Let the train take the strain

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Chris Parker

4 September 2022

Newport County 0 Grimsby Town 2

Why does a near 63 year old man set his alarm for 6am on a Saturday morning to travel to another country to watch a tier 4 football match? It was certainly a question I was asking myself.

Picked up by a friend and his son, we drove to Newark where we caught the train to Kings Cross. Always interesting to see fellow football fans on their journeys to watch their clubs. A sole Lincoln City fan was spotted but we spend our time chatting to a lovely young lady who, bizarrely, seemed to enjoy our company as we discussed worldwide travel, Ukraine, dogs and relationships.

A quick tube ride to Paddington where we boarded our train for Newport. We chatted to three QPR fans on their journey to Swansea with stories of AEK Athens, Slovan Bratislava, and pubs around Shepherds Bush, before a brief engagement with Swindon season ticket holders who were heading to Cardiff for some wrestling event.

A couple of minutes walk from Newport station we enjoyed some excellent beers in the Tiny Rebel Tap room, a bite to eat and a chat with a few locals. They didn't seem happy with Omar Bogle, suggesting his sulking and attitude where more prevalent than effort and goals.

In the first half Town were clearly the better organised side. We passed the ball well and were hardly troubled by the home side, who had won four on the trot. But in truth we only threatened the Newport goal with a great effort from the young debutant Lewis Richardson.

The foundation of the Mariners' domination was a solid performance from the back five and the manner in which Bryn Morris, Harry Clifton and Gavan Holohan in particular were clearly superior to their opposite numbers. The one thing missing was a goal to reflect our domination.

Newport tried to up the tempo at the start of the second half but in truth they simply weren't good enough on the day to cause any serious problems.

When the goal did come it was no more than Town deserved, a 30-yard drilled effort from Bryn Morris past a static keeper. Town were always on top. Harry Clifton added a second and he could or should have added a third. Over the years Town fans have complained about our inability to control the key midfield area. There cannot have been any complaints on that score on Saturday.

Paul Hurst mentioned the issue of trying to keep players happy and you can see the size of that job when Hunt, Wearne, Amos, Cropper, Pearson, Khouri, Khan, McAtee, ... had no involvement in South Wales.

The customary mutual applause between fans and squad at the end before a stroll back to the station. We spoke to some home fans while awaiting the train and they all agreed that the Mariners fully deserved the victory. Two praised Brendan Kiernan as he occupied their left back, evidently a key player for them going forward.

After a quiet trip back to Paddington, for the final leg of our journey we sat with some Peterborough fans who had watched their team lose at Portsmouth. They talked about McKeown and Dembele, and the Number One and Two pubs at Cleethorpes station.

I arrived back in my house by 10.30 after having a thoroughly enjoyable day, travelling with friends, engaging with strangers, a few decent pints and above all a Grimsby Town victory on the road. Long may it continue.