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29/11 Tranmere Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
THE referee blew his whistle as the Pontoon raged, and gave Tranmere a free kick, presumably because Boulding had left British waters without notifying the relevant marine authorities.
Grimsby Town 0 Tranmere Rovers 1
Crane watched hoping that Davison would come out and get it. He didnâ€™t, for Dadi had sneaked around the back, stretched out and poked the ball across the goalmouth and just wide of the left hand post. Barnard was booked for sliding through a curdling lemon and still Tranmere wasted time. But Tranmere began to look a bit dangerous, with midfielders beginning to run forward to support their strikers, the Town defenders starting to be turned around and forced to, well, defend. Edwards excelled with a series of timely interceptions, covering up for others, sweeping danger aside with an imperious wave of his hand. He even started a couple of Town attacks by dispossessing inside the Town area and dribbling upfield.
At last, at long, long last, a Town move worthy of that description. Campbell dribbled up the right, but was stopped by two defenders, he passed back to McDermott who immediately flipped the ball inside to Crowe. Campbell sprinted past the full back and Crowe caressed a first time pass through the defence. Campbell dribbled on, up to the bye-line, flicked the ball between the full backâ€™s legs and wriggled clear. In the penalty area, on the bye line, he looked up and crossed low and hard towards the near post. Linwood, a rather rickety looking centre back type (but, then again, most of them looked like centre backs) got himself all of a tither, all of a tangle, flicking the ball off his right heel and between his legs. Achterberg frozen, the Pontoon hopeful, the ball rolled along the side netting and out for a corner.
The rest of the half was Town pressure, Town corners, but no real feeling that theyâ€™d score. The ball never seemed to fall for a Town player. The ricochets, the sliced clearances, the tumbles, the missed punches all went to Tranmere. Luck, or organisation? Choose your own weapon. Crowe dragged a shot well wide from the edge of the area, Onoura almost turned near goal, Boulding kept running into the third defender and finally, when all else failed there was Barnard. Up he waddled after Town had flipped the ball from side to side along the edge of the penalty area and got a free kick. Heâ€™s an international, you know. Leave it to the German Boyo. Thwack!. Wibble, wobble, well wide. Crane cleared for Tranmere from a corner (yes, you read that right) and, erm, thatâ€™s it. One minute of added time was flashed on that handheld scoreboard, and we played about 20 seconds of that.
Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Tranmere Rovers 0
A really dreadful first half, with Town completely incapable of creating anything. No passing, no movement. They huffed and they puffed, but they couldnâ€™t blow down the house of straw. Tranmere were utterly professional in their method, nothing subtle, just people standing in the right places, and closing down Campbell and Anderson. They let Hamilton and Crowe have the ball, safe in the knowledge that neither would do anything startling. Well, to them anyway.
Weâ€™d seen this game a thousand time before. We knew what was coming. There was a certain inevitability about the proceedings.
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"Would you like a satsuma?".
The report continues in the Second Half.
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