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05/01 York 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO CHANGES were made by either team at half time. And then the game ended. You think Iâ€™m kidding?
Grimsby Town 0 York City 0
05 Jan 2002, FA Cup 3rd Round
Here are all the occasions the goalkeepers were made to make a save in the second half....
Fettis was required to catch a cross from Ben Chapman, after the tiny terrier had scampered up the left flank and received a return pass from Willems. Coyne caught a cross and punched another one out. That is it. Nothing, no more, not one shot on target. York threatened on the break, always after Town had misplaced a pass, though they didnâ€™t get to shoot. The nearest they got was when Burnett did the first of three miss-kicks (after the ball took crazy bounces off the ever increasing clods that appeared on the pitch). The ball was played forward to Nogan, who trotted towards goal in a centre left position. When he got inside the area Groves reached him, and tackled the *former striker*. Nogan fell poorly, and York got a corner. The York fans optimistically claimed a penalty. Come off it, we had a couple of years of Nogan watching and we know his every trick. He flopped like a runny pancake.
There were moments of potential interest in the York area, but they were very fleeting; some people blinked and they are, to this day, unaware that Town strikers actually set foot inside the York penalty box. There was a crazy ping-pong game across the face of the York goal, the ball going from right to left to right again, via Willems head, following a rare Town break away. Butterfield managed two shots following a corner which was half cleared to him. The first cannoned off a defenderâ€™s shins about 15 yards from goal, the second I canâ€™t even remember. I think it may have merely hit a York playerâ€™s bottom. They broke away and any danger was snuffed out when Nogan controlled the ball. Poor old Nogan tried really hard, as he always did, but achieved nothing, as he always did. He did share a joke with Coldicott at one corner though, which was probably the only time anyone enjoyed themselves on the pitch. Or off it.
How could I forget this piece of action? Butterfield wasted an opportunity when, free on the right about 10 yards from the bye-line, he hit a cross between the goal keeper and on rushing Coldicott and Chapman. He missed by miles and miles and miles and miles and miles. Some called for a substitute, none came. Or at least for him.
After 74 minutes Thompson was booked when the appalling and inept linesman below the Stones/Smith/Findus Stand flagged for an offside that was physically impossible (this combined with his blindness to a series of pull, tugs and small obstructions led him to receive a seasonal roasting from those closest to him). Thompson moaned, so the referee produced the yellow card and marched forward 10 yards. Who was this pastel pillock? Ah, our old "friend" Roger Furnandiz from Doncaster. This managed to get the crowd going for 30 seconds. Butterfield was told off by Groves, again, for dreadful positioning and passing. Jogging Danny B sulked all the way up the touchline. No longer the managerâ€™s favourite, eh? And the kestrel appeared again.
The crowd lost interest and started to daydream, only awoken by the second substitution when Jeffrey replaced Thompson after 79 minutes. So now there were two Lee Noganâ€™s on the pitch. Jeffrey immediately managed to be slower, and appear more knackered, than anyone else. A major feat. His introduction changed nothing. A word about Thompson - rubbish. Sorry it isnâ€™t positive, but he was poor today, showing little fight, and only occasional interest. After one of his many slips someone complained about "soft sods", it was unclear whether he was referring to the players or pitch.
Somewhere in the last 10 minutes York got a corner on their right, which was swung high to the far post. A defender rose unmarked a few yards out and beyond the far post, heading safely into the side netting. The York supporters got quite excited, but it never looked like it was going anywhere near the goal from the Pontoon.
I told you nothing happened in the second half. There were two minutes of added time, of which about 45 seconds was played, then everyone trooped off home. Perhaps Town deliberately avoided victory, so as to rake in the cash from a money spinning replay at Bootham Cresent? If so it was a thoroughly professional job, as there was never any possibility that Town would score. Or that Town would shoot. It was like the Coventry game all over again, defensively not bad, until someone makes a howler in midfield, but shocking going forward. Where was the passing game that Rodger and Groves had harped on about? There was hardly any attempt to pass the ball, Ford (especially) should not be entrusted with building play from the back, as his distribution skills lay somewhere between Paul Agnew and Mark Lever. Above all there was no movement today, too many players took the opportunity for a bit of a rest when they didnâ€™t have the ball, and it just meant that the Town players were reacting to events, rather than creating them.
Willems, the man who demands to know what his future is. Oh dear, he did get better towards the end, but that doesnâ€™t mean he was good, or even acceptably average. His first four touches gave the ball to York in dangerous positions and he went downhill from then on in the first half. He strayed in to the centre too much, leaving huge gaps on the left, which in turn reduced Chapmanâ€™s opportunities to gallop forward. Letâ€™s just say that he has cemented his position in a team, not necessarily the Grimsby team. Perhaps we should never trust a person who doesnâ€™t like fish and chips. His future may, indeed, be Orange. Much more of this dross and it certainly wonâ€™t be black and white.
There were some acceptable individual performances, though they were all in the defensive areas - Coyne, Coldicott (who was always available for a pass, always around to provide a block in front of the defence), the quietly effective Gallimore, Ford (when he tackled and headed the ball, not when he passed it) and Ben Chapman, for his all round play. Elsewhere it would be polite to draw a discrete veil over them, like Victorians and table legs.
We have seen worse this season, but not against such lowly opposition. Close your eyes and forget this one. Things can only get better.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Chapman and Coldicott were effective, but without DANNY COYNE Town would already be out of the cup. He earned his wages today and was suitably disgusted with players in front of him.
Mr R Furnandiz. Him again. Heâ€™s always the same, fine for most of the match then he makes a series of decisions that cannot be explained by logic alone. He gets 5.3, for missing three handballs by York players in the second half, all of which gave them an advantage in counter attacks, and his inconsistent pettiness (booking Thompson, but not booking Proctor for continuing after being flagged for offside and lobbing Coyne from 25 yards).
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