A CLASSIC ENCOUNTER – GRIMSBY TOWN (H) 2007 by Danny Burnell

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Danny Burnell

Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell_92

With the visit of Grimsby just days away, I take a look at a classic encounter between the two at Plainmoor in 2007.

Torquay United 4-1 Grimsby Town

League Two

Friday 26th January 2007 – (19.45 KO)

Venue: Plainmoor

Attendance: 2,095

Team: Miller, Andrews, Taylor, Woods, Dickson, Cooke, Mansell, Hockley, M. Robinson, Ward, Thorpe

Subs: Angus, McPhee, Jarvis, Horsell, Easter

Goals: TU: Ward 3, Thorpe 44, 59, 83 (pen)

GT: Paterson 88

In a season of so few highs, the Gulls produced a performance worthy of champions on a typically bitter late January evening. Grimsby travelled to basement club Torquay, themselves just above the drop zone, sitting in 22nd, yet hoping to inflict further pain on a rapidly demoralised set of Yellows. Chris Roberts was the Chairman, Lubos Kubik was the manager, and quite frankly the club was a mess. After performing heroics just months before, Ian Atkins was ‘removed’ from management duties in November and offered a role upstairs, one he solely declined. In his place, Roberts Czech-mate, Kubik was appointed, and with that TUFC were well and truly ‘check-mate’ in their bid for FL survival. 

The Gulls hadn’t won in 19 league games. Brief rest-bite in the FA Cup offered little consolation to the fans, things were looking glum. On the 16th September 2006, Torquay had just beaten Mansfield 1-0 at Plainmoor to go 7th in the League. 4 draws, and 15 defeats later, Torquay were firmly routed to the foot of League Two. Conference football was a very real reality for the first time in 90 years.

As previously mentioned, the Gulls were in horrendous form. 6 days prior they had conceded 5 at Notts County in a 5-2 defeat. Grimsby, weren’t much better, having lost 6 of their previous games before their trip to South Devon.

If the Gulls ever needed their strikers to step up to plate, boy did they. A 20-year old Jamie Ward got the opener after just 3 minutes, before Thorpe fired in off the post to give the Gulls a very unfamiliar 2-0 half time lead. Striker-cum-Centre Back Thorpe added his second, and Torquay’s third when he pounced on a rebound, before a penalty sealed the hat trick, and one that could hardly have been timed any better. The Mariners did pull back a consolation late in the game, but that wouldn’t deter from the jubilation of the Yellow army. That winning feeling it was back. It had been absent for so many months, the doom and gloom of the winter, for just the one night in January, Torquay had a cause for celebration. And hope, Torquay had hope!

Could we do the impossible, could we repeat the heroics of the season before…. 

No, absolutely not. Just 4 days after the Grimsby result, Torquay lost 5 (five) nil to Mansfield*. Martin Gritton, a TUFC legend, got a hat-trick just to rub it in. And that was that. We would win again twice more that season, but the damage was done. 4 managers (including a 10 minute stint), 4 owners, endless amount of players, the writing was on the wall. One of, if not the worst, season in Gulls history. 

*As a footnote, Grimsby went onto win 7 of their next 8 matches, including a 6-0 hammering of Boston. They comfortably avoided relegation.  

PLAYED FOR BOTH:

MARTIN GRITTON

Torquay career: 2002 (loan), 2002-04, 2010-11 (loan)

Grimsby career: 2004-06

JOSH GOWLING

Torquay career: 2017-18

Grimsby career: 2015 (loan), 2015-17

JORDAN CHAPELL

Torquay career: 2013 (loan), 2013-15

Grimsby career: 2015 (loan)

JON-PAUL PITTMAN

Torquay career: 2017-19

Grimsby career: 2014-16

Last 5 H2H at Plainmoor. 

17/10/15 – National League: Torquay 1-1 Grimsby

18/10/14 – National League: Torquay 2-3 Grimsby

19/09/09 – League Two: Torquay 0-2 Grimsby

26/01/07 – League Two: Torquay 4-1 Grimsby

21/01/06 – League Two: Torquay 2-2 Grimsby

COYY – Danny

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