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06/09 Peterborough 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made by either team at half time, at least not in personnel. Town started with much more gusto, being quicker to fling the ball forward, but also with a little more control. In short, they passed it quickly.
Grimsby Town 1 Peterborough United 1
The game was exclusively down in front of the Pontoon, with hardly any Peterborough attacks. Davison made perhaps two saves, both from shots from outside the area. Comfortably close, easily dealt with, no cause for concern. But still Town hadnâ€™t forced Tyler to do anything spectacular, nor even average. Nor anything really. Then they did, as Groves raced forward and cushion headed down from the central edge of the area. Tyler flew off his line and blocked as Campbell slid in. The ball skimmed forward and was lost in a haze of flying feet and waving arms. Cas twice crossed into the Pontoon and the game seemed to be slipping slowly, quietly away. The crowd still roared Town on, especially when an attempted Rowan hook shot rolled across the chest of a Peterborough defender, but we didnâ€™t get that decision, so there was no way they would get a penalty when Craneâ€™s huge chest diverted away a scrambled shot down at the Osmond End. You wouldnâ€™t find more than 200 people in Blundell Park who would even think it may have been a penalty. Nor when McKenzie did a humiliatingly poor dive when not challenged by any Town defender.
There was a little bit of kicking and slapping when Legg kicked Cas when the referee wasnâ€™t looking, with Cas pushing the old flinger in the chest. Both were booked. And oh the scoreboard irony: when a Peterborough player stayed down injured the scoreboard put up the graphic of an ambulance coming on to the pitch. How very droll. All of which is leading to the only moment that any of you idle readers are interested in. With about 10 minutes left Peterborough attacked down the left, with Town seemingly outnumbered. Daftly the striker headed towards the clump of Town defenders rather than passing to the unmarked winger. Ford, then Groves stopped this nonsense, with the ball falling to Edwards a few yards outside the penalty area, near the centre. Edwards wellied a straight "pass" right down the middle of the pitch. The ball didnâ€™t hesitate or deviate as it dissected the two centre backs. Suddenly Boulding was alone. He waited for the ball to arrive and scooped it on, not losing momentum as he hurried off towards goal. BOULDING held off a defender and, when just inside the penalty area, poked the ball through the goalkeeperâ€™s legs. Ultimately a deserved equaliser and wasnâ€™t everyone happy, apart from those 200 Peterboroughians.
From the kick off Town regained possession and gained confidence, for Edwards did a drag back heel clearance down the touchline to Hockless. Woah, now thereâ€™s fancy. The momentum was with Town, but there werenâ€™t any chances created. Rowan was replaced by Soames with 5 minutes left, about 10 minutes after he first clutched his elbow and grimaced. Soames scuffled around in sub Daryl Clare fashion. He won a free kick and a throw in. In injury time Town again claimed a penalty. A long throw was lumped in from the right, Groves headed on across the face of goal and the ball rolled behind Boulding. Tantalising, teasing the ball rolled slowly across with no-one beyond Boulding, who tried to turn but it appeared as though his shirt was being pulled. He fell, his arms raised to the heavens, the Pontoon roared, the referee ignored and that was that.
In the context of the game Town got away with it, being a disjointed shambles for an hour when any decent opposition would have scored three. There was little, ultimately, to cheer, apart from the determination to plough on regardless of the quality. The ball was given away easily, with lazy chips upfield, with the front two easily muscled away from the ball. There was a lack of organisation through the midfield, which exposed the defence to overlapping wing backs and tricky wingers. Town had been tactically outmanoeuvred by Barry Fry, perhaps the least impressive boast in the history of football. However, the last 30 minutes redeemed matters, as the removal of Bolder made everyoneâ€™s life more pleasant, and Hockless rocked.
So, if you missed it, you saved some money and a lot of nervous energy. Unlike the Giantâ€™s Causeway it was neither worth seeing, nor going to see. Town are prone to losing games like this one, but a t least they didnâ€™t this time, which is good. Always end on a positive note.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Nobody excelled, with many a wayward Mariner thrashing around the pitch like a beached porpoise. Davison made one excellent save and several calm interceptions, but, on the balance of probabilities, Michael Boulding, is the unanimous choice of the absent Nicko, for being a tireless worker and the goal scorer. Without him Town wouldnâ€™t have scored, and would, therefore have lost. So itâ€™s him.
Allegedly P Danson. Generally not too bad, he missed many a foul claimed by Town fans and perhaps could have given a penalty or two. He was ok in a negative way - he never looked likely to send someone off. A perfectly reasonable 6.203 to the man in green
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