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Friday, April 10, 2020

On This Day - April 10th 2010

Hereford United were favourites to defeat Grimsby on Saturday April 10th 2010 but it didn't turn out that way.

A look back.


A Grimsby side, desperate for a win to preserve any chance of retaining their league status, frustrated the Bulls this afternoon and a solitary first half goal proved sufficient to secure the three points. Celebrations amongst the travelling Mariners fans were rather subdued with results elsewhere meaning that they remain long odds on for the drop, and that next term they will be setting sail for Newport County and the like. Despite pre-match rumours of a Grimsby goalkeeping crisis, and that Graham Turner would give a game to one or two bench-warmers, in fact Hereford started with the same personnel on duty in the win at Darlington, and the visitors had first choice stopper Nick Colgan between the posts.

In bright sunshine, the game began with the visitors in determined mood. Jean-Louis Agpa-Akpro looked fast and skilful and has struck up a telepathic understanding with Jamie Devitt. In the opening exchanges, the pairing forged several opportunities to take an early lead. Devitt hit one curling effort narrowly wide and Agpa-Akpro (didn’t there used to be a brand of film called that?) had a fierce shot deflected for a corner by Richard Rose. For their part, Hereford created the odd half-chance with some clever build up play, but shots on goal were at a premium. Mathieu Manset charged down a clearance, but was then penalised for bundling over an opponent. He then sent Marc Pugh through, but a marginal offside decision cut the move short.

On 18 minutes, Ryan Green and Rose scrambled the ball away but it fell invitingly to Devitt on the edge of the box. A terrific shot swerved into the top corner, leaving Adam Bartlett no chance, and Grimsby had a lead which at this stage of the proceedings, they probably deserved. What followed was not an edifying spectacle, with “mission accomplished” from the away team, and a lacklustre and sterile performance from the Bulls. Bartlett was called on to make an athletic save from Dean Sinclair and Rose again had to intervene when Agpa-Akpro and Devitt again threatened, but apart from this it was Hereford who started to dominate. Promising flicks and through balls involving Pugh, Manset, Kenny Lunt and Ryan Valentine did not, however result in meaningful shots on goal. A rather half-hearted penalty appeal as Pugh fell was rightly declined as the half ended.


It is a little difficult to imagine Graham Turner resorting to a hairdryer, or to using a teacup as a missile, but Hereford emerged with more purpose, and with Matty Done replacing the ineffectual Lewis Young. Darren Jones connected with a header from a Pugh corner, but the goalkeepers protection league deemed it foul play. Manset almost got through, the ball ricocheting off shins as he sought control, and Jimmy McQuilkin almost played Pugh in. Pugh himself made inroads down the left, but on more than one occasion, his tricky turns resulted in a fall which suggested that a pit stop and a change of tread might be advisable.

Lacking creativity, and perhaps with the feeling that their league status was not under threat, the Bulls now faced an enemy more insidious than mere complacency. Grimsby resorted to niggling fouls and increasingly blatant timewasting tactics, with little attacking intentions. Colgan came for a ball at the very extremityof the box and scooped the ball back from outside the line. A free kick was awarded and after much debate, the card shown was yellow, much to the displeasure of an impressively vociferous Meadow End. The keeper then walked a tightrope with some more elaborate procrastination every time a goal kick was given. His own bench, fearing a second yellow card and with a much heralded paucity of fit goalkeeping options available, urged him to speed things up. Even the stadium scoreboard joined in, by announcing that the National had been won by “Don’t Push It”. Bartlett and Devitt had to be ticked off after some handbags, and the home keeper had to claw the ball to safety after some momentary hesitation.

A late Manset shot was symptomatic of today’s game, flying yards wide, and there was even time for a last ditch attempt at an equaliser when the Bulls won a throw in after 5 minutes of added time. Done, though not in the Delap league, has been practicing his long throws. Valentine got a goalbound header to this one and an almighty scramble took place on the line, with Gavin McCallum unable to force it home. Game over, the Bulls in the comfort zone, and the sun beating down,as thoughts turned to the cricket season.


Attendance: 2143, including 309 from Cleethorpes.

HUFC: Bartlett, Valentine, Rose, Jones, Green, Pugh, McQuilkin, Lunt, Young (Done 46), Manset, Jervis (McCallum 69).

GRIMSBY TOWN: Colgan, Widdowson, Sinclair, Lancashire, Bore, Coulson, Devitt, Atkinson, Agpa-Akpro, Hudson, Wright (Sterling 80). 

And here are some after-match comments.

Hereford United manager Graham Turner was quick to praise the efforts of Grimsby Town at Edgar Street this afternoon after the Bulls were defeated 1-0.

"I think you have to pay some tribute to Grimsby," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester. "They probably belied their position second from bottom in the table.

"I thought they came well organised.

"When you look through the side and the quality of some of the players in there, it's surprising they are down in the bottom.

"First thirty five minutes we were totally outplayed. We forgot to pass the ball. Too content to knock long balls up field.

"Little bit of a flurry for ten minutes before half-time. Second half not too good but at least we had a go.

"Disappointed with the first thirty-five minutes and we paid a heavy penalty for it, and it was typified by the goal.

"Teams fighting for their lives pull out that little bit extra and it was up to us to match that attitude and for the first thirty five minutes we didn't."

Turner said earlier that he might have changed the starting eleven.

"I had a close look at people in training yesterday and we looked okay but there were one or two tired legs in this heat. It might be time for three or four changes on Tuesday."