Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
16/01 York 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO CHANGES were made by either team at half time, which caused yet more murmurings of discontent within the already angry artisans.
York City 1 Grimsby Town 0
15 Jan 2002, FA Cup 3rd Round Replay
Ah, the second half. Letâ€™s put it this way, Town didnâ€™t have a shot until the 88th minute. Not that York did much, they didnâ€™t have to. They simply packed their midfield and defence and allowed their strikers to run Townâ€™s defence ragged. Oh, it was real horror show, like. The first action of the half was after 5 or 6 minutes. Town half cleared on the right, but Gallimore just watched the ball and started to be drawn to it like there was a tractor beam sucking him towards his fate. This left Chapman to run back and try to cover three York players. The ball was eventually curled back over the Town defence, beyond the far post, for Nogan, near the edge of the penalty area, about 7 or 8 yards wide of the gaol. He allowed the ball to bounce, steadied himself, then hit a thundering dipping volley towards Coyneâ€™s top left hand corner. The Saviour of Most Goals zipped across his goal line, leapt up and tipped the ball over the bar in spectacular fashion. Another world class save.
Nogan again. Groves, on the left of the area, about a dozen yards out and wide of the goal, faffed about, allowing Nogan to take the ball off him and turn. Groves stretched out a leg as Nogan knocked the ball past. Nogan dived, and dived badly (even worse than Jevons, and thatâ€™s saying something). Gallimore played the loose ball up the line and a York defender crunched Chapman. The referee booked the defender for the challenge, yet didnâ€™t even talk to Nogan. The main "story" of the second half was the referee, who was very inconsistently fussy, booking Jevons and Thompson for kicking the ball away, Groves for a clean challenge where the York player turned his back when going for a header, Gallimore for a hefty (but arguably fair) challenge, and a couple of York players for small, inconsequential things. Thompson was stupid (despite his kick sending the ball no more than a couple of yards) as the referee had just booked a York player for exactly the same thing, Jevons was unfortunate as he was seemingly breaking away down the touchline and it looked to be in the natural flow of things.
All these things meant the ball kept being brought forward 10 yards, frustrating the Town players and breaking up what little flow the game had. And that was very little. An imperceptible trickle.
Nogan AGAIN. This time a cross from the York right, in towards the near post, perhaps 7 or 8 yards out, went straight to the unmarked Nogan. He flicked his head and sent the ball towards the top left side of the goal. Coyne hopped twice then tipped the ball over the bar. There were another couple of free headers which York players sent straight into Coyneâ€™s hands and a free kick which one of their full backs spent an age lining up. The wall included several Town players at different times and was more like a picket fence in the end. Coyne positioned himself so he could see the ball, but fortunately the York player curled the ball at least 4 foot over the bar. The way he held his head in his hands conned the York supporters into thinking it went near goal. It didnâ€™t, he was merely indulging himself. Gallimore nearly got himself sent off for locking foreheads with Proctor as Galli corralled the ball out of play for a goal kick. Proctor nudged, nurdled and tapped the ankles, almost earning himself a headbutt.
Youâ€™ll notice I havenâ€™t described anything at all that could be described as a Town move. I refuse to make things up! After about an hour Chapman was replaced by Boulding, with a reversion to 4-4-2, with Campbell on the left (Iâ€™d forgotten he existed until I saw him trot over), but Butterfield still in central midfield, giving the sort of all round display that only his biggest critic could hope for. The fact that Chapman was the sacrificial lamb did not please the supporters, who booed. Of the outfield players, Chapman, and probably Ford, can be absolved of blame and be free of the deluge of vitriol. Poor young Ben, heâ€™d played his heart out and some without heart remained on the pitch. Boulding made no real contribution, with the exception of one dribble in the penalty area, just after he came on, where he easily ran past a defender from a standing start and pinged in a cross to the near post. Town got a corner and no excitement ensued.
The York fans gradually realised how inept their opponents were and taunted us with "Are you Scarborough in disguise". That brought forth a few anti-Yorkist chants and some kettle/pot calling with "youâ€™re going bust". Marginally quicker than Town it seems, much like their players. Curiously, about 15 minutes from the end, the York fans sang "Thereâ€™s only one Michael Bolton". Thatâ€™s one too much, Iâ€™d say. Why have they a fascination for the tonsorially challenged power-pop ballad-belter? Or it could be the poor acoustics in Bootham Crescent and they may have been referring to their centre back, Michael Basham. A small matter that, at least, diverted attention from the non-activity on the pitch.
With around 10 minutes left, Smith replaced Campbell - another reminder of the little oneâ€™s existence on earth. It looked as though Boulding played up front with Thompson, with Jevons in a wide right position. Smith produced a couple of decent crosses, which at least went where they were supposed. â€˜Tis a pity no Town striker did anything but watch the ball as it glided into the 6 yard box. With less than 5 minutes left, Raven replaced someone, Thompson probably. Raven played up front as a cut-price Livvo, and Townâ€™s formation ebbed and flowed, ending with Butterfield at centre back as Groves roamed the earth in the York goalmouth. It is probably better for me not to attempt to dignify the last 5 minutes (and 3 minutes added time) with a description of a formation - there were blokes in their penalty area and a couple on the half way line.
Warning, warning, warning - Town shot alert, Town shot alert. With two minutes left the ball was humped forward, Boulding ran across the face of the area, from left to right, following a flick on by Raven. Boulding, for once, looked up and passed to Jevons, unmarked on the edge of the area. Jevons curled a left foot shot a foot or so wide of the goalkeeperâ€™s right hand post. A minute later Raven won a header on the edge of the box and no-one followed up his flick, allowing the ball to bounce through unmolested to Fettis. The game ended in farcical fashion. With just over a minute left, Neilson "burst" down the right touchline and crossed into the stand behind the goal. In the last minute Town had a throw in, perhaps 20 yards from the bye line on the York left. Neilson shaped to send a long throw towards Raven then stopped himself, falling forward, wasting time, then repeated this three times (as the remaining Town fans implored him to throw it), before throwing it to Butterfield, a couple of yards away and unmarked. Butterfield controlled it on his chest, hoofed it in the air and the ball bounced once and out for a goal kick, nowhere near anybody.
The game ended noisily, though it is harder to say which was louder - the York fansâ€™ delighted cheers or the Town fansâ€™ wrathful indignation. The Town players were made to turn around and acknowledge us - they would do well to remember the response. Ford was unfortunate to produce the moment which proved the spark for the fury when, towards the end, he played a long pass down the right straight out of play, with no Town players near. The crowd bayed, but it was a general baying at the team, not him. He had been fine defensively, even producing a moment to savour when he beat three York strikers in one gap, simply by rolling his foot over the ball twice, a la Zidane, and bursting through the gap heâ€™d created. Pouton may have the step-over, but Ford has a dragâ€™nâ€™roll. An extremely rare moment when the supposed "higher status" showed. And that from our most inexperienced player too.
It would be easy to castigate each and every outfield player (apart from Ford and Chapman), but letâ€™s just leave it at this. The performance ranged from adequate (Ford and Chapman) to disgracefully inept (Neilson). In between you had the not very good (Burnett) to dilettante exhibitionists (Thompson and, especially, Jevons, who spent the first 30 minutes trying to "win" free kicks with pathetic little falls). Town didnâ€™t get what they deserved in this game, for they deserved a real thumping. York players wanted to win, Town players expected to win simply through their "superior status" and wage packets.
So under Groves weâ€™ve had three excellent league performances and two humiliatingly dreadful cup games. Ah, so it is back to the old ways.
Well, that was the tragic of the cup for us.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
No contest - DANNY COYNE. He saved Town from a laughable result with some stunning top class saves. Why say more?
R Furnandiz. Itâ€™s been said before about this irritating fusspot. Heâ€™s a pain in the backside and guaranteed to drive Town fans potty with his pettiness and wild inconsistencies. The linesmen performed exactly like they did at Blundell Park too - one gave Town offside all the time, the other never gave York offside. He getâ€™s 4.03 (which includes 5 bonus points for not giving York a penalty when Nogan dived).
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