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A Tale of Two Journeys - Part 2

By: Chris Smith
Date: 12/08/2009

THERE were a good few hundred Town fans making their presence felt (and more than Tranmere would have taken to Grimsby he says getting onto the moral high ground yah boo sucks). Unfortunately there were no programmes available in the ground which put me out of sorts.

However, no time to sulk about that, although I did, as the game had started. Town did start well but it was the same old story as pressure and chances don't count for anything if you don't score. With what seemed like their first chance, Rovers did just that with a well taken header, although I wondered where our defence was. It didn't dishearten our fans too much as a rousing "Mike Newe’s blarrarmy" resounded throughout the first half accompanied by a drum which has rattled my fillings enough to need a visit to the dentist. Still makes a change from dental visits occasioned by football attendance in the 1980s and marginally more pleasant.

Our fans had got the attention of what passes for a firm in these parts; four young scallies to the left who took great delight in reminding us of the score. Whilst surprised they could count, although I suppose car-minding concentrates the arithmetic skills, I couldn't begrudge their obvious pleasure at our discomfiture. Mind you, a bloke behind us was apoplectic and gave it the usual anti-scouse banter. Poor old Tranmere. They are on the posh bit of Merseyside, aren't scousers and are probably proud of their identity with nearby Birkkkkkkkkkkkkkenhead. I can't talk, I've taken great pleasure in typing all these Merseyside stereotypes.

The second goal was a disputed penalty. I think I was already numbed to impending defeat so didn't get irate. I didn't think it was a penalty. Some did. I can't see a bloody thing to be honest so I'll go with flow. All over then. The third goal was a lesson in finishing and our fans were, at last, becoming deflated.

One Town fan, who had been waving his GTFC flag whilst wandering from one bit of the stand to another, came to the attention of the police although common sense prevailed and he remained in the ground. The stewards were spot on and had spoken to him, although it looked as though it was for restricting the view of fans. I would have thought he was doing us a favour. They didn't take umbrage at the usual abuse aimed at Merseysiders, and having rightly deduced that our fans weren't going to be a problem, let us get on with it. I still couldn't get a programme so decided to visit the club shop afterwards, quietly confident that it would still be open as I thought we wouldn't be taking this one to extra time.

The second half was understandably muted in our end in the second half. Tranmere got another, and although our keeper made some top drawer saves, they didn't really have that many chances so the scoreline is a bit skewed. The home fans at yon end started singing at last and even I couldn't be ar*ed with the "We forgot that you were here" number, although I had in fact done just that.

Down and not too disheartened. Unfortunately, I have become numbed to these scorelines. Thankfully, it wasn't a league game. One positive to be drawn was from a text received from Nick which said that at least we had a bye in the first round of the JPT. So hang on to those Wembley flags and all that other tat. Talking of which, I managed to get a programme in the end.

The journey back was a bit subdued and wasn't helped that we are all showing our age and kept missing road signs. We therefore had a last look at Birkkkkkkkkkkkkenhead ( a victim of cruel economic times that’s for sure) and decided to go towards Chester zoo as well. I think Jim felt guilty at stiffing us for some petrol money and wanted to give us value for it. Another tour of Hartshead Moor services followed. They don't signpost the pumps properly in these places, and by the time you’ve driven an extra five miles through the lorry park and been up and down every coach lane, you have an even emptier tank that increases your spending. As we went by the Quality Hotel signs for the twentieth time, I realised they hoped you’d get so disheartened driving around in circles, you’d end up staying in the night. It’s a conspiracy I tell you, and you know us Town fans, we can't be accused of easily believing in conspiracies.

I was back home at 1215, so ta for the lift Jim. As I've said earlier, that optimism creeps in as you get further away from the scene of the latest debacle. Torquay away? "Mmmmm, wonder if so-and-so would fly us down. wouldn't it be great to start the Just Got Back thread on the Fishy at 7pm after that game?" I don't belieeeeeeve it! Surely, we're not even thinking of going there?

That’s it, I'm off to bed now; it’s a b*gger typing for hours after coming back from a game. Only kidding.

Let’s hope that MN can do something for the players’ confidence as we are better than tonight’s game suggests. Upper Right of The Findus on Saturday. Be there or be somewhere else but hopefully we can shout the Mariners on to a vital win.

Chris is a regular contributor to the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust web site

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