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Port Vale Report - Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
CAS made a couple of marvellous, manly oozing tackles to dispossess the left winger, but had no sense of teamwork with Crowe. Whenever Cas went upfield, Crowe did too, leaving a huge hole which Littlejohn kept filling.
Grimsby Town 1 Port Vale 2
The crowd grumbled, rather than rumbled. A little itch, rather than a horrendous rash. The free kick saw a marvellous new way for Town to kick the ball over the bar. Several players ran up to pretend to take it, with Ten Heuvel making his way ostentatiously from the wall to the ball and feigning a long run up to do a blaster. As this charade progressed, Barnard stood next to the ball with his back to goal, then suddenly turned and curled the ball way over the bar. Thatâ€™s international class rubbish free kicking.
With about five minutes left, Town built steadily down the right, even passing the ball to each other, which really flummoxed Port Vale. Cas received the ball about 30 yards out and suddenly sprinted forward down the touchline. He hit a brilliant, fast, fizzing, dipping cross towards the centre where BOULDING, on the edge of the 6 yards box, placed his head in the flightpath, heading the ball over the goalkeeper and into the centre of the goal. One-Two-Three- goal, simple as that. It was so quick, and so very un-Town like that it took a second or two for the crowd to react. And then it did, with some pleasure.
And for the rest of the half Town dominated, visibly stepping up the pace and levels of skill. Confidence, clear to see, thatâ€™s all they needed. The ball was hit around at speed, with players moving, supporting and generally causing Port Vale to fall on their backsides. Some flickery and trickery from Ten Heuvel released Crowe behind the defence. Unfortunately Crowe blasted a cross-shot into the side netting from a narrow angle. Port Vale rocked and rolled on the Town attacks and, in added time, won a corner themselves. The ball was half cleared, returned and then Barnard wellied the ball high upfield towards the half way line. There was just one defender back, with three Town players converging on him. The ball bounced, Walsh jumped up, Anderson sprinted in and jumped forward, with an arm in the air. They collided and Walsh fell, clutching his head. Anderson was sent off. Cue much howling and raging against the machine. Then the half was over.
Town were a bit fortunate not to have conceded a goal, only the supreme wondrousness of Davison had kept the ball out of the goal. However, the danger Port Vale posed was only on the break and their shots were all from outside the penalty area. Except one. I havenâ€™t told you about Davisonâ€™s Bill and Ted moment, when he was most excellent. Just before half time as Town attacked, the ball was lost on the left side of midfield. Cas had sprinted up the right and Crowe was, well, somewhere else in body and mind. Thus Littlejohn was alone down the Town right. He advanced, he advanced, he bore down, he waited for the ball to fall. About a dozen yards out and wide of the right hand post Littlejohn tried to hit a spinning volley, which Davison brilliantly blocked . The ball rebounded up, back towards Littlejohn on the edge of the 6 yards box. Crane and Davison flew at Littlejohn, who stretched forward and miss-hit the ball out for a goalkick. And then Anderson was sent off. What a Boomer
Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Port Vale 0
Overall, a fitful, shambolic first half performance, good in very small parts, shockingly dishevelled in others. But Town were ahead, and Port Vale werenâ€™t thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening, just ok. You canâ€™t fear a team which keeps passing the ball out of play. Or at least, you shouldnâ€™t.
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"Can you stand still please, Iâ€™m reading your jumper".
The report continues in the Second Half.
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