The England U17s team were competing in a 4 team tournament with Australia, Portugal (the holders) and Turkey with the games being played at Blundell Park Grimsby, Sincil Bank Lincoln and Glanford Park Scunthorpe. We decided to take advantage of the fact that Blundell Park is only a five minute drive to go and see England take on Australia. Blundell Park is the home of Grimsby Town and is experiencing Blue Square Premier football after the relegation from the League last season. I have not been here for a number of years despite it being on my doorstep and there are not many changes since I was last here. When we bought our tickets earlier in the day they were only available for the Upper Findus Stand but the Pontoon is also open when we arrive. To the left is the Osmond Stand, normally the home of the away fans but today empty except for some ball boys and various UEFA banners.
Opposite is the Main Stand with views of the River Humber beyond.
To the left of us is the Pontoon Stand and as with all the stands here it is an all seater stand. The corners at the end of the Pontoon are open with the floodlights standing here.
The Findus Stand is built on two levels with the lower level giving you a close view of the action. The Upper level gives you an elevated view of the action and as I’ve already said great views of the Humber estuary although it also means the winds whipping onto shore can make it a cold place to watch your football.
The crowd steadily builds approaching kick off and when the teams come out it looks a decent attendance. We have the national anthems and the game starts with England attacking the Osmond end. It is soon clear that England are technically superior to their opponents but we will have to wait to see if they take advantage of this. England create a number of chances but are unable to make any of them count until on 33 minutes Matthias Fannimo (West Ham) picks the ball up wide on the right, cuts back inside his man and fires into the bottom corner of the goal. Two minutes later England are awarded a free kick on the right hand edge of the box. The ball is played in and the keeper only pushes it to Courtney Meppen Walter (Manchester City) who shoots into the net. The Aussie keeper has looked shaky all game and will not be pleased with his punch here either. Although England continue to create chance there is no further score and so it is 2-0 at half time.
The game continues in the same vein with England on the attack and creating more chances, hitting the bar after just one minute of the second half. Two minutes later though an Australian player is robbed of the ball just inside the England half and the ball is played through to Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) who bursts into the box and puts a great shot past the keeper to make it 3-0. Sterling’s pace causes Australia all sorts of problems and the chances keep on coming but the chances are all wasted until 80 minutes. England are awarded a free kick just to the left of the ‘D’ and Nick Powell steps up to place the ball into the right hand bottom corner of the net for a final score of 4-0.
England played extremely well and could have won by a bigger margin with better finishing but overall they can be proud of their performance. Also well done to the public of Cleethorpes and Grimsby for backing the team tonight. The attendance of 2,040 was excellent.
More pictures of Blundell Park here.
England U17 4-0 Australia U17