Lets start with the Norwich match first.
For me this was City's best performance of the pre season. We looked much more solid at the back than we did against Celtic and restricted a near full strength Norwich side to only a few chances, most coming from long range.
What has been noticeable this pre season is the pace City have on the wings. In Mustapha Carayol and Adam Jarrett i feel we can really cause teams problems and get behind sides which is something we really lacked last season. Of course this is only half the answer, as you still need somebody in the middle to convert the chances but at least in Broughton and Facey we have a couple of battering rams who should be able to cause enough trouble in the box and get on the end of the chances created. Only one of them will start each game and at the moment Delroy is a little off the pace fitness wise, but i still feel we will get more goals from him than Drewe but as long as we score i couldn't care less who gets them.
Hopefully McCallum will become the fox in the box and weigh in with a dozen or so goals. I am slightly worried about where the goals will come from in midfield but i hope O'Keefe will help us out in this area. Everybody had a solid game against Norwich so it looks like its ticking over nicely.
Now on to Grimsby.
This was a Lincolnshire cup tie. Normal sides play mixed sides; with reserves and youths given a match. The previous year's winners (Scunthorpe) get a bye to the final and the other two sides play each other with the winner going through.
I am not sure how Grimsby retained their place in the competition because the rest of non league sides in Lincolnshire play in the Lincs shield (the Lincs cup is only for league sides) but somehow they did. I would assume that should they fail to win promotion next season they will no longer play in the Lincs cup, and go into the Shield along with Boston (who were once a league side) and big fat Ron's new side Louth Town.
We were meant to be meeting up with an old school friend who, for all his sins, supports Grimsby! At school he followed Liverpool as i followed Norwich, how times change. Unfortunately due to work he didn't make it to the pub so we made our own entertainment, I was unbeaten at pool although my opponent claims it was by default!
The pub was called the Imperial and is definitely a "Home fans only" pub. I wasn't dumb enough to have Imps colours on, something i was thankful for as the pub filled up with Cods all set for their big cup match against their lofty football league opponents.
The friendly barmaid informed us that due to "Police advice" all drinks after 5pm had to be served in plastic glasses. At least they were the more sturdy type and the round was cheap enough. To be fair it was quite a smart pub it was just a shame about all the Grimsby Town memorabilia on the walls. Funnily enough there was none from the last 6-7 years, there must be a reason for that.
The glass is always half full in Adams world!!
About 7pm we made our way to the temple of sin. I had a quick look in the shop just to see if they had produced a "Season review 2009/10" DVD for some reason they hadn't! Mayby we should get a facebook group up to petition them to make one!
I was quite disappointed to find that no programmes were to be produced for the game. I would have thought as this was Grimsby's biggest game of the season that they would want to cash in. I also thought they had to produce one as it was a county FA competition. This is the only match in City's pre season that nothing has been produced, a shame when fellow non league sides like Staines and Walton produced programmes.
The Imps line up was totally different from the Norwich game. Goalkeeper coach Paul Musselwhite started between the sticks, Assistant Manager Ian Pearce started at Centre back. The rest of the side was made up of Youth players and players who only made fleeting appearances Wednesday night. Clapham and Facey were also included due to their lack of match time having started pre season later than the rest of the squad. The only player who i would say will start at Rotherham next Saturday to get a run out was striker Gavin McCallum.
Grimsby on the other hand had a full strength side out barring the goalkeeper. This was down two facts that 1) their season starts a week after Lincolns and 2) When a side plays a team from a higher division they normally play their strongest side so they don't get a total hiding.
The Imps took the lead when McCallum finished from close range only for the cods to get a fortunate equaliser when Musselwhite should have done better. When they scored the cods went mental with drums going and chants of Neil woods black and white army. The Imps fans had a feeling of "so what?" about the whole game. Grimsby went 2-1 thanks to some poor centre back marking from Pearce and Miller left a westlife lookalike unmarked to head the cods into the lead!! Blundell park erupted again!!! They had the lead against Lincolnshire's more successful side! (well their reserves anyway!!)
Within minutes McCallum had made it 2-2 and was greeted by a warm round of applause from the away fans, no real celebrations or anything as it was only a run out from the reserves and youth team for the Imps and a chance to model the new 3rd Kit. Grimsby then scored two quick goals to give them a 2 goal lead over the young Imps and that's how it stayed till half time.
The second half was a let down compared to the first. Grimsby had the lion's share of the game with Musselwhite making 3 or 4 great saves. At the other end Hutchinson missed a good chance for the Imps and that was that. Good as Musselwhite played, i would have liked to have seen the youth keeper get to play the last 30 minutes or so as playing against a conferance side would be a good test for him.
Imps forgotten man Chris Fagen did play the last 30 minutes so maybe there is a way back for him but i wouldnt bet on it, which is a shame as i believe that he has something about him.
Admission £5 (or £3 for scrounging students!)
Food Burgers got a 7.5/10 (would have been 8.5 if they were a tad warmer)
Imps man of the match DELROY FACEY!!!