League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
24/08 Bradford 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NEITHER side made any change at half time. The second half was rubbish, really rubbish. Great expanses were devoid of anything resembling association football. Bradford are in the image of their manager, what can euphemistically be described as "uncomplicated".
Bradford City 0 Grimsby Town 0
24 Aug 2002, Nationwide League Division 1
Kick, harry, hassle, tackle, foul, fight, destroy. Yuk. And Town werenâ€™t capable of creating anything, or rising above this basic football. The ball was sent upfield and Rowan lost it. Balls in the air to little Johnny were a compete waste of time. Sooner or later every move, pass or long ball would end up with Rowan. Sorry boy, you were out of your depth today.
I canâ€™t be bothered leaving you in suspense about the Town moves of note in the second half. Here they are. Kabba had a run down the left, beating three players and was crowded out as he shot. Barnard curled a free kick from about 25 yards towards the top right hand corner, but Davison skipped across and easily held the ball under the crossbar. There were two or free breakaways which almost promised to produce a cross, usually involving Kabba and Cooke, but they were isolated moments in the cultural desert. In terms of attacking, that sums up Town. One short paragraph, 62 words, for 45 minutes.
Bradford werenâ€™t much better, though they did have more efforts on goal - even, eventually, forcing Coyne to make a save (though he probably didnâ€™t even have to do that, as the ball may have been going wide anyway). The second half was a shocker. Only 15 minutes had gone before the crowd were pleading for the game to end. The minutes dragged like years, the sighs, the huffs, even the raised eyebrows were audible throughout the sparsely populated ground.
Bradford efforts? Well, if you insist. I canâ€™t remember when exactly some of these happened, I think I may have drifted off into another state of consciousness during the second half. A bit like a flotation tank, you could allow yourself to wallow in emptiness. Proctor (a substitute who came on at some time for a midfielder I think.
Those with a long memory may remember he played for York last year and ran rings round us) received a fast low cross in the area, but passed it to Coyne when trying to control it. Erm, anything else? Well, perhaps the Gray run down the Bradford right, where he jinked past about 6 Town players before shooting wide ? Or the moment Bradford nearly had a player free in the Town area on the right, but Cooke made a glorious tackle? Incidentally, Gray had lovely hair, and looked happy that the rain hadnâ€™t washed his curly waves away.
Perhaps you are interested in Wardâ€™s run across the face of the penalty area and shot which rumbled pathetically wide of Coyneâ€™s left hand post? Thought not. How about these two, right near the end. The umpteenth daft free kick given to them, about 30 yards out, just to the right of centre, was tapped back to Evans who hit a huge right foot shot which drifted a few feet wide of Coyneâ€™s left hand post. And in the last minute Standing hit a right foot drive from 25 yards out, just to the left of centre, which Coyne tipped around his right hand post. Enough to excite the locals. Sitting behind the flight of the ball it was almost certainly going wide anyway. But Coyne just made sure, to impress the laydeez.
Bradford put Town under a bit of pressure towards the end. A few crosses. No, make that a lot of balls lumped towards the edge of the penalty area. It wasnâ€™t much more than old fashioned percentage football. Ashley Ward managed to win a few free kicks and lose a lot of challenges. I emphasise the word win there, but nothing to justify the entrance fee.
The story of the second half was the referee, who managed to get both sets of supporters riled. Purely from a Town-centric viewpoint he performed as he usually does - making eccentric decisions which were often felt to be based on who shouted loudest. He booked Kabba for kicking the ball away (ie a little tap) because the Bradford supporters wailed (they had, like their players, decided to target Kabba). Strangely enough he failed to book a Bradford player for doing the same heinous crime 10 minutes later. Gallimore was booked for time wasting at a throw in, where the referee had kept insisting it was taken from different position. Galli just looked confused by it all. He awarded a free kick against Coldicott for heading an opponentâ€™s arm. And then there was the moment when Kabba, on the touch line in front of the Bradford bench, received a kick from behind. Kabba leapt up in pure Mr Grimsdale mode, landing on his backside as if heâ€™d slipped on that slapstick comedic staple, the banana skin. The referee gave a free kick, but that was all. Either Kabba dived or he was whacked from behind. Either way itâ€™s supposed to be a booking. Oh well, thatâ€™s the refâ€™s for you.
Despite there being several stoppages, including three long ones for treatment to injured players, there were only two minutes of added time. No-one complained, everyone just wanted the torturous drivel to end. And so Iâ€™ll stop this torturous drivel too.
Overall, parity was just about fair. Like Bert with his lumbago, we mustnâ€™t grumble. But youâ€™ll like Kabba. We did. And if Taylor had managed to last longer Town would probably have won.
A game to forget, a point to pocket. At least Town didnâ€™t let their relegation rivals sneak off with 3 points. Roll on Pompey!
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Chettle played purringly competently, quietly efficient but effective. Coyne made the saves he needed to without too much trouble and Kabba was a one man whirling dervish up front. Heâ€™d have been MoM if heâ€™d passed the ball a few times. Overall, Nicko surprises even himself by selecting Terry Cooke, for a fantastic defensive display. There, that shocked you.
Paul Rejer. Really, dreadfully inconsistent. Never had control and quite clearly he was going to send Molenaar off for a second hack from behind on Kabba, but chickened out. Or perhaps that should be bantamed out. Compounding this timidity was a bout of over officious nonsense in the second half. He gains 5 points for ending the game as soon as possible though. 4.001 out of 10.
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