Cod Almighty | Match Report
15 October 2019
Stevenage 2 Grimsby Town 1
To say this weekend was as dismal as the weather would be an understatement.
Stevenage away is never a fixture to get your anticipation aroused. But the prospect of celebrating Exiled Mariner's 50th in London and the memory of a fantastic weekend in Exeter meant optimism was high despite the rain. The fact Friday was a wash-out, ending in acrimony on the correct way back to the hotel and a rain-soaked tramp - via some distinctly seedy estate streets - with an ever-present threat of being relieved of all our belongings didn't bode well for the Saturday.
However, the discovery of the King Charles pub (off Caledonian Road, two minutes from King's Cross), a few Peronis en route, and by arrival at the ground optimism was restored. Stevenage after all were a team winless in 12, against our team which lowered the colours of the league leaders for the first time on our last away trip.
What could go wrong? The answer was the next 80 minutes.
First half: abjection overruled
Town were abject. As poor as I'd seen since the bottoming out at Yeovil under Slade. Stevenage started well, grew in confidence and took the lead when Guthrie scored his obligatory goal against Town. The fact his back-heel flick only just made it over the line past our captain - who went down in instalments - only increased the sense of disbelief.
Still this was Town. We are the comeback kings. We never know when we are beaten. Not today.
Five minutes before half time a home forward seemingly trapped in the corner by two defenders nutmegged one with a back heel, ran around them both and crossed. Carter, surrounded by statuesque defenders, swivelled and smashed a shot past our captain.
His vehement remonstration with all and sundry left no one in doubt it was a poor goal to concede. How it helped is another matter.
Second half: a flash of mediocrity
The second half went by in a flash of mediocrity until, with 80 minutes gone, a decent pass set Rose free. He sped past his floundering full back, cut inside and blasted his shot past the exposed keeper from an acute angle.
The superiority of Town from this point only served to emphasise how poor a side Stevenage are and how abject a performance we'd served up to the 700+ travelling faithful for the previous 80 minutes. Not even a (probably rightly) disallowed equaliser could arouse a modicum of angst in me. A draw would have been welcome but a travesty. We’d escaped at Oldham. We couldn't, and didn't deserve to, today.
The whistle went and the trek home began from another pointless trip literally and metaphorically.