The Glovers started the half at top speed and could have doubled the lead almost straight from the kick-off.
Kevin Gall raced down the right wing and slipped a wonderful ball through to Phil Jevons, but Grimsby keeper
Williams this time had his near post covered and palmed Jevons' shot over the bar.
Sadly that was about as good as as it got. Yeovil never really got into their stride during the second period, and
Jason Crowe gave them advance warning of Grimsby's growing confidence, even if the end product was somewhat dire
with his shot screwed well wide of the target.
Smack on the hour mark, the home side did get themselves back in it albeit with a touch of controversy.
Martin Gritton appeared to dupe the referee into giving a free kick by throwing himself to the floor in a theatrical
fashion and from the resulting dead ball, Kevin Amankwaah twice tried to clear his lines, with the ball only
going up in the air rather than out of the area. Picking up the loose ball, Michael Reddy fired at goal, Chris
Weale managed to slow the ball down, but Martin GRITTON selfishly took away Reddy's glory by netting
from the proverbial two inches out.
Suddenly a crowd that had been barracking Grimsby manager Russell Slade all game wanted to back their team, and
Blundell Park finally had a voice that wasn't directed towards a player that wasn't on the pitch.
Gary Johnson reacted by making a double substitution in the form of Rory Fallon and Paul Terry who replaced
Bartosz Tarachulski and Kevin Gall respectively, but the home side had their tails up and sniffed victory. Lee
Johnson and Arron Davies still managed chances but both were outside the area, and neither were the best of
efforts to turn things round. On came the messiah Thomas Pinault with 20 minutes to go and finally Blundell Park
was happy to support it's team again.
Winger Andy Parkinson should have given Grimsby the lead shortly afterwards as he slipped behind the
Yeovil back line. Thankfully Kevin Amankwaah was one of the few Yeovil defenders to be having a good game, and
he forced Parkinson wider and wider, ultimately forcing him too wide to do anything other than put the ball into
the side netting.
Yeovil's defending was getting more and more disjointed and sloppy as the home side surged forward.
Whilst some of it was down to Grimsby's now positive play, some of it was of Yeovil's own creation. Witness
Chris Weale's gift to a Grimsby attacker whilst he dithered around the corner flag rather than belting the
ball into the crowd. Or Terry Skiverton's low short pass to another home player as Yeovil played pretty
triangles on the edge of their box. Sometimes the Atkins-style long-ball is the one to pick gentlemen! Thankfully
neither mishap came to fruition, but it did give the home side more belief that they could break down
the league leaders.
Three minutes from the end though, Yeovil's downfall was complete and again it was initiated by a poor
pass from the penalty box. Paul Terry gave possession to Andy PARKINSON and he weaved between four
or five Yeovil players without a boot blocking his route, cutting across the face of the penalty box and slotting
the ball home from close range. The one player you couldn't blame for the end result on a gaping goal was
keeper Chris Weale who had been left stranded by his defenders.
Gary Johnson threw the dice once more, replacing Michael Rose with Andrejs Stolcers as an attempt was made
to salvage something, as Grimsby proceeded to belt the ball forward as quickly as they could to keep the
ball out of their own half.
But the Glovers nearly salvaged something right at the death for what would have been on the basis of the
second half, a chance against the run of play. Phil Jevons was put through into injury time and as he reached
the penalty box home defender Simon Ramsden first grabbed his shirt and when that didn't work, took Jevo's
ankles out for a cast iron penalty. Or you would have thought so. Local Lincolnshire referee Darren Drysdale
didn't fancy having his name in the local press as being the man that denied Grimsby a home win, and waved
play on, much to the abject disbelief of Yeovil's players. Lee Johnson's remonstrations probably came within
an inch of him being dismissed from the pitch and whilst you can't condone dissent from a player,
when a referee clearly bottles a decision at that stage of the match, it's easy to understand why players
get frustrated. Drysdale not only bottled the penalty, but when he realised that he had also previously
booked Johnson, he bottled that as well. Some small crumb of comfort there, with the final whistle blowing
shortly afterwards. It wouldn't have been deserved on the balance of play, but referees are paid to make
the big decisions, and Drysdale had failed significantly at the death. That fact shouldn't mask though
what was a poor second half performance from the Glovers, and another case where they need to be mentally
stronger on their travels when they find themselves under pressure such matches.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 4.5 / 10
17 votes received.
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