Home > Football > My time at…Grimsby Town.Part-2-Magic of the FA Cup

My time at…Grimsby Town.Part-2-Magic of the FA Cup

There were some big clubs in the second tier as always. We were really motoring up the league until the Charlton match.

Well, it wasnt meant to be and it signalled something of a downturn in fortunes in the league from then on. The form of myself and the team brought me in and out of the team sporadically. I was pretty much the youngest and least experienced player in the team at the time and I felt like Brian laws used me as a bit of a scapegoat.  Managers generally treat younger players differently to older, more senior pro’s. Over the years I have seen this more and more and I can see why managers do it. Young lads are less likely to answer back as they have more to lose as they are unproven where as older players are less likely to be pushed about. Every manager likes to look like they are in charge so they need to show signs of strength and take it out on younger lads more often than not. Is it right? Well it seems like it is was just a part of the game. I would say that times have changed slightly. In more recent times young pro’s have been given much more of an easy ride as they worked their way up through the scholarship system. There is no more cleaning pro’s boots, cleaning toilets and balls. It has led to young players coming into the professional arena with a much different mentality. In my day (how old does that make me sound!!) the first team players were respected much more than they are today. It has unfortunately created some young players who have not had a proper football grounding . Having said that is it OK for lads from the ages 16-18 be forced to clean toilets ? It is a topic which does wrangle with players of my age. When you see young players come to small clubs in the bottom tier of English football and see them strutting around the place like they have won a World Cups it does make you think.

Although our league form suffered our FA Cup form was different. We beat Luton Town in the 3rd round, scoring 7 in the process against Lennie Lawrence’s side. I had scored 2 early on in the game and thought I had scored a third just before half-time when I shot from the edge of the area through a crowded 6 yard box. As I ran off celebrating my hat-trick so did Steve Livingstone claiming that he had touched it on it’s way in. I swear even now that he never got a touch on the ball. He was a senior pro at the time though and pulled rank to steal my goal. I got on really well with Livvo during my time at Grimsby so you would have thought he could have let me have it. It did teach me a lesson to claim anything and everything that was going when you are a striker from then on.

In the second round was Premier League side West Ham United, managed by Harry Redknapp. We had to play them on a Wednesday night. The cold weather had disrupted fixtures at around that time. We drew that match 1-1 at Upton Park. It was a cracking atmosphere that night. To play at a Premier League stadium was a big deal to me and I really enjoyed the experience. Paul Groves opened the scoring before Ian Dowie equalised with a trademark back post header. Three days later we were due to play Luton Town away in the league so the club decided to keep us down from the West Ham game until the Saturday. This was a rarity to stay 3 nights away from home but the money generated from the FA Cup fixture would have covered the cost.

The Luton Town match involved the famous Ivano Bonneti / chicken drumsticks incident:

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Categories: Football
  1. Dan
    October 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Don’t leave it hanging there!

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