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13/09 Hartlepool Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
OTHER small moments where Town almost broke through, but crosses were too high, or passes erring. Barnard curled a 30 yard free kick in a lovely little arc straight into the goalkeeperâ€™s midriff. In contrast, Hartlepool had a shot, which was ever so nice for them, after about 10 minutes.
Hartlepool United 8 Grimsby Town 1
Near the half hour Town attacked and there was a huge lumping clearance back upfield. The ball bounced once on the Town right and Barnard (yep, thatâ€™s right Barnard on the right) stood underneath the plummeting plastic. Gabbiadini ran forward, launched himself at the Welsh wanderer and did a double piked Lutz with twist. Free kick, so obviously a free kick, thank you Mr Referee. Huh? To Hartlepool? About 25 yards out, just to the right of centre. STRACHAN loped up, lofted the ball over the wall and curled it into the top right hand corner. Hats off for the strike, metaphorical knives out for the decision. It was beginning to dawn on some that the game was possibly beyond saving and that events had conspired against Town. The clues were there. How would the players react?
Two minutes later Hartlepool finally scored a "proper" goal, though even that was delivered to them like a deluxe pizza with extra cheese topping. Crane and Ford continued their comedy double act with a Chuckle Brothers routine "to you, to me, to you, to Hartlepool", near the right hand touchline. It may be six steps from Kevin Bacon, but with Crane and Ford youâ€™re never more than four passes from a Hartlepool goal. Crane eventually swiped the ball up the touchline directly to an opponent. The ball was quickly switched out to their right, with Barnard still sat on the bench at the San Siro. Corporal Jones re-appeared and the comic twist is that we donâ€™t like it up â€˜em. The ball was lofted to the far post where Crowe, or rather a holographic approximation of Jason Crowe, appeared to be near the ball. Crowe backtracked, leapt pathetically and allowed HUMPHREYS to collect the ball on his chest, nuddle, nurdle and thwack the ball low into the bottom left hand corner from about 6 yards out.
There is nothing positive to say about the rest of the half, which was just 15 minutes of partying and Hollywood showboating by the now cockahoop Terminators from Teeside. At will Gabbiadini, Robinson and Humphreys waltzed, sambaed and foxtrotted through the cardboard cut out figures representing the Grimsby Town Football Club notional back four. Davison was finally called upon to make a save when Gabbiadini outpaced Ford (please, stop laughing at that unlikely scenario, it happened before our very eyes playmates) and was facing the forlorn stopper, 6 yards out just wide of the left hand post. Davison blocked well, with a rueful, sheepish smile from Gabbiadini. At times it looked as though the Hartlepool players were so embarrassed they did not really want to score any more. Just yet. Their manager did and was furious at any slackening or anyone showing off their skills. A minute before half time a cross shot flashed a couple of feet wide of Davisonâ€™s left hand post. And that was the end of something: apparently, it was a half of football.
Half time: Hartlepool United 4 Grimsby Town 0
It was all very odd, for despite losing 4-0, it didnâ€™t feel quite like some of the disasters of the past. It wasnâ€™t as if the whole team were rotten, collectively and individually, or that Hartlepool had peppered the Town goal. But there was always the feeling that when they attacked they were going to score. Great play by them or rotten defending? Really, it depends what you want to believe, for Hartlepool were organised, committed and capable of passing to each other regularly. Their strikers had a nice balance of flab and fluff, and were the best team weâ€™d played so far this season, but they werenâ€™t great, just good. So in summary...oh no, itâ€™s still only half time, isnâ€™t it? Gulp.
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"Take away the goals and this has 0-0 written all over it".
The report continues in the Second Half.
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