Posted by chris_saxon on January 25 2009 19:57:36
A visit to Blundell Park on a freezing cold day is hardly my idea of fun especially when we are comprehensively beaten. Saturday was definitely not a fun day for me and to rub it in I happen to work in the area!
Mark Robins shared in the disappointment of Tuesday’s defeat at Scunthorpe and exacted some retribution by dropping out of sorts Rueben Reid and starting with a front two of Broughton and Taylor.
Harrison came in for an equally out of sorts Cummins against a rejuvenated Grimsby Town side fresh from an astonishing win at Wycombe.
Indeed, their starting line up bore little resemblance to the one which began at Don Valley earlier in the season. A familiar face in the home ranks was a certain Joe Widdowson who had figured briefly on loan at Millmoor last season.
Despite the general doom and gloom after Tuesday, there was a surprisingly big following massed behind the goal. Grimsby is always a popular away venue due to its seaside geographical position and those famous fish and chips.
I’d raced over from work in nearby Immingham promising those Mariners fans that were on the afternoon shift that I’d send regular goal texts. General feeling was upbeat amongst folk at work and they were all predicting a resounding home win. Surely we wouldn’t lose against what was effectively the bottom side in the league, point’s deductions apart!
I suppose that we performed satisfactorily in the first half although there were worrying signs as the half drew to a close. An early flourish might have produced a goal, Harrison headed over when he was in a good position and we were having the lion’s share of possession.
Gradually the tide turned, Nicholas in particular was struggling to cope with some lively forward play and urged on by the home crowd duly received a yellow card for a rash challenge and almost immediately after could have been taking the early bath with a similar such tackle in a similar area.
Fortunately the referee refused to succumb to the baying of the home support and he remained.After Andy Warrington had somehow kept out a free header from a corner, diving to his left to tip the ball away, ex Owl Proudlock hit the post with a fine shot from outside the area. I was quite relieved when the whistle blew for half time.
Nicholas was replaced from the outset of the restart, a wise move this as he would surely have been facing an early dismissal. On came Mark Burchill as we moved to a 4-4-3 formation.
Disaster struck early on when Widdowson came back to haunt us by scoring a quite outrageous goal, twisting and turning a couple of defenders before firing past Warrington.
That goal lifted both their team and the home support and we were under siege for a few minutes.
At the other end, little was happening to suggest an equaliser although we were coming more into it.
Then came a mystery penalty decision, when nobody in the entire ground appeared to realise that the referee had indeed awarded a penalty. John Tonder bless him, the local Radio Humberside commentator, claimed that there was a clear tug of a shirt. He would do, wouldn’t he! Fact is nobody else saw it.
Proudlock stepped up to fire home and the game as a contest was effectively over. We huffed a bit and puffed a bit but apart from one save Barnes in their goal had nothing to do.
Always at the other end, we threatened to capitulate and a third goal followed to signal a mass exodus of the travelling fans. 3-0 against the bottom team in the entire Football League and a second successive defeat in darkest Lincolnshire! It doesn’t get much worse than this, at least for me living in the county.
True Grimsby are a much improved team from the one we beat so easily at DVS, but they aren’t that good and these are worrying times for us Millers.We seem to have so many average players and nobody with any flair.
Grimsby and Scunthorpe both possessed these qualities in abundance. Mark Robins claim that we’d created enough chances to win two games simply didn’t cut it and unless we can turn things around we have a nervous last few months of the season in store.
We simply lack any cutting edge and have no flair in midfield couple that with our lack of pace at the back and you have a recipe for struggle.
Darlington looms next and defeat has to be avoided at all costs.