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Groves Point Blank: Plymouth Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 11/01/2004

A mild mannered janitor of a day with the lightest of fringe-flapping breezes drifting into the Main Standers. The promised hordes of pilgrim fathers and sons turned out to be a statistically significant chunk of the Devon diaspora, perhaps 700 or so tightly grouped inside the Osmond Stand.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Plymouth (h)

Grimsby Town 0 Plymouth Argyle 0
10 Jan 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Or were they a convention of misplaced stewards? Plymouth’s away kit was a strident orange shirt with broccoli green trimmings. I prefer peas with my roasted chicken.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. The substitutes included wee Johnny Rowan, fresh from his mock GCSE’s. Like policemen, he seems to get younger every time you see him. Woah, bit of a hippy-hippy shake in the team, ringing out the old and ringing in the older. Ford’s return was greeted with some very crossed fingers and prayers, would it be one of his Earth or Jupiter days? The Pontoon silently nodded in pleasure at the removal of a couple of the conspicuous consumers of wasted space, but the return of Groves was met with mixed metaphors. He certainly wouldn’t be hiding away from his critics. And, don’t you know, the crowd suddenly became mature. No pre-match chuntering against individuals, moaning, groaning imploring change. There was even a chorus of "Paul Groves’ Black and White Army" as the teams prepared to kick off. Supporters supporting: weird.

Plymouth warmed up with a very choreographed series of manoeuvres reminiscent of the police dog display team at the Lincolnshire Show, though ‘twas a great disappointment that they didn’t actually jump through fiery hoops (but they have already played QPR, haven’t they?). They were all given a Scooby snack after their little run around, and patted on the head. There’s a good boy Friiiiiiiiiiio! Nice to see they’d been trained well, for there was no need for any pooper scooping. The pitch was immaculate.

Town just did their usual half hearted aerobics and kick-abouts. The Hamilton/Ford game of keepy-uppy was particularly amusing. At least I think it was keepy-uppy, you never can tell with those two.

1st half

Plymouth, dullards and spoil sports, won the toss and made Town kick off towards the Pontoon. In retribution, Town confused them by passing the ball to each other, very pointedly not kicking it straight out of play. On earth we call this passing. This clearly freaked out the Orangistas, for Town flew into them with controlled aggression. Tip, tap, tip, tap, Groves curled the ball down the inside left channel, over the top, for Boulding to run on to. The little scamp held off Coughlan, the huge Plymouth gargoyle marking him, and played in Mansaram, just inside the penalty, with his back to goal. The Human Octopus twisted, turned, churned, gurned, circumnavigated the globe twice and arrived back in the Plymouth penalty area, like Francis Chichester, to a hero’s welcome. The ball was still at his feet, the Pontoon were on theirs, as he made one last turn to try a cross shot from close to the bye-line. A long leg protruded and diverted the ball out of the area. C’mon feel the noise. Jevons and Boulding stood and tutted, for they were unmarked and awaiting the simple pass.

Plymouth cleared, managing to just get inside the Town half before Groves floored Friiio, right next to the Plymouth bench. Two minutes gone and their best player had been downed by enemy ire. Groves crunched in the tackle and remained on top of the wailing Frenchman, helpfully staunching the flow of oxygen with a well placed knee. Disturbed by someone taking away his thunder, Pouton hoovered up a little munchkin by sheer force of personality. And boot.



Young67 mins
Cas75 mins
Onuora81 mins


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