They was robbed

Cod Almighty | Article

by Various

28 September 2014

We invited you to tell us about your favourite instances of Town giving our opponents genuine cause to say: "We was robbed". We've had a rich response...

Hanging on at a high level

That period in the second flight, when the Mariners could often boast effective defence against teams with bigger budgets offers a rich seam...

Fulham 0-1 Grimsby Town (22 January 2000)
This is the game with which the Diary set this ball rolling. It brought back fond memories for Richard Dawson...

"I was at that wet Fulham game when we won. God, it rained buckets – we got soaked just walking to the ground and even soakeder stood outside during the match. What a stolen victory it was. Happy days...

"I was living in California at the time so the rain was a nice novelty in retrospect. I was rich then so I took four people out for a slap-up meal in London to celebrate. We drank about six bottles of wine and then demolished a bottle of port instead of having a pudding."

Birmingham City 0-1 Grimsby Town (19 September 1998)
"Town didn't actually have a shot on target. I seem to recall the goal came from a Dave Smith cross that somehow looped in." Sue Firth continues: "It was also a historic day because that's when I and match reporter Tony Butcher first met Cod Almighty's regular diarist."

QPR 0-1 Grimsby Town (17 March 2001)
On Twitter, Jonathan Byrne calls this "Groves' deflected header amidst 89 minutes of bombardment from the hosts, with Coyne impeccable." Richard Lord also selected this game when he picked up on the theme in his blog All that and a bag of chips, recalling Danny Coyne's heroics as we began a great escape under Lenny Lawrence.

Not drowning but waving

By contrast, Alan Buckley's first team were maybe just too good to need to hang on. Two matches from 1992 get named, but neither meet the criteria. Never mind, they are worth remembering anyway.

Cambridge United 0-1 Grimsby Town (18 January 1992)
Pat Bell admits that the win at the Abbey Stadium was "not really robbery, more poetic justice. We'd been locked in the same division as Cambridge for some seasons, so were annually subjected to John Beck's dubious tactics. I used to travel not in the hope of a decent game but because I'd have been furious if I missed out on us beating them.

John Beck said afterwards that he was embarrassed at the amount of possession his team enjoyed. So he should have been

"We scored early, from a corner, I fancy. After that, we were subjected to the usual Cambridge pounding – an endless succession of high, early balls towards our box with a lot of jostling to get under them. Paul Reece was like a lion cub that day. No saves stand out but he was completely undaunted dealing with the crosses.

"John Beck said afterwards that he was embarrassed at the amount of possession his team enjoyed. So he should have been. Embarrassed that a team with players of the ability of Dion Dublin and John Taylor were coached to play in such a one-note manner."

Newcastle United 0-1 Grimsby Town (24 October 1992)
Kevin Keegan was more gracious in defeat. We agree with David Miller that "nothing tops Jim Dobbin's goal against Newcastle" but that was no "smash and grab".

Parthian shots

It may be no coincidence that when Town began to tumble down and then out of the League, our ability to sneak wins seems to have diminished. There are still a few games to look back upon though...

Peterborough United 0-1 Grimsby Town (10 September 2005)
"I've got great, if hazy, memories of an away victory at Peterborough in the autumn of 2005," writes Joe Turner. "A resounding 1-0 away victory with the goal coming from everyone's favourite lump, Gary Jones.

"From what I recall, they boxed us in for much of the match as the shot count became something of a cricket score. But Steve Mildenhall had one his finest games in a Grimsby shirt, ably backed up by a defence boasting messrs Whittle, Rob Jones, Sir John and Crofty. Even the substitute appearance of Terry Barwick couldn't derail us that day.

"The Town faithful were magnificent that day. A 20-minute-long rendition of 'Russell Slades's Black and White Army' reverberated under the low roof of London Road's away end and saw us through to the final whistle. Proper backs against the wall stuff, a good old-fashioned away day.

"As so often under Slade, the football was far from pretty but wonderfully functional. We left the stadium with a spring in our step confident this was the year. What could possibly go wrong..."

Having had lunch at Tom's mother's, a beer in the County Club and transport to and from Louth, I think I was on a winner that day

Chesterfield 1-2 Grimsby Town (5 January 2008)
Daniel Hirst admits to only hazy memories of this one, except that Danny North scored both goals. He must be right though, as the Chesterfield gaffer was quoted: "It was a smash-and-grab win by Grimsby and I'm sure they are delighted with it."

Tony Butcher's report on our first goal provides the soundtrack for this whole article: "Ah-ha-ha ha-ha-ha-ha ha ha-ha-ha ha ha. Oh ha ha-ha-ha-ha ha ha-ha-ha ha ha. Our eyes beamed and sparkled, we gurgled with delight, we are the laughing Town fans and now it is half time."

Notts County 0-2 Grimsby Town (13 April 2009)
Dave the Engineer reminds us of a crucial win when Town were battling to save their League status: "We were playing Notts County. I went with my mate Tom from work, (a County fan) and sat amongst their supporters. Our on-loan goalie made some miracle saves and somehow we were still level at half time. We had two chances in the second half and scored them both. Having had lunch at Tom's mother's, a beer in the County Club and transport to and from Louth, I think I was on a winner that day."

Floodlit robbery on Merseyside

Where else to finish but the city of Liverpool...

Liverpool 1-2 Grimsby Town (9 October 2001)
As Too Good to Go Down says: "Anyone but Danny Coyne in goal and we'd never have enjoyed Jevons's wonder goal."

On weight of nominations though, there is only one winner...

Everton 0-1 Grimsby Town (20 November 1984)
Trevor Hewson, Barry Whittleton and Rodney Edge ("The Alamo match" he calls it) cited it on Twitter, then Kevin Wood set the scene. "How about Wilkinson's last-minute header from a free kick against Everton? It was the fourth round of the League Cup at Goodison in 1984."

Wilkinson heads past Southall as Town beat Everton 1-0 "In slow motion, the ball evaded fat Nev's outstretched hand." Wilkinson robs Everton

Dave Holmes warms to the theme: "They should have been 12-0 up by the 89th minute when Phil Bonnyman floated the free kick from Town's right about 30 yards out on to the young Paul Wilkinson's head. The massed Town fans watched as (it seemed in slow motion) the ball evaded fat Nev's outstretched hand. Needless to say we went ballistic. Everton still had another chance to equalise but Batchy, for the umpteenth time, kept Andy Gray's header out. It was grand larceny on the most epic scale, but who cares!"

As Alan Boyington says: "89th minute 'Stand and deliver'. End of debate."

Any other acts of Town robbery we've missed? Let us know.