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Proud to be a Mariner!
By: Jonathan Spurr
IT seems weird writing this and not having to be drinking alcohol to get over that normal depressing feeling, tonight I have no alcohol and I'm in an excellent mood and I strongly believe/hope that most/all Mariners fans that went tonight are as well.
Entering Notts from the train station it was straight to Hooters for the normal Notts' pre-match drink, walking into over 100 Town fans, the mood seemed weird it was an optimistic feeling with the odd outbursts of Mariners and various other Town songs rippling through the packed Notts' popular drinking hole, something not really to be seen of late even from the true diehard hopefuls who go every week. On to the match and straight away it was spoiled by some idiot supervisor who banned the drum even though permission had been granted the day before. It was not to be thought at that time that this match was to create the best atmosphere by far at a Town game I've been to this season (from memory after a long day-maybe mistaken on that one?)
Grimsby were looking to get their first win in 22 and end that "streak" against a Notts’ side which are in dire trouble off the field. Grimsby made two changes from the side that got that bore 0-0 draw at the weekend vs Bradford with Hudson and new signing Devitt coming in for the injured Peacock and Coulson. With the teams coming out, a massive roar of Mariners went out from 99.9% of people in the away end; the .1% was the 3 Lincoln fans who were stood with us who didn't say a word (miserable gimps).
Within 5 minutes Proudlock was booked for a silly obstruction against Schmeichel Jr after being ruled offside. Notts continued to press and with the Mariners starting badly they had plenty of chances in the first 20 minutes to go and with some silly mistakes from the back four and Peter Bore having a shocking start it was inevitable that Town were to concede. Yes I'm skipping a lot of action but who needs/wants to read about how shockingly poor we were? The breakthrough came on the 20th Minute after a free-kick was given which was crossed in for a deflection of HUGHES to put the debt-ridden Notts in front. An unfortunate goal given the free kick should have been taken further down the field in line with the penalty spot outside of the box not on the corner of the box.
Town fans continued to back their team even though within a minute or so after the goal Notts should have been 2 up after another defensive cock up and but for Colgan’s outstanding pace managed to keep hold of the ball. At this point I'm trying to think of anything positive to write about but a silly mistake from Colgan when he didn't keep hold of the ball and the hearts of all the Mariners were in their mouths as the ball seemed to go in amazingly slow motion just over the top corner onto the net gave us yet another let off. With Town reverting to Newell ball (hoofing it) to try and get it out of their half it wasn't working because Notts were first to every ball and just passed it through the non-existent Mariners' midfield to come close to scoring, something the Mariners had rarely throughout the first 40 mins of the first half. The funny thing about the goal just before we scored I mentioned to Billy (the Gimp) that this is possible the worst performance since Bath City - he seemed to doubt that given our position.
With the first half almost over, what seemed like the impossible happened, Town scored! The goal came from new signing DEVITT who scored an amazing goal from 18 yards into the top corner which was out of the blue and sent the travelling army even crazier. The fans were a credit to the team and while the Notts fans booed their team off the Mariners army sang theirs off to a huge chorus of "Marinerssssssssssss" and "we love you Grimsby".
Half time Notts 1 Grimsby 1
The second half got underway and Town came out fired up and looked a completely different side, Bore had confidence and started to do what he did well, running at players and attacking from the back - whatever Neil said to the players was showing straight from the start. Grimsby had the first chance of the second half when Lancashire came close with a low shot from just inside the box. With Grimsby continuing to press Notts' only way of attacking was on the counter and they were countering well with a couple of chances going narrowly wide. A big talking point came when Hughes had a goal disallowed for handball which he was also yellowed for, which to be fair he should have gone because not long before he clearly fouled Atkinson when he obviously wanted to become a Town player by ripping Robbie's shirt literally off his back!
Proudlock should have put the Mariners in front not long after but a clear lack of confidence stopped him shooting early instead leaving it for Wright, but by the time Wright had any chance of a shot Schmeichel was off his line clearing the ball for a corner.
With Town making changes with Leary on for an injured Sinclair and Akpro on for Proudlock it seemed that the curse could be broken. Leary who looked like a completely different player to one we had seen previously made some strong challenges and was an welcome addition in the midfield. Leary then stole the show for the time being with what can only be describe as the shot of the game 35 yards out Leary looked up and hammered the ball towards the goal, dipping Schmeichel only for it to come off the crossbar much to the disbelief and amazingly shocked 700+ Mariners fans.
With the second half almost over the biggest cheer was about to come but it was after Sweeney was booked which now means he will miss Macclesfield and one other game. For anyone who was outside Meadow Lane, they would have thought Town had scored and won the game, the Mariners fans went mental when Hughes kicked out at Colgan and was then shown a second yellow and sent off. Instead of being a decent human being and accepting his fate which was well overdue and well deserved, Hughes decided to go and seemingly intimidate the linesman who flagged for the challenge, Hughes was then escorted from the pitch. Here’s hoping he’s brought before a FA Disciplinary panel which will be what he deserves!
The full time whistle soon sounded and the Mariners' fans cheered like they won the game, it was a bad first half but the second was something that the fans and players should take confidence into the Lincolnshire Derby on Saturday.
Man of the Match: Devitt for his goal, Leary for his Shot and Bore for the difference he made in the second half.
A final note. The fans were brilliant and got behind the Mariners and sang their hearts out and for a change it was nice to see all the players, bench and management team come over and applause the fans, what was worrying given the rumours regarding Woods was his body language and the clapping shown by him. I seriously hope the rumours are not true and he will still be the manager against Lincoln on Saturday.
Oh finally, please remember there is a fans charity game Saturday morning KO 11am Oasis Wintringham Academy. Grimsby fans from the fishy vs Lincoln fans from Lincoln.vitalfootball.co.uk
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