League Two Table
Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
10/09 Chesterfield 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO CHANGES were made by either side at half time. Town started a bit brighter, a bit quicker, but with the same result. Robinson and Kabba ran around a lot, the midfield was disjointed and reactive. Nothing tangible was being created, though there were hints at something.
Grimsby Town 0 Chesterfield 1 (AET)
10 Sep 2002, Worthington Cup 1st Round
Pouton, at last, started to drive forward and did create a moment of danger. He collected the ball just inside the Chesterfield half on the right and carried on and on towards the penalty area. As the defenders retreated, he stepped over and laid a lovely pass through to Kabba, who had his back to goal. The ball rolled gently over the penalty spot, with Kabba still retreating, ready to spin past his marker. The ball rolled through the 6 yard box, with Kabba still retreating, and Kabba still retreated, so that he had gone beyond the far post and was going away from goal. He eventually controlled the ball and waited for McDermott and Cooke to run past him. They did and he laid an exquisitely timed pass to the Chesterfield midfielder standing 5 yards outside the box, thus setting up a counter attack.
That rather sums up Town, and Kabba. Kabba and close control are not long standing personal friends. At times it was possible to believe he was still trying to control that pass he received in the 38th minute at Millwall (and he still hasnâ€™t, by the way). He really should buy some less angular shin pads. Robinson was less conspicuous, though he did enough to reinforce the view that he is like a less prolific Jack Lester, all hustle and bustle outside the penalty area, but as likely to score as a feather in a puddle. Robinson had a shot in the second half, a twist, a turn on the left (outside the penalty area of course) and a lofted shot which drifted several feet over the bar, slowly.
Robinson was replaced by Mansaram after about 65 minutes, satisfying the few vocal members of the Pontoon, who had started to call for the latest unseen saviour. He was all action; all arms, legs and other body parts in a whirl of activity.
He seems to have pace but the overriding impression is that he is a less co-ordinated Paulo Wanchope. Nobody can predict what he is going to do, least of all him. The ball flies off in strange and unusual ways from his body, and heâ€™ll probably score several goals a season with miss-kicks and bad control. There is no way a goalkeeper can "read" what Mansaramâ€™s intentions are.
A bit of an atmosphere was created by the youngsters in the Pontoon, who had become thoroughly bored and decided to make their own entertainment. As they had no piano to sing-a-long with, they decided to use the opportunity created by Muggletonâ€™s wobbling body when he took goal kicks/free kicks to build up a wall of sound. Instead of issuing mild insults at the end, they continued to make a "waaring, baaring" noise that sounded, at first, like a chicken coop at feeding time, but finally resembled a field of new born lambs in March. Bizarrely it seemed to invigorate the Town players for a while. Now what does that tell us?
Town did have some efforts on goal in the second half, to break up the monotony, and boy was it monotonous. A Cooke free kick from the right was launched to the far post and Groves, about 8 yards out, headed firmly across the goalkeeper and a foot wide of the left hand post. "Ooh" we exclaimed, just for old times sake. Another free kick from the right. curled to the far post towards Kabba was half cleared to Pouton, about 20 yards out. He seemed to have the ball wedged underneath his feet, but adjusted and dinked a chip over the goalkeeper and onto the face of the bar. The crowd "oohed" - in surprise more than anything. Chesterfield cleared upfield, knocked the ball over and behind Ward and nearly scored. Ward was too far infield and the winger collected the ball near the corner flag, turned inside, brushed Ward aside and thwacked a superb right footed shot towards the top right hand corner. Coyne leapt sideways and parried for a corner. Ward was caught out two or three times, being too far infield, something Chesterfield had clearly earmarked as a weakness, In the first half all their attacking was down the Town right (like they could beat McDermott!), in the second they switched to Ward, with quite a bit of joy.
Conversely, Ward was perhaps Townâ€™s best attacker in the second half, making several super surges to the bye line. His most pleasing moment came when he made a late run in support of Campbell, who clipped a perfect pass between two defenders so that Ward was free inside the penalty area, about 10 yards wide and 5 or 6 from the bye-line. Ward looked up and tried to curl a right foot shot over the â€˜keeper into the top left hand corner. The goalkeeper "stood tall" and parried the ball vertically, collecting the rebound himself. Ward also set up a couple of moments of danger by doing exactly the same surge, but crossing low and behind the defence. Unfortunately, he plays for Town, so no-one was capable of completing matters.
Just as Town seemed to be building a little bit of attacking momentum (by their own standards of course) Chesterfield surprised us, yet again. The broke, they won a corner on their left. It was clipped in towards the penalty spot, where one of their big defenders rose unmarked to head firmly against the top of the bar, just to the right of centre. More head shaking in the Pontoon, with a couple of nervous laughs thrown in for good measure. Perhaps this was going to be Townâ€™s lucky night?
No, not really. With less than 10 minutes left Cooke and McDermott made a double crunching tackle on a Chesterfield player. Cooke remained on the ground. The referee allowed play to continue. After about a 90 seconds he suddenly stopped play. Cooke was still on the ground. Cooke limped off and was replaced by Rowan, with no immediate change in the formation, Rowan playing as a right winger. I cannot recall much happening in the last 10 minutes, except that the Scoreboard flickered into life after 88 minutes, it spelled out Grimsby T 0, but was seemingly incapable of displaying any part of Chesterfieldâ€™s name. But whoever we were playing theyâ€™d got 0 too. A minute later it packed up again. Then came back on for another minute. Why bother. If itâ€™s broke, donâ€™t fix it.
In added time Town pressed and nearly scored what newspapers and the Evening Telegraph would describe as "a dramatic winner", but what we would have called relief at ending this footballing hell. It had got to the point where we just wanted someone to score, anyone, even Chesterfield! But Town did put together a thoroughly decent passing movement down the left, with Ward a-surging and a-crossing to Mansaram, in the middle with his back to goal about 10 yards out. He laid the ball back to Pouton, just inside the area and right in the middle. Pouton carefully steered a right footed shot to the â€˜keeperâ€™s right, about shoulder high. Plucked comfortably, it was, plucked comfortably.
But no-one seemed capable of ending the torture and the referee gave in and finally blew his whistle. Extra time! What joy, what value for money, 30 extra minutes at no extra cost (except to our mental well being. Can brains shrink through terminal ennui?).
Town kicked towards the Osmond Stand and the crowd wandered back from the toilet, the pie stand and some from McDonalds. When we looked up Chesterfield had knocked the ball over the top down the Town right and Groves was being outpaced by their substitute, Allott. Chettle raced across to block, half delaying Allott. Chettle did a Galli back shuffle as Allott approached. The ball was laid across the face of the area, and over to their right back, Davies, who was utterly unmarked about 5 yards outside the area. He stopped the ball, looked up, wrote a letter to his long lost aunt in Colwyn Bay, booked an appointment with his personal hairstylist, then clipped a cross back into the area. ALLOTT was unmarked, about 8 yards out and level with the far post, and he carefully placed a header low past Coyne and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.
That was that then. We all knew, the players knew, everyone in the ground knew the game had finished, yet there was 30 more minutes of turgid gruel to endure. At that moment the crowd collectively decried the abolition of the golden goal. We just wanted to go home, yet were strangely stuck to our seats. The minutes ticked away even more slowly, with Town playing a 4-3-3 formation that was awful. There was no width, which meant the attacks were cramped and Town were vulnerable on the counter attack. This resulted in Town simply lumping balls forward. None of our forwards had a clue how to play route 1.5 football. It was ugly, it was a waste of everyoneâ€™s time. Mansaram did manage to turn on the right edge of the Chesterfield penalty area and welly a strong drive about 5 foot over the bar, and Rowan was booked for having a shot, or so it seemed. Perhaps it really is against current FA regulations for Town to shoot.
The second period of extra time had more alleged incident, in that Town had pressure, Town had shots, but frankly no-one was kidding themselves. Kabba turned on the edge of the 6 yard box and his shot deflected wide. Pouton hit a searing, screeching, slicing shot a foot wide of the angle of post and crossbar. A corner from the Town right was hit to the far post, Groves rose above all and headed down towards the right hand corner of the goal. A Chesterfield player cleared off the line, and lastly, in the final minute, Kabba screamed down the right, turned drove towards the bye-line and clipped a cross to the near post. Mansaram, about 6 yards out and level with the post, leant back and headed a few inches wide of the â€˜keeperâ€™s left hand post. Youâ€™d be forgiven for thinking it sounds vaguely exciting. It wasnâ€™t.
Game over, everyone went home. A few teenagers booed, everyone else stood silently for a moment then trudged off. We have seen the future, and it isnâ€™t bright.
There are problems running right through the team. Groves OR Chettle, not both together, as neither can cope with any pace. No revelation there then, is there. Pouton and Coldicott (especially Coldicot) were very timid, playing deeply and failing to crunch. I would like someone to prove Campbell was on the pitch, I wonâ€™t accept a video of the game as these can be digitally enhanced. Kabba and Robinson look like "nuisance" players outside the box, both having netophobia, a fear of goalposts. As usual there were a series of crosses that were cut out at the near post. Now if someone could be bothered to actually "attack" the near post these crosses would be dangerous. But thatâ€™s like saying "Kabba hit this one shot that if it had gone in it would have been a goal".
Chesterfield werenâ€™t a bad team, all things considered, a decent mid-table 2nd division team. They knew what their abilities were and adjusted accordingly. And that was enough to easily repel Town.
So weâ€™ll obviously beat Coventry now.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Difficult, as no-one really performed adequately. I am tempted to give it to the man sat to my right who left work in central London at 4 oâ€™clock to see the game. Groves was ok, but made the mistake that led to the goal. Ward was fine going forward but a legless chicken in defence. Erm, er, lets see. The sponsors went for Pouton (but then they always do) for his occasional forays and flurries, but he was very inconsistent. McDERMOTT, as he didnâ€™t make any noticeable mistakes. So thatâ€™s it.
A Kaye. Didnâ€™t play advantage much (there were two or three instances of him giving Town a free kick when a player was free wide of the penalty area), but that would have no effect on the game. It merely means that Town give the ball away in a different position. He can be blamed for not ending the game quicker than he did, perhaps abandoning it through boredom. He gets 6.88.
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