going to good use.
Mike Newell made two changes from the team that lost in mid-week to Morecambe: Proudlock returned in place of the suspended Llewellyn and Henderson replaced Barnes in goal.
Proudlock had a half chance in the first minute but it was Rochdale who forced an early opening to the match. Left winger Adam Rundle was shown inside by the hapless Jamie Clarke and as he was invited to shoot the Dale players shot took a deflection and evaded Henderson in goal.
Grimsby hardly had chance to breath before it got worse. A free-kick was given to the Mariners down the right hand side and as Bennett and Atkinson trotted forward Jarman decided to take a quick one to Forbes who dwelled on the ball. He was easily dispossessed, Jamie Clarke was day dreaming and got nowhere near the player who set Le Fondre free through the middle and he finished comfortably to put the game beyond doubt with only ten minutes played.
There were appeals for offside from fans and management but he looked like he ran from his own half to me.
Both those goals summed up why we are where we are. The first goal was woeful as he was invited to shoot, unlucky that it took a deflection but he shouldn't have been given that time. The second goal was ridiculous, Forbes losing the ball and Clarke standing in no mans land made it far too easy.
Town were looking shaky and only a last ditch challenge from Atkinson saved us a three goal deficit. But the players suddenly perked up and it was Hegarty who was free and charging towards the left hand side of the box through on goal when he was brought down, only for the referee to produce a yellow card much to the disappointment of some fans.
Grimsby were almost looking fluent and with some good play down the right touchline by Jarman he passed it inside to Clarke who cut it back to Forbes only for his effort to be tipped onto the bar and out for a corner. From the resulting corner the keeper flapped and the ball fell loose to Hegarty only for him to strike it over the bar.
With the Mariners putting on pressure a counter attack was always likely. Clarke couldn't control a loose ball and Rochdale broke with pace but Bennett defended well.
At half-time everyone had lost any hope of getting anything from the game and thoughts turned to how Bournemouth and Chester were doing.
Boshell on for Sinclair did little to help the optimism in the away end (or side as it is) but he had a decent second half to be fair.
The first action of the second half saw ex-Town front man Lee Thorpe flick on a corner and Le Fondre headed goalwards at the far post which Henderson dealt with quite comfortably.
Then Town looked to hit back. Hegarty laid off Proudlock but his effort was scuffed into the ‘keeper's arms and then Kalala hit a left foot drive through a crowded penalty box but that again found its way to Frank Fielding in goal.
Akpro came on for Proudlock sparking the biggest cheer of the game and Elliott came on for Newey shortly after but nothing really changed and this time it was Rochdale substitute Joe Thompson who had a couple of chances. First of all Le Fondre nodded the ball down for him to hit over and then from a free-kick his free header was easily dealt with.
Elliott’s drilled free-kick caused problems in the Rochdale box but as Clarke knocked it back in Jarman couldn't quite reach it. Then Akpro held the ball up and found Hegarty on the left whose deep cross was brought down by Forbes only for his effort to be blocked. A good Boshell corner was then headed well wide by the arriving Elliott.
Dale substitute Chris Dagnell had a late chance to make it three but he dragged his effort wide from about 10 yards.
Full time at Spotland saw a usual defeat for the Mariners and you have to fear where the goals will come from to keep us up. There was a lot of fight and Forbes/Proudlock linked well but overall it was evident which team was lacking the creativity and self-belief.
With four straight defeats, what will Tuesday night bring? We have to believe it will be three points.
MOTM - Nathan Jarman - some nice touches and ran his heart out as ever today.
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