Exeter City 0 Grimsby Town 0

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Rich Mills

9 October 2016

The more hardy of the Mariners' travelling support took their place on the Grecians' decidedly old-school open terrace while those not trusting the weather plumped for a seat. Town have three games in the West Country this season, and with these games all taking place within a few weeks, maybe fans are choosing to go to one or two rather than all three? Still, 345 isn't a bad turnout but well short of the expected 500. 

The team sheet was baffling: McKeown, Mills, Collins, Gowling, Andrew, Davies, Berrett, Comley, Vose, Bogle and Tuton, with Jackson, Pearson, Disley, Venney, Bolarinwa, Vernon and Summerfield making up the bench. Was that the order that they got off the bus? Why were we starting with two right-backs and why was Berrett picked over Summerfield? Huh? As it turned out Town lined up in what turned out to be a 4-4-2 formation with Davies playing as a winger. The more cynical among us might think that Hurstses had set up not to lose away from home rather than to play for a win against Exeter's decidedly leaky defence. Whatever, the City fans breathed a collective sigh as it seemed we hadn't noticed their susceptibility to tricky wingers like Bolarinwa.   

Resplendent in our Halfords Bodyshop Primer grey third kit, while Exeter wore their traditional red and white stripes, Town kicked off towards the City fans and all looked good. We created a chance and Omar headed it at keeper Pym, and then... then it all kind of fell apart. The Grecians huffed and puffed and McKeown was forced to make a couple of decent stops, notably from striker Reid who had been linked with Town in the summer. Town did pretty much nothing, certainly not bothering the home defence. 

Half time came and we shrugged our shoulders; we'd sort it in the second half, for sure. That bench looked pretty handy.

The next 45 minutes started like the last. Not much happened. City kicked a few balls over the bar and then the substitutions came – but rather than Jackson and Bolarinwa, Summerfield and Vernon came on for Comley and Berrett. Bogle smacked a free kick over the bar. McKeown kept us in it by denying Reid again, before Gowling saved a certain goal with a crucial block.

Town came close through Summerfield but his shot from distance went wide before the gaffer finally brought on Bolarinwa for Vose with three minutes remaining. He promptly won a corner which Bogle headed wide and the match petered out.

A point away from home isn't to be sniffed at, but we were expecting far more, especially against a team on a truly awful run of form. A shot on target at least? Bah. That Luton game seems bloody ages ago.