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One of Those Hayes
By: Rob Sedgwick
LUCK deserted this afternoon at Blundell Park, the Mariners twice hitting the woodwork and having what looked a perfectly good goal ruled out, before Connell finally broke the deadlock. However Hayes had twice scored from the small number of chances they created, and the Mariners ended up losing 2-1.
After two games against the supposedly better sides in the Conference it was time to play one of the so-called Minnows. It was hard to take an opposing side seriously who are named after not just one, but two, places most people had never heard of. With barely suppressed sniggers the Town faithful watched around 20 people take their place in the Osmond Stand. Only two of them actually set next to one another. The rest seemed to be intent on spreading themselves around the whole stand. Or maybe there was one group from Yeading, and another from Hayes?
According to the programme Hayes only became a professional club in the summer. Town should have no trouble dispatching this bunch of part timers, I thought, and when someone asked me what the score was before the game I simply retorted "something nil". Welcome to the Conference where reputations count for nothing.`
Anyway Town assembled in a 4-4-2 formation. Coulson moved up front in place of the injured Peacock, and Samuels started at right back, with Bore playing on the right side of midfield.
Hayes started the quicker of the two sides and won a free kick in the opening minute which Watt headed out for a corner under pressure.
But Town soon got into their stride and Bore looked the best player on the pitch for a spell, at the heart of their every move and creating a good chance for Connell which was sent sadly skywards rather than goalwards.
With Town looking the more likely to score it was the opposition who found the net. The ball broke to Hand on the edge of the box. Town's defence stood and watched as the midfielder shaped up to shoot, and he had all the time to pick his spot, bending the ball around Arthur and in off the woodwork. It was a wonderful strike but the defence should have closed him down.
With the Mariners actually losing which had not been in the script, the crowd began to get restless, and Hayes suddenly looked to be more of a force. They were able to absorb what Town threw at them, and when they did break they broke in numbers and within two or three crisp passes had made their way to the danger area.
Just before half time Ademono came on in place of Coulson. Coulson had looked like a winger placing up front, he frequently seemed to be too far away from his supposed partner Connell, and gravitated more towards his natural position than an out and out striker.
Half Time: Grimsby 0 Hayes 1
Town had looked lightweight, but Hayes were fortunate to be ahead with a goal which would have missed 9 times out of 10.
Town made a terrible start to the second half, looking half asleep and scrambling the ball away for a corner from a defensive mix-up. Arthur then dropped the ball from the ensuing corner, but fortunately it was eventually cleared.
Ademono's first few touches though it has to be said were sensational, He looked the real deal, and was everything which Coulson had not been in the first half. He could hold the ball up, shrug off the attention of multiple defenders and set up a good chance for a teammate he had the awareness to spot in the first place.
A terrific cross by Ademono was tipped away from Eagle's head by the Hayes 'keeper, then Watt hit the bar from a free header after a corner.
Ademono then set up Eagle in front of goal for a real sitter but the Town winger's shot went narrowly wide. Yes, your granny would at least have tested the 'keeper. it was one of those.
Town were really piling the pressure on and only a brilliant fingertip save from the 'keeper denied Connell whose attempt was looping into the top corner.
A rare chance for Hayes though saw the ball break to Pritchard and he slotted it past Arthur from a narrow angle. It was another well taken goal.
After another extended spell of Town pressure Kempson rose amidst a sea of bodies from a corner, but astonishingly the goal was ruled out for offside when there were definitely defenders in front of him.
Ademono then dived in front of a chance which was falling to the substitute Corner. The ball was deflected away when in fact Corner was in a much better position.
You knew it wasn't Town's day when another free kick hit the bar in the 88th minute, but Town grabbed a late lifeline when Connell turned and shot past the 'keeper from the edge of the box just at the start of injury time.
Town had a chance to grab a late equaliser as well, Cummins heading just over from close out with virtually the last piece of action.
Full Time: Grimsby 1 Hayes 2
Yes, the result was depressing but I am not particularly despondent. Grimsby created enough chances in the second half to win 4 games. Ademono was fantastic and I can't wait to see him play a full game. The second half performance was much better than the first, and Woods will no doubt have a better idea what his best team is after this match. Hayes scored two good goals, but they were fortunate to win. It was similar to the Reading v Scunny match which I watched three weeks ago, when Reading had dominated the game, but the away side scored against the run of play and then added a second.
The other thing I have done is made a mental note to back Hayes away from home at the supposedly bigger clubs in this division. They looked a well organised side and have the armoury to hit teams on the break. They did the double over Oxford this season, and could well do the same to us!
Man of the Match would be Ademono, but he only played half of it so Peter Bore gets the nod. He's developing into the wide player he always looked like he could be, and I'm sure he'll be able to unlock a lot of the defences in this league with his runs and quick passing.
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