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We Only Train on a Thursday

By: Ian Townsend
Date: 26/09/2010

25/9/2010 - A stand out day in Mission Square Trek...The day Square Trek met Dr Who. Everything about the day brought misty eyed remembrances of the good old days. Decent food, standing on an open terrace and,.....the spectacle of home fans moving with freedom from one end of the stand to the other decided by the way their team were kicking.

Neil Woods made changes to his starting XI as Town sought to get their faltering campaign back on track with a win at bottom placed club Altrincham. Town lined up:

  • O’ Donnell
  • Bore, Kempson, Watt, Ridley
  • Bradley Wood came in on the right of midfield alongside Hudson (preferred to Leary), Cummins and Gobern
  • Up front Alan Connell was partnered by new signing Carlton as Peacock reverted to the bench alongside Leary, Eagle, Garner and Croudson.

    Both teams began slowly, with Town as usual finding it difficult to get any cohesion in their play. A slight lack of communication between Kempson and Watt caused momentary panic but any danger was cleared. As the half wore on Town at last tried to get the ball on the floor and, probably for the first time this season the central midfield pairing began to find Gobern and Wood with some crisp passing. Altrincham were struggling to come to terms with some strong running from Peter Bore but once again the final ball into the danger area lacked any real threat.

    However the whole direction of the game turned in the 28th. minute as Town took the lead. A free kick 30 yards out was pumped high into the Altrincham area where Carlton challenged the keeper. With the Altrincham players calling for a foul the ball fell to Bore on the edge of the box and he rifled his shot through the crowd of players and beyond the keeper for a slightly fortuitous opening goal.

    The goal gave Town new impetus and both Gobern and Carlton were slightly unlucky not to reach through passes.

    The flow of the game wasn't helped by a stoppage for running repairs to be effected to the linesman’s flag.

    Back with the game and Peter Bore tried his luck from distance with the ball being deflected for a corner. Next to try his hand was Watt who just headed over from yet another Town free kick.

    HALF TIME: Altrincham 0 Grimsby Town 1

    Town began the second half with much more purpose and, as early as the 48th. minute Town were denied a second goal by a fantastic save from Alty’s keeper. A good deep cross from Wood was met with a powerful header by Carlton but the keeper somehow clawed the ball away for a corner.

    Football is a game of pivotal moments however and within a few seconds of that chance Town found themselves pegged back to level terms. A catastrophic misjudgement of the bounce from a clearance, by Ridley saw Denham break and despite the close attentions of Peter Bore (who got to him but didn't tackle) the Alty forward was able to fire home across O’ Donnell.

    The goal rocked Town and Alty sensing a second consecutive home win put some pressure on. A total of three corners in quick succession were hacked away as Town’s fragile confidence took another battering.

    Gradually Town came back into it and it was new signing Carlton who seemed to be most influential. His best contribution was a fine 30 yard pass which found Connell unmarked but this time the prolific Town striker could only find the keeper with a smart first time shot.

    A great move involving Carlton, Wood and Connell ended with the latter flicking a header on to the roof of the net with the keeper in some difficulty.

    Alty were however not a spent force and helped by some poor decision making at the back they continued to make a game of it.

    As the game seemed to be slipping away from Town Woods made a substitution taking off the once again ineffective Gobern and replacing him with Peacock as Town went with three up top to try to force a winner.

    Carlton flicked a through ball to of all people Cummins but the ball sadly had too much pace for Town’s midfielder to profit.

    An Altrincham corner created a moment of panic as O’ Donnell was forced to tip over a powerful header from distance.

    The game changed again on 77 minutes with a thoroughly brilliant strike from Connell. The young striker received the ball about 18 yards out and after a great turn curled a delightful shot into the top left hand corner of the goal giving the keeper no chance.

    Town were now playing some of their best attacking football of the season and nearly managed a third goal as Brad Wood hammered an 18 yard diagonal shot goalwards only for the keeper to make a truly world class save to prevent Town getting a match winning lead.

    As the match went into it’s last five minutes the faithful behind the goal were looking for the side to steady the game down. With a couple of minutes left Town were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. For some inexplicable reason they decided to take it quickly and the chance went begging as the keeper easily gathered the ball.

    With a defence full of experience any reasonably intelligent fan would expect their team to play out the last couple of minutes. Sadly it wasn't to be. With 75 seconds remaining on the clock Ridley nodded off allowing his winger to hit a decent cross to the far post where, with Bore AWOL Densmore was able to score with a header.

    The game ended with cries of frustration from the Town fans and cries of "Woods Out!" ringing around the away end.

    In truth Town had the chances to win comfortably only to be denied by two excellent saves and some poor decision making particularly in the first half.

    FINAL SCORE: Altrincham 2 Grimsby Town 2

    Definitely two points dropped. What must be alarming the management is the complete lack of consistency, particularly in defence where it is becoming difficult to work out which back four is turning up. O’ Donnell barely had a proper save to make but still conceded two softish goals.

    Man of the Match: Again not too many contenders. Alan Connell nicks it from new signing Carlton for me. Carlton will be a big asset to the side with his intelligent play bringing in his team mates. Connell though is nearly unstoppable at the moment. His all-round game has vision, strength and a superb eye for goal.

    Final word must go to the Altrincham fans. Outsang the Town fans for much of the game and weren't shy in reminding us that....."They Only Train on a Thursday". Doubtless that point will not have gone unnoticed by the increasing membership of the "Woods Out!" party.

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