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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
05/10 Rotherham 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
WITH a rotten team losing and playing a rotten formation, the obvious change to make at half time is replace one of the centre backs, right? Beharall was swapped for Broomes. So thatâ€™s why we were so bad in the first half! Nothing to do with the tactics?
Grimsby Town 0 Rotherham Utd 2
05 Oct 2001, Nationwide League Division 1
Nothing to do with the formation? When the substitution was announced there were 6,000 individualised groans and moans, which all added to one collective angry rumble. I think the most positive comment I heard in the Pontoon at this point was "You cretin Lawrence".
Two other changes were made at half time. The referee and linesmen ran out with green shirts on and the Rotherham â€˜keeper had a salmon pink shirt on.
As in the first half Town started with a bit more oomph than Rotherham. By the standards of this game, Town had them under the cosh for 10 minutes. In other words Town made their goalkeeper touch the ball. They were all crosses and he dropped them all. No wonder they were bottom if the goalkeeper and defence wobble and crumble under an aerial bombardment from the tiny, puny Town forwards. In the first 10 minute their â€˜keeper dropped the ball three times under pressure from Rowan, and Jevons created a clear shooting opportunity for himself. He received the ball 20 yards out, just to the right of goal. He swayed his hips to his right, then left, sending the defender towards the empty space where temporary seating once was. This gave Jevons a clear sight of goal, one the edge of the box. He decided to advance into the penalty area and, from 16 yards, centrally placed, he completely scuffed his shot so that it dribbled slowly to the goalkeeper. It at this point where the words "as usual" will precede such a description. Jevons is not capable of kicking the ball cleanly when he has time and space. Obviously doesnâ€™t like to use his brain, just instinct.
Town could have had a penalty during this period when the very poor Rotherham left back, Hurst, swung his boot, missed, and the ball bounced up and along his right arm. Campbell (who had not been seen at all for the previous 45 minutes) went bananas at the referee, but Town only got a corner.
Sometime in the first 15 minutes of the second half Town had another moment of high excitement (yes I am being ironic). Rowan chased a long punt over the top, which rolled slowly towards the bye-line just outside the penalty area on the Rotherham left. The goalkeeper came out and Rowan dispossessed him. In the corner, near the bye line, Rowan hooked the ball high towards the goal. A defender headed it off the line as Allen steamed in and collided with him. The referee gave a free kick to Rotherham. Excitement over until the 65th minute.
Rowan, about 8 yards out, just beyond the back post headed over when Gallimore crossed from the left. The Pontoon had been chanting for Boulding ever since Rotherham scored and after 20 minutes of the second half on he duly trotted, replacing Jevons (who again did not look particularly fit or interested). Within 10 seconds Boulding had skinned a defender down the Town right and crossed into the heart of the area, causing a mild panic. The ball was cleared and was punted down to the Town end. Some meanderings and a collision occurred about 30 yards out, near the touchline on the right. Three or four Town players seemed to be near the ball and one of them (alleged to be Butterfield) prodded the ball back towards Croudson. Except that it wasnâ€™t to Croudson, but to Mark Robins. ROBINS advanced and placed the ball low, wide of Croudson, and the ball hit the inside of the left hand post and bounced across goal and into the netting on the other side.
Game over, crowd disgust increased. Some of the Town players stopped tracking back when they lost the ball (Pouton) others continued to be absent without permission from the fray (Campbell. I forgot he was playing. He almost literally did nothing). Boulding was sent up to be the big target man, so every "attack" was launched up to the big man. For those who havenâ€™t seen Boulding yet, heâ€™s a slimline Dave Gilbert, no taller than Bradley Allen. The shallow, utter emptiness was unbearable.
The rest of the game was merely playing out time. Town had one more shot - a Gallimore free kick in the last few minutes that was scuffed and rolled under the wall and straight to the goalkeeper. Boulding had a header which was glanced wide. Other than that, Town barely got inside the Rotherham area. They, on the other hand, visibly rose in confidence once the second went in. Just like against Crystal Palace, poor opponents suddenly flourished once they got a two goal lead against the woeful Town. The even started to take the mickey, playing possession football, doing little shuffles, step-overs and tricks. Just after the second goal, a midfielder curled a shot wide from outside the area after bursting through a "challenge" from Butterfield. Croudson had to save at the near post after Burnett and Butterfield had been easily brushed aside by a midfielder. He also had to save at an attackerâ€™s feet on the left side of the area after Gallimore had been bamboozled, Burnett slipped and Campbell brushed away.
A couple of times Town got into deep, deep difficulties when Town defenders decided to shoot from 30 yards. Firstly a corner was cleared to Gallimore on the half way line. He charged forward and from at least 30 (and possibly 35) yards tried to smack a drive into the top corner. It hit a defender, rebounded towards the Town goal and the big number 9 (Lee) attempted to take on Broomes for pace. As they reached the edge of the penalty area Lee ran into Broomes, falling spectacularly. The referee booked Broomes and the free kick hit the wall. Later Broomes tried to do exactly the same as Gallimore, being equally inaccurate and setting up a counter attack.
You have now been told everything of note that happened on the pitch. With 10 minutes left the Town supporters started to trickle away, 3 minutes later it was a torrent. Disgusted and angry, they voted with their feet. Those that remained gave the players a hearty, well earned chorus of disapproval when the referee finally ended the so called professional football game. A Sunday team would have been embarrassed by some of the performances. Pouton wandered over to the Findus/Stones/Smiths to give his usual appreciation to the crowd. He encountered a volley of abuse which he did not like. It didnâ€™t help the mood of the crowd that at that moment the tannoy announced that Pouton was the sponsorâ€™s man of the match. Pouton had been appalling, his demeanour had been too arrogant. He had nothing to be arrogant about.
Rotherham are going to be relegated, they are an average 2nd division team, like Wycombe without teeth. And they humiliated Town. So where does that leave us? Right from the start the crowd were unhappy with the formation, it was plain to all but the most imbecilic that the formation was handing the game to Rotherham on a black and white plate. The team got worse and worse, and it almost looked like the players were not interested in making the system work. The will was not there, so the fabled "team spirit" was absent too. In short, this was a disgrace. Who was to blame? The buck stops with the man in charge, surely.
Butterfield played like he was intent on proving he was not a right back. He ended up playing like someone trying to prove they arenâ€™t a professional footballer. The Rotherham supporters eventually latched on to him and were ironically cheering his every (miss)placed pass and clearance. Burnett had a poor game, not helped by being the only Town player in midfield. There were many moments when he (and Groves) brought the ball forward and were looking for someone to pass to. All they could see was 10 striped men standing near each other watching them. Movement? The ball boys moved more, and they fell asleep half way through the first half. Width? Well Rotherham had plenty.
One hopes that this is the nadir of the season. It almost certainly wonâ€™t be if nothing changes. Even if Town play better, their opponents will be far superior to Rotherham. Private Fraser is the patron saint of the Pontoon.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
So very, very hard. Croudson didnâ€™t make any mistakes. Rowan tried hard, but Iâ€™d have to go for Gallimore. Best of a very bad bunch, he tried ALL game, pounding a lonesome beat down the left, continually pumping in crosses.
Markieâ€™s Unman of the Match
Especially for you Danny Butterfield fans out there. Run very close by Pouton, but the all round dreadfulness gives young Danny B the inaugural award. A truly execrable performance
Mr Cain. Who wasnâ€™t able. Stubbornly refused to change his kit when it was exactly the same as Townâ€™s kit from behind. A special mention to the linesman running the Findus/Stones/Smiths line. The worst this season. He seemed to have built in a 5 yard handicap for Boulding. He flagged Boulding (who had the ball) offside once when he was 3 or 4 yards on side (Allen being offside 10 yards away when retreating). The referee didnâ€™t have many decisions to make, was possibly unsighted for the handball but was inconsistent and eventually leant away from Town. He was far too lenient, as Pouton should have been booked, as should have one or two others for flying tackles from behind. Oiâ€™ll give him foive (out of ten)
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