TT MATCH VERDICT – Grimsby Town 2-1 TUFC, 23rd April 2022


TT MATCH VERDICT

Dan Elliott – @dan_thetall_man

Grimsby Town 2-1 Torquay United 

Match Summary

The game that was billed as the one where we clinch promotion this season, well that’s what I had in mind when the fixtures came out at the start of the season anyway!

My wife turned to me last summer and said “What do you want to do for your 40th next year? Vegas? Ibiza? Spa Weekend?” I said “Grimsby”. “Grimsby?” She replied. I said “Yep, Grimsby away, me and the boy” She said “if that’s what you want to do”. Where else would I want to be.

Well, stood on Cleethorpes seafront this morning at 11am with that blistering cold breeze, Ibiza did seem like it should have been the right choice. But once I had a coffee and got into Gameday mode, Ibiza seemed like a million miles away.

Making our way to the ground you could feel the sense of excitement coming from the home fans, the vast amount of Black & Whites shirts around the ground, in the distance the odd yellow or turquoise shirt looked so outnumbered.

Inside the historic old ground the sky looked liked Barbados but with the wind chill it felt like the Baltic. The pocket of the incredible Yellow Army who made the journey in the far corner of the away end all bunched in, only enhanced the noise as the players came out to warm up.

We were sat on a similar spot as we were in Ashton Gate and to see the red chairs across the away end started to give me flashbacks to that day back in June. As the players took the pitch for the start of the game, the roar of the Yellow Army went up. For a small amount of fans the noise generated by everyone of those passionate fans meant that our boys knew that we were there and as by the name “Supporters” we all were ready to support.

As the game kicked off, in the early stages Torquay took control of the ball, possession and the game. Whilst not curating any strong clear cut chance in the first 10 mins, the team looked comfortable and in control.

Grimsby looked like they hadn’t quite woken up, however anytime they had the ball, there always was a sense they could spring a counter attack. Just like that infamous day in Bristol, it wasn’t  a case of if Torquay would score but when. Good passages of play generated a succession of corners. Our creative juices were flowing, Connor and Armani’s quality and link up play with Wright was effective enough to cause Grimsby problems.

One early chance pulled a world class save from the home keeper, even now I don’t know how it was saved and how the hell he got over there to it, he had no right to save it. Incredible! Then the deadlock was broken, what felt like was a game of Pinball Wizard resulted in the ball being smashed into the back of the net. The Yellow Army erupted, another sweet hit by Joe Lewis. It wasn’t till 10 minutes later that I checked WhatsApp and saw it was Asa who scored, oooops.

The Yellow Army were in full voice now, cruise control, or so we hoped. The usual decline of optimism kicked in. It went from, ‘we are going to batter them’ to ‘quick let’s get in for half time’ in the space of 5 mins.

Duke-McKenna (who was everywhere today) went to block a clearance, and inadvertently deflected the ball into the path of the attacking Grimsby players. Thinking Wynts had it covered and in control my focus was solely transfixed to him and when his arm went up for offside, I waited for the flag and the refs whistle. It never came.

In the blink of an eye Harry Clifton banged in a fierce shot, Shaun was on the deck and the ball in the net. How did that happen?

The boys dusted themselves off and got in for the half time break all level. First half analysis was if the second half pans out like the first did we will win 1-2 or 1-3. But I also knew Grimsby wouldn’t be that bad again, or were they “holding back” for the second half. This was a team that just beat league leaders Stockport after all.

Second half kicked off, and quickly you could tell they had found another gear, Grimsby that was. There was a lot more urgency, tempo and very quickly you could see that there was going to be an entertaining football game about to break out.

It was now a more open and expansive game and the chances were stacking up, for both teams, but the more clear cut ones fell to the home side. Torquay tried to get their game going and with the game opening up, this was good news for the likes of Duke, Little and Lemon.

Wright and CLE were finding acres in front of them in that second period and all it needed was a moment of brilliance or that final pass to be effective and the game was there to be won.

The change of Lapslie for Lolos told me that the Gaffer was going for it, and 100% he was right to. 15 mins left seemed to drop off the clock, then as Deano departed the game, I thought time to shut up shop and take the point.

Antonio Conte said after Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Brighton “if you are not going to win the game, don’t lose it” Throughout the whole game we defended calmly, collectively and controlled…… until 90 mins came on the board.

Nerves kicked in, a stonewall penalty conceded by Little and despatched by Grimsby. Heartache, pain, Ashton Gate!

125 Yellow Souls broken by the sound of the cheering home fans, who when the stadium announcer advised the attendance gave us a huge round of applause, that deserves a mention.

Game Over, definitely. Season over, absolutely. Full time whistle went. We all stayed and clapped our Turquoise Titans, for they may have lost the game but they still have our affection, we were gutted for them.

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Player Ratings

MacDonald 7 – Did nothing wrong, again, and made some important saves.

Wynter 6 – Gave the ball away too much, but also made some crucial challenges, so that balances out at a 6.

Lewis 7 – Defended ruggedly as always. Tried to win the game on his own for about ten minutes.

Moxey 6 – No real highs or lows. Hope his injury isn’t serious.

Duke-McKenna 7 – Worked his backside off, and looked like the only player who’d get near making a difference in the second half.

Lapslie 6 – Did Lapslie things (ran a lot). On his way back to fitness.

Hall 7 – Sneaks a seven for the emphatic, net-busting finish. Overall performance was quite sluggish though.

Little 6 – Really not his day. Being kind with a 6: the penalty just the cherry on an underwhelming cake.

Martin 7 – Martin did as Martin does. Industrious if unspectacular going forward, largely solid at the back.

CLE 6 – Did everything but score, bless him. Probably should’ve notched today, with the chances he had, but nothing really came off.

Wright 7 – Not his best game, but he was absolutely blowing out of his hole and kept running (quite slowly). Link-up play was effective and sometimes incisive.

Subs

Lolos 6 – This isn’t to say he’s a bad footballer, or a bad person, but he just didn’t do anything.

Omar N/A

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Man of the Match: Joe Lewis

Solid at the back as always and the main man at the heart of the defence.


Tactics

Duke moved over to right wing back and Lapslie slotted back into midfield. We never got our full flow going but I think the team line-up was right, just the execution in the final 3rd let us down in the end.

lineup (8)

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Opposition

A very good football team that wanted to get the ball down and play. After getting neckache at Woking it was good to see two footballing teams knock the ball around on the deck and play the game with some style. Grimsby made some excellent clear cut chances and just had better finishing on the day.


The Officials

In a game where both teams pushed for a win, the officials had a decent afternoon and made (regrettably) the right decision for the decisive penalty.


Conclusion

I’ve mentioned that place a few times in this piece and they say, it’s good to talk about it, it helps, it doesn’t. I never want to go back to Ashton Gate ever! Got in the car, said to my son, so when is the next game I can get us to. This team, this club, this management team and this gaffer, the season may be done but the love goes on! 40 years young today, and in the Stadium sponsored by Young’s made me realise that all I want to do is grow old with the Yellow Army and with my son by my side. Thank you Gary, Aaron and the boys! 

COYY – Dan

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5 thoughts on “TT MATCH VERDICT – Grimsby Town 2-1 TUFC, 23rd April 2022

  1. Thank you for your insight and a very fair report. Thought the wind would spoil it but both teams served up a very good game of football played in the right spirit, with probably the best ref we’ve seen at Blundell park for a long time. Well done to Torquay and their travelling fans for creating a good atmosphere. All the best for the rest of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

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