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06/12 Peterborough 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made by either team at half time, though Town did emerge from the dressing room a couple of moon days after Peterborough. Tricked you, there was a change, Town switched Campbell and Anderson around.
Peterborough United 3 Grimsby Town 2
After about quarter of an hour or so Anderson was replaced by Cas, with Campbell moving back to the left. Hope springs eternal, or hope eternally springs from Casâ€™s introduction. Just after Cas came on, Campbell pinged a brilliant crossfield pas onto his toe, he tipped it past the full back, being almost felled in the process. He stayed upright, flew into the area and looked up to see three Town players unmarked at the far post. Cas rolled the ball across, but behind Campbell, who controlled the ball, jinked about a bit and then laid the ball back to Barnard. The 15:04 from Barnsley Central rolled forward and smacked the ball way, way, way, way, way wide and over. As Barnard approached the ball the Town fans stood on the terrace mentally sat down, for disappointment had been posted well in time for Christmas.
This was all very annoying, Town losing yet dominating, creating chance after chance, with Peterborough hardly touching the ball. "Youâ€™re supposed to be at home". We wished theyâ€™d remember that. With about 25 minutes left Peterborough got inside the Town half, which was lovely for their distant support. Nice of their players to visit them now and again. Nothing subtle, just a big hoofed clearance. Crane headed back, but Curtis Woodlouse nicked the ball off a non-existent Town midfielder. He ran forward a bit then played the ball sideways towards Newton, about 25 yards out on the left edge of the Town area. Danger? What danger? Crisis? What crisis? Nothing would happen here, would it? Yes, it flippinâ€™ well would. Barnard ambled over, expecting Newton to dribble, but NEWTON raced in and hit a perfect low shot that glided an inch above the ground and straight into the very right hand corner of Davisonâ€™s goal. Just inside the post it was, perfect, absolutely perfect and unstoppable.
But still Town poured forward. On and on, crosses in, over, through and around. Blocks, headers, bundles, barges, everything and anything was used by the Peterborough defence to guard their little yellow flower in goal. Was that a hand as Crowe went through? Cas volleyed amazingly wide after a crossed headed clear to him on the edge of the area. Campbell stopped it going out for a throw in, but only ended up setting up a counter attack. Oh no, not another sucker punch? A deep cross from their left zoomed towards Barnard, who shrivelled as Newton ran behind him and headed back across goal. McKenzie, very close, very central, headed towards the left hand side of the goal as Davison was running across to his right. Up went an arm, over the bar went the ball. A brilliant reflex save. Thatâ€™s it for Peterborough, apart from a couple of breakaways when shots were blocked. No more, nothing, they were simply clamped inside their own penalty box, unable to do anything but hack, thwack and hope the ball clear.
Another Campbell masterpiece of a pass went straight to Cas who steamrollered forward down the touchline. He looked up, saw Jevons unmarked in the middle of the penalty area and chipped a dainty cross into the box. Tyler came off his line and stopped, frozen in the Jevons headlights. Jevons rose slowly, silently and glanced a looping header over Tyler and onto the roof of the net. A terrible miss. He sank to his knees praying for forgiveness. Town rolling forward, crushing these Blue Meanies underfoot, half chance after half chance, squandered by slow reactions and some excellent, if desperate defending. Onwards, ever onwards, Campbell crossing, just too high, just too far, just, just, that little word just. With about 10 minutes left Mansaram replaced Onuora. Would flash do it again? Suddenly Cas was free after a Barnard clip through the middle of the defence. On the edge of the area with just the â€˜keeper to beat, a goal! No, the referee had stopped play to award Town a free kick for a foul on Campbell, about 40 yards out. Yeah, advantage Town eh? The crowd apoplectic, the players in a frenzy of fury. The free kick was chipped by Hamilton to the far post towards Crane. Two Peterborough defenders collided, the ball fell behind Crane on the corner of the 6 yard box. The tower of power turned and shot first time as Tyler came off his line to block. The ball ricocheted up, with Tyler and Mansaram leaping. Flash headed backwards and the ball arced gently over Tyler, onto the face of the crossbar and down. CAS stooped and conquered, heading the ball in from about six inches out. Pandemonium at the Town end, the players wrestling each other to get the ball back to the centre circle. Câ€™mon lads we can still do this! Would Town escape to victory?
Town piled forward still, Cas heading into the area, Jevons falling, Crowe bundling, Mansaram wriggling. Clowns to the left of them, jokers to the right, Arber stuck in the middle clearing. Jevons again slipping free down the left, crossing to the near post, Rea swiped clear. With a couple of minutes left Barnard passed inside the full back with Campbell bursting down the wing, cutting infield and back down to the bye-line. He crossed low to the near post and, here it was, salvation. Three yards out, an open goal, the ball rolling gently to him, Jevons steered a first time pass across the face of goal and a few inches wide of the far post. The party balloons finally popped at this incredible miss, it was like Rushden all over again.
The game continued as it had all the way through the second half, but with a palpable sense of foreboding as the minutes ticked away, for it was clear that Peterborough could have put on their party hats, supped some mulled wine in the supporters club and had a little post prandial snooze and Town would still have managed to avoid scoring an equaliser. There were three minutes of added time, mostly taken up with Peterborough wasting time in the corners. The very last action was a Town throw in, hurled deep into the penalty area by Cas. Crane was pushed, Crane pushed back. Referee awarded Peterborough a free kick.
And out of the cup we went. The players sank to their knees, none more so than Jevons, who looked most distraught. And so he should be. Fine though his performance had been - determined, strong, intelligent - one canâ€™t get away from the fact that heâ€™s not the messiah, heâ€™s a very naughty boy for missing those two sitters. Town really threw this one away, for Peterborough played on the break, which seems to be their forte. Two quite excellent goals and an extremely dubious one shouldnâ€™t have been enough to beat Town, who, in that old phrase, frittered and wasted the chances in an offhand way. Not that Town played supremely wonderful football, but the chances were created, the territorial domination was there for all to see.
It really has got to the point where they need a clip round the ear from teacher.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Two candidates. Representing the Popular Front of Grimsby we have that sturdy oak Crane, a colossus at London Road. The choice of the Grimsby Peoples Front is Stuart Campbell for an effervescent, scintillating and, above all, determined performance on both wings. Dribbling, surging, tricking, treating. He had it all, serving up chances to the profligate ponies upfront.
Markieâ€™s UnMan of the Match
For the third time this season, thus earning to right to keep the title forever, Mr Hamilton. Fast approaching Widdrington territory, the fans just groan when he gets the ball or hear his name. As a management consultant would report, he successfully initiated a ball/foot nexus in the 53rd, 77th and 78th minutes. With clarification on the word successfully required; this being he touched it and it didnâ€™t go directly to a Peterborough player. Does he think football is a giant game of tiggy where the aim is to avoid contact with any object within the field of play?
You want to know the killer fact? Someone shouted out "bring back Stacy" and nobody demurred at that suggestion. Even with half a leg, Coldicott would tackle more.
K Hill. What a rubbish referee. He had a bizarre interpretation of handball, where the hand of cod seemed to stretch from tip of finger up the arm and down the ribs towards the waist, but those Poshies were armless. He spent the second half awarding free kicks to Town when Crane rather obviously crumbled under the slightest touch, but that seemed the only thing he would give Town. He was determined not to let the game flow, and was a general pest, especially to Town. Anything above 2 would be taking Christmas cheer to far. 1.3402, is a mighty generous mark, but heâ€™s getting it anyway.
And donâ€™t get me started on the linesman. One flagged for everything, the other for nothing. Guess which one did the Town defence?
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