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Two for Joy: Notts County Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 22/10/2003

A chill, clear evening with around 100 Nottingham Contrarians dotted around the Osmond Stand in knots of torpor. An unremarkable warm up with no pratfalls, some say plattfalls, to report.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Notts Co (h)

Grimsby Town 2 Notts County 0
21 Oct 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

The Town players jogged lightly across the turf, gathered in a circle, then went off in little groups to kick the ball about. Except the white booted Jevons, who had a ball, but no-one to play with. He turned this way, that way, all ways, but gazes were averted, backs turned. Perhaps he should have stood next to the goal and waited for a kindly old man (hey, that’d be McDermott) to invite him in. Then Mansaram, in front of the Pontoon, blew it, displaying that little bit of naivety in front of goal that Groves often grumbles about. Flash looked up and Jevons immediately passed him the ball, suckering the Dazzler into his world.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. So say same starting XI as Saturday, but Fordless and Croweless in the substitutes. At least one determinedly cynical anti-Croweist decided that the lack of evidence led him to conclude that Crowe had thrown a hissy fit at not being selected. Hissy fit? The answer to the question must be "No, that’s why he isn’t on the bench."

County strode out in a faded yellow-with-a-hint-of-orange kit, like diluted diet Tango, but without the bubbles. Platt received muted barracking for his summer refusal to see Grimsby as some kind of personal Mecca. But not that much. Mr Baraclough was totally ignored. County were viewed as a non-speaking extra in Town’s latest production. Let the play begin.

1st half

County kicked off towards the Pontoon and didn’t kick the ball anywhere near the touchline. Ten seconds, twenty seconds, hang on have they been fixing the odds? Is this a betting scam? Thirty seconds before the ball sailed out of play. C’mon, call the cops, this is an outrage. This is the second division. It’s the law - kick off, boot ball out of play.

And that was the longest County had the ball for the first 20 or so minutes. They weren’t awful, but Town were supreme, swirling dervishes in stripes; speed, power, flicks, tricks, and that was just Iffy O. Suddenly he was twice the man he used to be, he was here, there and everywhere. It moved, the Leviathan lives! A cross, Iffy close, a corner. The Town trick corner wheeled out after just a couple of minutes, with Anderson lurking outside the penalty area and his shot thudded into Barrass’s "inner thigh". Anderson dashing down the left, cutting inside, flaying crossfield passes to the unmarked McDermott, roaming in the gloaming, space, infinite, a sea of stripes pounding forward, incessant, beautiful, marvellous. For a creamier texture just add some sparkling Campbell juice. Fizzing, the irrepressible Stu shredded the County leftish wing back type defender almost to tears. This was football, this was Town, this was most enjoyable.

A Barnard free kick, about 35 yards out was floated into the centre of the penalty area. Onuora rose out of the sea like Poseidon, held back the clashing rocks and flicked the ball on. The ball bounced through the area and Campbell, near the corner of the six yard box, wrestled the defender out of the way before hooking a shot across goal and the advertising boards. Perhaps a foot wide at most.



Cas83 mins
Mansaram89 mins


Lee Mason


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The report continues in Part Two.

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