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30/08 Swindon 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
Grimsby Town 1 Swindon Town 0
30 Aug 1999, Nationwide League Division 1
The first 10 minutes of the second half were a continuation of the first.
Nothing in particular happened, and the standard of play was low. However, for the last half an hour or so Town slowly took some control over the game and made chances. Swindon had a couple of shots from outside the area and a couple of corners. Coyne had no saves to make, and only had to catch a couple of crosses.
Town had a number of chances/shots in the second half :-
a) Lester turned his defender on the edge of the box and fell over the defender's hip. Black curled the resultant free-kick from 20 yards slightly to the left of the goal, a couple of inches past the goalkeeper's left hand post. The crowd went Oooooo;
b) D Smith got to the bye-line and crossed to the near post, where Ashcroft, about 8 yards out, a couple of yards to the right of the goal, flicked a glancing header a few inches wide of the 'keepers left hand post;
c) A flowing move out of defence resulted in D Smith whipping in a cross to Donovan about 10 yards out, just to the right of centre. He glanced the header a few inches wide of the 'keeper's left hand post;
d) A Town breakaway was half cleared, but the ball was immediately returned to Ashcroft, to the right of the penalty area. He waited for the 'keeper and passed it under him. Alas - Disallowed for offside. None of the crowd level with Ashcroft moaned too much at the linesman, so he probably was off-side;
e) Town intercepted a cross field ball on the left. Gallimore and D Smith sprinted forward, the ball was passed inside the full-back to Ashcroft, to the right of the area. He awaited the 'keeper and defender and passed the ball across the 6 yard line to just past the far post where Donovan slid in with a defender and grazed the outside of the 'keeper's left post;
f) From 20 yards to the left of the Swindon goal, Coldicott drove a half clearance low across the face of the 'keeper. The 'keeper just managed to get a finger tip to the shot and it went a couple of inches wide of his right hand post;
g) Donovan got the bye-line and delivered a cross to Groves, who outjumped the 'keeper, but only headed vertically. Swindon scrambled away the clearance; and
h) Interplay between McDermott and Coldicott set Donovan free past his full-back. His cross was played to Lester, stood alone on the 6 yard line. Lester tried a hook volley but fell over while trying to do it. He ended up on his bottom having passed the ball back to the 'keeper.
In between these moments of excitement and good quality play, Town did not produced a lot.
The introduction of Gallimore for Black with about 20 minutes to play certainly livened up Town's attacking and added defensive solidity.
D Smith had been Town's most promising attacker when he was playing left back, his move to left wing perked up the attack considerably.
For the first time this season D Smith was positive in attacking the full back/bye-line and his crossing was good, usually a flat pacey clip, rather than a Blackian hanging chip.
Black had been very anonymous and had not shown the same drive and pace as he had shown against Carlisle.
In general Town got better the longer the half had gone on.
Donovan again looked like he was returning to his old attacking form, and he was even tracking back a bit (including one vital interception on the edge of the area, late on) .
The centre midfield was bereft of creativity, and was defensively disorganised. Coldicott tackled well, but his distribution was back to the levels of this time last year.
Groves was again rather absent, his forays into the Swindon box were very limited and his distribution was a little awry at times.
Ashcroft, Lester and Groves were almost at a standstill in the last 10 minutes - they all looked totally drained.
It was an odd game played in a flat atmosphere.
Town were lucky to be ahead at half time, 0-0 would have been a fairer scoreline. However after 90 minutes 3-0 would have been a fair reflection of the balance of play. This was a game where Town, in effect, ground out a result and (in the second half) a performance.
Still we got the 3 points and produced the result to strike fear into the hearts of opponents - a Grimsby win 1-0 (Groves, pen). Old Times indeed.
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