League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
21/10 Notts County Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
THE goalkeeper and defender had an argument over the garden fence about whose cat had dug up the newly planted winter pansies.
Grimsby Town 2 Notts County 0
Davison had no one to throw to, and when they did get the ball the full backs had no-one to pas to, except Crane. And that just meant the hoof was delayed for one pass. The period up to the goal had been very easy for the Town defence, the only hint at calamity being when the ball was near Crane, who seems intent on becoming the new Lever. It may look to the causal viewer as though heâ€™s taken a huge swipe and missed the ball, but itâ€™s really skill that can only be mastered through hours of hard work on the training ground. He times the swing of his left boot such that the ball then bounces off his right boot, up onto his backside, and back towards Davison. It totally confuses the opposition, they just canâ€™t see it coming! Bit like Our Tone really.
After 24 minutes County had a shot, their very first, and they got a smug, condescending cheer from the Town fans. How nice for them, we thought. Rubbish shot mind. A minute later Caskey wellied a shot from 20 yards that only just missed going over the roof of the Pontoon. More ironic applause. It gradually dawned on the languid locals that County were having more of the ball, that they were starting to pass to each other, regularly, in Townâ€™s half, near Townâ€™s goal, and that no stripey was challenging much. We watched ten minutes of Notts County manoeuvres, before they were ready for action. In the 35th minute Heffernan reduced the Pontoon to tears of laughter with a claim for handball as a McDermott back pass ballooned off his, yes Heffernanâ€™s, back. Perhaps he was being a bit too literal with his interpretation of the back pass rule? Davison caught the ball as the Town fans choi-oiked the cheeky pup. Caskey pootled up to Davison and lifted the ball out of his hands and flipped it into the net. The referee gave Town a free kick and didnâ€™t book Caskey. A minute later Heffernan received a throw in on the centre right of the Town penalty area with his back to goal. He twisted right, then left, before suddenly spinning and hooking a firm shot against the foot of Davisonâ€™s right hand post. Throats cleared. A minute later, with County crawling all over the Town penalty area like hungry little ants, Caskey was allowed to swagger forward. Chief Town culprit being Disco, who firstly failed to track back with a County player, letting him infiltrate the penalty area behind the defence, and then got in the way of McDermott, shinning the ball directly to Caskey. When about 25 yards out, and a similar position to Heffernan a minute earlier, Caskey slapped a swirling, dipping, arcing shot towards Davisonâ€™s top left hand corner. Ancient Aidan leapt across and clawed the ball away from the goal, with it dropping back towards an incoming forward. Davison, as he fell backwards, reached out, swiped his right arm around and flipped the ball wide of the post. Now thatâ€™s what I call goalkeeping. Now that wasnâ€™t what I call defending.
As far as action goes, that was it, County pressed and pressurised but failed to get too close to Davison, whilst Town were ambling towards half time. There seemed little urgency and alarming disorganisation at the back, as the defence wandered out after clearances without paying attention to the County players. Hamilton just kept getting in the way, twice tackling Edwards as he was about to clear and once making a terrible hash of an intended back heel. He ended up frolicking like Eric Morecambe, bringing sunshine where there was previously darkness in the County attacks. Anderson faded from view, playing almost as an auxiliary left back for the last 10 minutes. McDermott and Campbell stayed at home. How very disappointing after the scintillating opening 20 minutes eh? But Notts County were far from poor, much better than, with every disrespect, the "likes of" Chesterfield, Colchester, Wycombe and Wednesday. Given time and space they were adequate, if a little lacking in pulling power upfront. They were a bit like Town were most of last season, not quite as good as the opposition, rather than bloominâ€™ awful. They used their 5-3-2 system well to expose the Town flanks and there was many a worrying moment as the pestered the Town defence.
Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Notts County 0
There you are then, thereâ€™s good and bad in everyone.
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"The ambulance men are wearing coats tonight. Is that some kind of code?".
The report continues in the Second Half.
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