Fixtures and results so far
The Meek that was
CA man of the match
CA un-man of the match
04-05 vs 05-06
Curse of the ex
The Cardiff experience
The season in pictures
World Cup 2006
Mat's betting tips
Meek's World Cup clichés
They played against Town
What came before
Review previous campaigns covered by Cod Almighty
Setting suns: Torquay (a) report
21 January 2006
Torquay United 2 Grimsby Town 2
Harry was banging on my loft door to be let out. He's always up for a visit to new and distant shores. With Harry and I safely on board the train, I checked my pockets to find I had forgotten my pen and my camera."OK, brain – free up some temporary space. We're gonna have to use memory mode."
A beautiful day in January? Yes, it's the English Riviera. Welcome to Torquay. Kissed by the Gulf Stream, soft sandy-looking sand and sprinkled with Torbay palms. I splashed out on a taxi from the station, cos there's no way I'm hiking a mile and a half up and downhill with a four-foot fish.
The setting sun is directly in our eyes. It's hot enough in the Sparkworld Away Stand to just wear T-shirts or go bare-chested if you are 16 and the pre-match two pints of Fosters are kicking in (lucky kids... still got a pound of healthy liver to abuse... mumble mumble).
Town must have won the toss, since the teams turned around from the warm-up positions, so the Mariners attacked towards us and Torquay had the low sun in their eyes.
Town had most of the possession, set the tempo from the start and, after a couple of half chances, scored. New winger Junior Mendes hit a quick pass from the wing infield to Parkinson, who steered a low shot past Marriott.
After 10 minutes Torquay got their act together and began to have a few attacks despite the disadvantage of the low sun. Torquay then pressed high upfield and gave Town no time on the ball, even to pass out of defence. You would have expected them to tire or for Town to up their own workrate and get stuck. Instead Torquay's midfield seemed to control the game. Bedeau scored a deserved equaliser on half an hour.
The second half was basically worse for Town despite the substitutions. Is Gritts with his facial hair turning into Obi-Wan Kenobe? They struggled to get out of their own half and resorted to long-ball tactics. Mildenhall was justifiably upset with the poor defending and shouted his displeasure at all the defence.
Torquay had at least six good chances to score a second. They really should have been four- or five-one up after 80 minutes. "This will be the flukiest point of the season if we don't concede," I thought, when something very strange happened. Newey hoofed up a free kick from our half and Futcher headed home from six yards. "This will be the flukiest undeserved three points I have ever seen if it stays like this," I thought. But in a frantic last 10 minutes, Bedeau popped up in the last minute when he headed home after Kevin Hill nodded back a Martin Phillips cross.
Sorry for the crap report. I should have got a ticket in the main stand for a side view. The low stand and the setting sun directly into our eyes for 75 of the 90 minutes made it difficult to make stuff out. I console myself with knowing I wasn't as poor as Town, who gave a 3-out-of-10 performance and were lucky not to get thrashed. I hope Torquay stay up because they are a friendly club in a nice town. I recommend making a weekend of it next time we are here, maybe in August the way Town played on Saturday.
Torquay: Marriott, Lloyd, Woods (Robinson 85), Sharp, Lawless, Phillips, Garner, Hewlett, Kuffour, Bedeau, Hill. Subs not used: Walton, Hockley, Villis, Coleman. Booked: Bedeau. Goals: Bedeau 34, 89.
Grimsby: Mildenhall, Croft, Futcher, Rob Jones, Newey, Mendes, Bolland, Toner, Parkinson, Reddy (Cohen 74), Gary Jones (Gritton 62). Subs not used: McDermott, Barwick, Bloomer. Booked: Futcher, Mendes, Croft, Newey, Cohen. Goals: Parkinson 6, Futcher 81.
Attendance: 2,559, of which Town accounted for a respectable 262-ish.
Ref: I Williamson (Berkshire). Refwatch score: 5.1843 for being OK, if a little keen with the bookings.
Ref's assistant at our left main stand side: Mr Richard Splash. A Town fan must know him personally because he called him Dick Splash when requesting an explanation of another wrong decision.