Match 34
25th February 1989
Grimsby T (a)

FEBRUARY 25th 1989


faced the prospect of exactly the same trip with a twenty or so mile extension northwards to Grimsby. The Exe Directory's car also enjoyed a slight deviation.

Having travelled to Scunthorpe a fortnight before, City away regulars between Brum and Burton - quite how a trip from one of Britain's most important and historic trading posts to the centre of the British fish industry involved plummeting down a narrow, twisting farm track is beyond me!

Most of the Exeter contingent were impressed with the ground, although the view from the away end is somewhat obstructed by a couple of large fences and one even larger grandstand. If we had a bad view, you have to spare a thought for the poor sods in the home enclosure. Everytime something remotely interesting happened they were blinded by a sea of haddocks, causing the Exeter fans to sing a frustrated burst of 'Harry Haddock's illegitimate"

Oh I see, you want me to describe the match do you. Well, it was your usual City away game, we could have gone behind after about twenty seconds, might have gone behind after five minutes... and did go behind after fourteen minutes. Shaun Cunnington's shot rebounded off the post, only for Richard O'Kelly to sweep home the loose ball.

Our first chance of the game should have brought an equaliser. lan Benjamin showed real class in splitting open the Grimsby defence, but Steve Neville shot wide with only the keeper to beat. The rest of the half saw a few good chances for the homesters, and I for one was pleased to hear the half-time whistle.

I was even more delighted to hear the great man's whistle six minutes into the second half. At last we had a good referee, a man not afraid to give us the odd chance to get back into the game. Yes, my old mate in the black had given us a penalty, I don't really know why, I don't really care why, but Dazza sent the keeper the wrong way to send the hundred or so City supporters into raptures.

There followed a few 'You're not Singing Anymore' chants and then Gareth (awarded quote of the day at Scunthorpe) proceeded to make a slight error of judgment. He decided to gloat by rendering 'You Only Sing when you're Fishing, and waited contentedly for cries of anguish from the home fans. Au contraire... 'We Only Sing when we're Fishing' is now Grimsby's club anthem (not to mention the title of their fanzine) and before long the entire ground was pulsating to the sound of a mass chorus of the fishy ditty!

This lifted the Grimsby players, and twenty minutes from time a corner swung in from the left was powerfully headed home by Mark Lever. City didn't start to threaten until the very end, but hopes of a Hartlepool style comeback were soon dashed by that bloody referee's whistle. I mean hasn't he heard of injury time, why do we always get the worst refs eh ?. Homer he was, biased - probably from Yorkshire anyway, makes me sick it does...

But it's not all over there. We return to the waiting Exe Directory company car to find a twelve quid ticket under the windscreen-wiper. Apparently we were parked in a no-parking area marked by police-cones - invisible cones obviously! There then followed a short argument with the local Plod, during which Inspector ToughNorthernBasket was heard to say "This is my street you're standing in" and "I'll tell you what I'll arrest you for obstructing my view" !

We left haddock country, our liberty still intact, only for our return Journey to be stopped on the M42 by some poor soul who'd succeeded in turning his car into a couple of wheels and a rear spoiler. When you miss a fatal car crash by less than a minute, it makes the cut and thrust of Fourth Division football seem VERY triviel indeed.





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