Scunthorpe 1 Town 1 Iron 1 Mariners 1 A View From Pontoon Pat
Colgan started with Samuels and ex Iron and Lincoln City star Lee Ridley at left back with Kempson and Watt in the centre. Bore and Eagle marauded the right and left of midfield respectively and Huson and Captain Leary took centre stage. Connell and Coulson completed the starting line up up front.
Our local and Championship rivals named Sam Slocombe in goal, with Aussie triallist & Olympic athlete Trent McClenahan (MK Dons, Hereford and West Ham), Ashley Palmer, Niall Canavan and Rory Coleman in defence. Jonathan Williams, Andrew Wright, Michael Collins and Bobby Grant made up the midfield quartet, while Adam Boyes and Matt Godden led the attack.
But to the game football fans, to the beautiful Blundell style and a smile that appears to be unfolding ??.
This is clearly a season that matters to Mariners with an armada numbering 843 travelling in earnest to Glanford Park as the season`s first chance of silverware beckoned. The game started with a bang as the travelling hordes looked on mesmerised by an early Iron strike in the first ten minutes and a penalty shout as we weathered the storm to level inside ten and take the game by the scruff of the net.
Scunthorpe took the lead with an incisive cutting move from the training ground as Coleman outwitted the Town right flank to float an inviting angled delivery into the box that Boyes deftly flicked over Colgan, before controlling it and touching in just inside the near post. On 5 Town escape a rather optimistic penalty shout as Wright went down easy from a Hudson shoulder barge.
But Town bravely began to fight and won the right to play our football. We began to get the flanks into it with Bore roasting the right of the joint only to be robbed at the point of a cross at the expense of a corner. Eagle sent over a beauty and, in the heat of the melee, cool as a cucumber Captain Leary slammed home a close range drive to send those who sailed into raptures.
Town then began to play their football with the Iron rusting in comparison and forced to concede numerous free kicks as they struggled to get a foot in. There was no doubting their youthful quality but Town’s drive and desire was in the ascendancy. Coulson sadly stubbed a promising freekick on 15 minutes after a wonderful move had been curtailed.
Hudson peeled a peach across the pitch to Connell, who took it in his stride, under the sourcerers spell so to speak, then left Canavan for dead before hitting an early rising drive from distance over a stranded Slocombe`s bar. Connell then plucked the ball from the toe of Collins, cast him aside and fired another fierce 20-yarder just wide. Another Eagle corner saw Canavan redeem himself to desperately clear as the Mariners continued to turn the screw.
Bore then clears a dangerous Grant cross at the other end, as Scunthorpe attempted to rally. Grant hit a delicious drive from 30 yards that Colgan holds superbly. Matt Godden`s control lets him down as the ball runs out harmlessly before Grant twice proves how exciting it would be if goal posts were four or five foot wider.
The half time interval saw no changes with The Iron first to threaten; a teasing McLenahan cross finds Godden in the box, but the striker is superbly robbed by the imperious Watt. The Mariners again worked their way into the game and would at times put their Championship opponents to shame with some lovely one touch stauff with Connell and Coulson forming more of a telepathic understanding as each game passes.
One such move saw three one touch cushion passes move the ball from Ridley on the left to Bore on the right. Peter chose to go to the line instead of cutting in and Grant picked his pocket as he was about to cross. Bore chose to cut in moments later and drove a deliberate drive across the goal that Slocombe did well to save. Connell always a threat demanded the ball as the Mariners went for the winner. He toyed with Canavan before teeing up Watt who`s wayward volley showed why we pay him to be a centre half.
Scunthorpe countered with a superb ball from Grant, such vision that lad, as he found Collins who exchanges one too many one twos with Boyes before the final ball sees the lino raise his flag. The Mariners then force three corners, all well served up by Eagle. At the third Connell proves his aerial prowess with a bullet header that whistles inches wide of the far post. You have got to like this lad, he wants it and looks to have the pedigree even against well drilled defences like Wednesday and Scunthorpe.
As the game moved into the last 15 minutes the smart money would have to have been on the Mariners. Town triallist Dwayne Samuels (WBA) tears down the right and sends over a low peach that Canavan hooks away. The mariners mustered for a last 10 onslaught. Connell hammers a haymaker that Slocombe claws desperately over the bar. Eagles umpteenth corner finds Bore who fires a rising drive over the bar. Bore then has another shot (ouch count em) that is charged down by Wright. Partner in crime Coulson conjures a cross that Canavan`s bootlace just beats Connell to to end proceedings.
And so to penalties
GRIM: RIDLEY: MISS: 3-4
SCUN: GODDEN: GOAL: 3-4
GRIM: COULSON: GOAL: 3-3
SCUN: COLEMAN: GOAL: 2-3
GRIM: SAMUELS: MISS: 2-2
SCUN: COLLINS: GOAL: 2-2
GRIM: LEARY: GOAL: 2-1
SCUN: A. WRIGHT: GOAL: 1-1
GRIM: CONNELL: GOAL: 1-0
Alas for Town Scunthorpe edge us on penalties for the second year on the trot. That said some scintillating football again tonight as the Mariners fought for the right to play and then subsequently did so backed by 843 shipmates
Ok we have won nothing yet but those questioning the heart and health of our football club had best think again. The pride and the passion are there but so is the emergence of some style and a maybe even a smile.
Samuels, Kempson, Ridley, Watt,
Bore, Hudson, Leary (c), Eagle
SCUN: Slocombe, McLenahan, Coleman, Palmer, Canavan, A. Wright (c), Williams, Collins, Godden, Boyes, Grant. Subs: Comer, Turner, Thewlis, Wint, Greenhoff.
TOWN: Colgan, Samuels, Ridley, Leary (c), Kempson, Watt, Bore, Hudson, Connell, Coulson, Eagle. Subs: Cummins, Garner, Wood, Corner, Dixon.
ATT: 1,870 (873 away)
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