Venue: Blundell Park
Sat 26th Feb 2005, 3pm kick-off.
Scorers: Arron Davies (11, 0-1), Martin Gritton (60, 1-1), Andy Parkinson (87, 2-1)
Attendance: 4,414 (including approx 300 Glovers)
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Assistants: Stephen Artis (Norfolk); David McCallum (Tyne & Wear)
Yeovil: Lee Johnson (52, dissent)
Grimsby: Simon Ramsden (37, foul)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
16. Andy Lindegaard 4. Terry Skiverton 12. Kevin Amankwaah 3. Michael Rose
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 25. Arron Davies
11. Phil Jevons 18. Bartosz Tarachulski
Subs: 2. Adam Lockwood 7. Paul Terry (61, for Gall) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 27. Andrejs Stolcers (88, for Rose) 10. Rory Fallon (61, for Tarachulski)
Grimsby Town :
1. Anthony Williams 28. Terrell Forbes 4. Simon Ramsden 8. Jason Crowe 6. Justin Whittle 11. Stacy Coldicott 16. Ronnie Bull 15. Terry Fleming 10. Andy Parkinson 9. Michael Reddy 26. Martin Gritton
Subs: 5. Tony Crane 12. Graham Hockless 17. Thomas Pinault (70, for Fleming) 2. John McDermott 18. Robert Jones
A View of the Game
There is nothing quite like the curse of the Central Defenders that seems to follow Yeovil Town around. Whilst midfielder Darren Way made his 41st appearance of the season, the central defence this season have struggled to stay in the side for any great length of time with Terry Skiverton (31 appearances), Scott Guyett (23), Colin Miles (22) and Adam Lockwood (5) all struggling to get any kind of a long run in the side. Thus it probably shouldn’t have been any great surprise when that jinx continued in the pre-match warm-up when Scott Guyett – already named over the tannoy – suffered a knee injury thus creating the same scenario that occurred at the Vetch Field, Swansea – a hurried withdrawl of a player and a late change of plans with Kevin Amankwaah coming into the starting line-up and Adam Lockwood going onto the bench. Rather mercifully that was the one and only change to Tuesday’s line-up.
The Glovers started in the same positive frame of mind that they had for the Chester City away match, with Kevin Amankwaah heading a Lee Johnson corner just wide of the post. And it only took 11 minutes for Yeovil to grab the lead. A highly impressive and slick passing move through midfield saw Arron DAVIES pick up the ball 25 yards out with space to move. It seems that when teams do that with Arron, there is only going to be one end result, and so his shot crept into the corner of the net, although Grimsby keeper Anthony Williams might feel he should have done better at his near post.
At this stage Yeovil seemed to be well in control with the wind slightly behind their backs but mainly running from corner-to-corner. Lee Johnson had the audacity to try and better the effort from Davies when he lobbed Williams from 35 yards after another pass’n’move exhibition involving Phil Jevons and Arron Davies.
It actually took Grimsby 26 minutes before they got near the Yeovil goal, with Jason Crowe glancing a near post header on a corner wide of goal. It wasn’t as if Yeovil were dominating the game – more that whenever the home side got as far as the 18 yard line, they were getting blocked out with ease. This made the home crowd increasingly restless, many calling for home manager Russell Slade to bring on local talisman Thomas Pinault, who had been left out of the Grimsby side for the last couple of games, much to the home supporters disdain.
Simon Ramsden became the first booking when he clipped Bartosz Tarachulski, getting nowhere near the ball in the process. Meanwhile Chris Weale bravely took the ball off the top of Jason Crowe’s head just as he seemed to be about to land a close-range header towards goal.
Kevin Gall lifted a cross that almost turned into a shot inches over the bar as Yeovil had slightly the upper hand, but in fairness they were creating few actual clear cut chances, and you just felt that with the wind likely to be marginally against them in the second half, that Yeovil were missing a second goal, and needed to do more to protect their slender lead. But with few other chances materialising, they had to go into the break content with that 1-0 lead.
Half-time: Grimsby Town 0 Yeovil Town 1
The Glovers started the half at top speed and could have doubled the lead almost straight from the kick-off. Kevin Gall raced down the right wing and slipped a wonderful ball through to Phil Jevons, but Grimsby keeper Williams this time had his near post covered and palmed Jevons’ shot over the bar.
Sadly that was about as good as as it got. Yeovil never really got into their stride during the second period, and Jason Crowe gave them advance warning of Grimsby’s growing confidence, even if the end product was somewhat dire with his shot screwed well wide of the target.
Smack on the hour mark, the home side did get themselves back in it albeit with a touch of controversy. Martin Gritton appeared to dupe the referee into giving a free kick by throwing himself to the floor in a theatrical fashion and from the resulting dead ball, Kevin Amankwaah twice tried to clear his lines, with the ball only going up in the air rather than out of the area. Picking up the loose ball, Michael Reddy fired at goal, Chris Weale managed to slow the ball down, but Martin GRITTON selfishly took away Reddy’s glory by netting from the proverbial two inches out.
Suddenly a crowd that had been barracking Grimsby manager Russell Slade all game wanted to back their team, and Blundell Park finally had a voice that wasn’t directed towards a player that wasn’t on the pitch.
Gary Johnson reacted by making a double substitution in the form of Rory Fallon and Paul Terry who replaced Bartosz Tarachulski and Kevin Gall respectively, but the home side had their tails up and sniffed victory. Lee Johnson and Arron Davies still managed chances but both were outside the area, and neither were the best of efforts to turn things round. On came the messiah Thomas Pinault with 20 minutes to go and finally Blundell Park was happy to support it’s team again.
Winger Andy Parkinson should have given Grimsby the lead shortly afterwards as he slipped behind the Yeovil back line. Thankfully Kevin Amankwaah was one of the few Yeovil defenders to be having a good game, and he forced Parkinson wider and wider, ultimately forcing him too wide to do anything other than put the ball into the side netting.
Yeovil’s defending was getting more and more disjointed and sloppy as the home side surged forward. Whilst some of it was down to Grimsby’s now positive play, some of it was of Yeovil’s own creation. Witness Chris Weale’s gift to a Grimsby attacker whilst he dithered around the corner flag rather than belting the ball into the crowd. Or Terry Skiverton’s low short pass to another home player as Yeovil played pretty triangles on the edge of their box. Sometimes the Atkins-style long-ball is the one to pick gentlemen! Thankfully neither mishap came to fruition, but it did give the home side more belief that they could break down the league leaders.
Three minutes from the end though, Yeovil’s downfall was complete and again it was initiated by a poor pass from the penalty box. Paul Terry gave possession to Andy PARKINSON and he weaved between four or five Yeovil players without a boot blocking his route, cutting across the face of the penalty box and slotting the ball home from close range. The one player you couldn’t blame for the end result on a gaping goal was keeper Chris Weale who had been left stranded by his defenders.
Gary Johnson threw the dice once more, replacing Michael Rose with Andrejs Stolcers as an attempt was made to salvage something, as Grimsby proceeded to belt the ball forward as quickly as they could to keep the ball out of their own half.
But the Glovers nearly salvaged something right at the death for what would have been on the basis of the second half, a chance against the run of play. Phil Jevons was put through into injury time and as he reached the penalty box home defender Simon Ramsden first grabbed his shirt and when that didn’t work, took Jevo’s ankles out for a cast iron penalty. Or you would have thought so. Local Lincolnshire referee Darren Drysdale didn’t fancy having his name in the local press as being the man that denied Grimsby a home win, and waved play on, much to the abject disbelief of Yeovil’s players. Lee Johnson’s remonstrations probably came within an inch of him being dismissed from the pitch and whilst you can’t condone dissent from a player, when a referee clearly bottles a decision at that stage of the match, it’s easy to understand why players get frustrated. Drysdale not only bottled the penalty, but when he realised that he had also previously booked Johnson, he bottled that as well. Some small crumb of comfort there, with the final whistle blowing shortly afterwards. It wouldn’t have been deserved on the balance of play, but referees are paid to make the big decisions, and Drysdale had failed significantly at the death. That fact shouldn’t mask though what was a poor second half performance from the Glovers, and another case where they need to be mentally stronger on their travels when they find themselves under pressure such matches.
Full time: Grimsby Town 2 Yeovil Town 1
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 4.5 / 10
17 votes received.