A guest match review here for you from Mark J Moore.  If you would like to write a guest match review, preview or blog, please contact us.

 The Gulls flying again?

After a mid-week seven goal thriller, the vultures hovering over Plainmoor again, some might have thought this would be an easy three points for the Mariners. However, most Grimsby supporters have now learnt to expect nothing from football.   Those who had made the journey would have not been disappointed with a draw but will remember this game for the electric atmosphere generated by the Town faithful, who were the only dynamo trying to spark the fixture. Credit to the players, they put in a great shift but the final quality never came and it felt as though the tide was against them with the officials who let down both sides.

Surprisingly this was only the 27th fixture between the two and with Exodus leading his troops out of the wilderness a draw contributed to their statistical evenness. Over the years, I have had immense respect for the Torquay United fans travelling to Blundell Park. In our last fixture they even acknowledged our contribution to the National League with an inflated Nemo while many Town fans will remember a recent December fixture when they all dressed up as Santa’s. That is why I had no complaints setting-off from North Lincolnshire at 5 AM for an epic 8 hour train journey to Devon.

The game wasn’t a classic but after 15 minutes Town were starting to look the better side until McKeown saved a 20 year strike which should have made it one nil against the run of play. Town were getting into the final third but struggled to apply pressure and failed to execute seldom opportunities. Just as it looked as though Town were likely to open the scoring Torquay made it one nil. The Grimsby defence failed to react perhaps playing to the flag with claims of hand-ball by the noisy away fans.

In the second half it took Town a while to get going but credit to Torquay, who defended well with their manager keeping structure at the back. Alas, this current Grimsby team now has a resilience not seen for a while and they were not going to leave the English Riviera with nothing. The quality and final pass that was everywhere on Tuesday night against Halifax had deserted Town and the Torquay goal was starting to look impregnable. As Town cranked up the pressure the officials became Torquay’s 12th man. Even the brave Pearson was denied off the line while Pitman had two opportunities to convert.

The game was eventually decided by the referee who gave Town a penalty for a foul on Omar Bogle by Torquay’s keeper.  Omar tenaciously put the ball into the right hand corner while the keeper somehow survived with just a yellow card. Unlike the fans, this was catalyst for Town to show even more passion and energy but it was too late but overall, both fans left the ground happy with a point.

Man of the Match had to be the 12th man, the atmosphere created by nearly 400 fans was special. Just as memorable as 15,000 chanting “Fish” back in May. Like too many fixtures this season, the supporters and players turned up with the intention of putting on a show, which this fixture could have been, if it wasn’t for the poor officials who took all steam from this game. UTM

Mark J Moore

20th October 2015