Sunday, 21 February 2010
Grimsby Town 2-2 Lincoln City
Hmm should the arrow be turned 90 degress anti-clockwise? ;-)
Grimsby away is the match of the season. Given the fact that Grimsby are deep in the do-do and the Imps had gained some breathing space from the relegation zone in recent weeks, the match seemed all the more important. The cods were ten points behind Lincoln in the table. Having both played 30 games, a Lincoln win would make it very hard for Grimsby to overtake us but a codhead win would drag the Imps back into it while closing ground on Torquay and Cheltenham, who are directly above our fishy friends in the standings. It was agreed on various Imps message boards, and by the Retford Imps on the way to the match, that the first priority was to avoid defeat at all costs. Another fact to consider was that before the match, Grimsby had failed to win in 22 league matches; another game without a win and they would set a club record for games without a win and it would be Lincoln that helped them do it! It has to be said though, even though they haven't won since god knows when, they haven't lost many recently and got a decent point at Notts County on Wednesday night. Despite that point Grimsby fans are still very worried about relegation as this video shows..
I was up early yesterday and had radio one on. Although the breakfast show is pretty crap in the week, the weekend show is much better. It even plays music! I have had texts read out on minor radio stations about football and other random stuff i don't know anything about (like fishing at 5.00 am in the morning on the way up to Glasgow to watch Rangers) Although Gav missed my moment of glory on that one as he was asleep! But I had never had a text read on on National Radio One... until yesterday morning! Basically they wanted to know what everybody was up to this weekend so Adam from Reford said he was off to watch the mighty Lincoln city beat Grimsby town this afternoon! Having Edith read it out made it a great start to the day and could it be an omen?
Edith Bowman- gave her support to the Imps!
If you want to listen to it again just got to the Radio one website and re-listen to Saturdays breakfast show between 7.20 and 7.30 it was read out after the Tunstall gutbucket that is Mr Robbie Williams' new song.
From one Radio station to another. On the way to Grimsby we had BBC Radio Lincolnshire on. Their sports coverage on the Imps is first class with build up and commentary on every Imps match. Alas the rest of the station is aimed at the over 50's or so. The sports show starts at 2.00pm so before that we listened in in the hope that there would be news on the Imps before then. No chance. But on the plus side we did have Mr Elvis Presley's "all shook up" on, which was a big hit and was sung along to by the people in the front. (even as we walked to the stadium some of the our party were humming the King's hits) I was in the back guarding the homemade doughnuts. The big question was, would the Imps be all shook up and on their way to the heartbreak hotel? As with all Grimsby-Lincoln matches the Police were out in force to make sure any trouble makers would be doing the Jailhouse rock that night. Such are the Suspicious minds of both Humberside and Lincolnshire police forces. It was decided that for the next away match we needed to have an Elvis greatest hits CD for the car, well either that or Mike Snow, another BBC Radio Lincolnshire favourite.
On the way I received a text message wishing us a good journey to the "mecca" of Lincolnshire football. Hmm I didnt realise they had switched the match to Sincil Bank. It must be something in the water in codland ;-)
Seeing as we were at the seaside it seemed rude not to have some pre match fish and chips. The fish was fresh and nice but the chips were very average. Also they failed my important test; that being you should be able to lift the fish up so you can put salt and vinegar on the chips underneath, without the fish breaking. This test was failed miserably. Maybe thats why I didnt rate the chips. It filled us up though, and was good value for £3.90. I dont think this shop will be in the running for chippy of the season, nor will it be in the running for the worst. So with our bellies full we made our way to the turnstiles. Passing some Grimsby fans carrying their plastic fish into the ground.
Grimsby's ground is showing its age, although the club is looking to move. The stand to the right of the away end is the oldest stand in the football league; being built in 1913. Opposite that is the impressive two tiered Carlsberg stand, which is one of the best stands in league two. It must be a great view from the top of it. Opposite the away end is the Pontoon stand where the die hard cods hangout and where most of the noise comes from. We sat at the bottom of the away end behind the goal. A good crowd was expected as Grimsby and the local paper had a offer on for the match. A healthy away support was also present to cheer on the Imps to what we hoped would be our first away win at Grimsby since 2005.
After four minutes it looked that the win could well be on the cards. As Chris Herd gave the Imps the lead after good work from Drew Braughton. Herd nipped in to loop the ball over the Grimsby keeper although my contact in the Grimsby end said the keeper should have done alot better with it. As it was at the other end of the ground to us I will have to take his word for it.
The first 15 minutes or so were fairly even with both sides looking to attack. As the game wore on though, Grimsby started to get the upperhand. As on Tuesday night City looked vulnerable on the flanks. Roughly on the half hour Grimsby had a free kick on the left. The cross on was a good one, and one which the Imps defensive failed to deal with. Rob Burch punched it straight up in the air and took too long to get up off the floor. Eventually the ball was bundled over the line. Some city players and fans claimed Burch was fouled but I thought it was poor defending and Burch could have and should have done better with the cross.
That Grimsby goal was the signal for a few Imps and Grimsby fans to charge at each other over in the corner between the Carlsberg stand and away end. The fence between them held firm and order was restored. On the pitch Grimsby really had Lincoln pinned back as the Imps repelled several waves of Grimsby attacks. We were very relieved to get to half time at 1-1
I took a stroll around the away end at half time to get a few picures. The ref and his linesman changed their kits for the second half for some reason. The Imps were playing in the grey away kit which we felt clashed abit with Grimsby's home kit as the backs are white. I would have packed the gold and blue kit for this but what do I know.
Moments after the restart the Mariners come back was complete as they took the lead; Grimsby charged down the Imps left flank, the cross was controlled by Lee peacock who made no mistake and smashed the ball in to give them the lead. The noise from the home fans went up another notch as they smelt blood. City didnt buckle though, and started to come more into the game as both sets of fans got behind their sides.
The match was now going back and forth and was turning into one of the best games I have seen in ages. Brian Gilmour was pushed in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Gilmour got up to take the spot kick. I couldnt look as he placed the ball on the spot just as i turned round he hit the ball straight at the Grimsby keeper but he reacted well to hit the rebound high into the net to make it 2-2 and sent the away fans behind that goal crazy!
Moments later Chris Herd had what looked like a legal goal disallowed for a foul on the Grimsby keeper. The match at this point could have gone either way.
On the next Grimsby attack Adam Watts and Lee Peacook both went for a ball with Watts coming off worse. As it was down in front of the home end the home fans at first gave him a bit of stick but it was soon apparent that it was very serious as Watts was given oxygen and was carried off on a stretcher. The Grimbsy fans gave him a round of applause as he was carried off; a sign that even in big derby matches like this there is a place for sportsmanship and respect for players of other clubs. It wasn't a nasty challenge, and somewhere in the league something like this happens every week. Watts was taken straight to the local Hospital where tests have since shown he has a broken leg. He is to undergo an operation in Lincoln hospital on Monday. I am sure everybody reading this blog will want to wish Adam a speedy recovery and thank the Grimsby medical staff for getting him to the hospital so quickly.
The oldest stand in the football league being used in England-Built 1913
Due to the lengthly stoppage 7 minutes of extra time was added. In which the Imps had an effort from assistant manager Ian Pearce headed off the line. Both sides had corners as the game went from end to end. In this situaton I always think Lincoln are going to throw it away and fuck it up. Right at the death the Ref waved away Grimsby's calls for a penalty when Chris Herd looked to have handled in the box. It did look a penalty but chris herd's goal should have stood aswell so it was even in that sense. At the final whistle the Imps fans celebrated while the Grimsby fans looked fairly down beat about it.
So in summing up we could have won and we could have lost. I would always take a point away from home and this one maintans the ten point gap to the drop zone. So the big question is will this fixture be on the calendar next season?
If Grimsby keep playing like this then they can turn the corner, but they really need to beat Maccelsfield Town on Tuesday night. The Imps aren't out of it by any means but have improved since the new year. Two other relegation candidates meet on Tuesday night as Torquay and Cheltenham play. Lincoln will fancy their chances of getting something at Port Vale. Barnet, Hereford and Bradford are also still in the mix. Darlington look doomed already.
In a way I want Grimsby to stay up, so we can have more matches like this with atmospheres like this. This was the most even Lincs derby I have seen and one of the best games i have seen in league two for some time. The first game between the two sides was crap but this was the total opposite to that. We also look foward to the derbys more than the other matches, I mean who can excited about playing at, or going to, Stevenage? The only local team we could gain next season would be Mansfield and they seem hell bent on throwing away their chance to get into the conference playoffs.
Programme £2.50 very good 8/10
Food - fish and chips 7/10
Imps performance 8/10
Imps man of the match - Ian Pearce
If anybody wants to leave Adam Watts a message of support then join this facebook group