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20/01 Wrexham 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made by either team at half time. But Town were clearly stoked up at half time, for they set about a now relaxed and radiant Wrexham with vigour, if not much skill. Town players ran quickly, closing down the opposition, forcing the ball back, forcing errors.
Grimsby Town 1 Wrexham 3
Within a minute Anderson had bundled his way through the centre, little legs pumping, thrashing and causing mayhem. Determination caused mild panic in their centre backs, the ball ping-ponging between shins and landing at Onuoraâ€™s feet 20 yards out on the centre right of goal. Iffy saw glory, visions that mortals cannot even dream of. He curled a left footed shot towards the top right hand corner of the goal. The ball sailed, drifted, curled and skimmed the top of the bar and out for a goal kick.
Ten minutes of staring into the abyss was suddenly broken when Town put together a rather superb move. One touch passing involving Hamilton, Daws, Young and perhaps even Boulding, saw the ball flipped down and through the left, with Mansaram being sent free behind the defence towards the end of the Stones/Smiths/Findus Stand. He looked up! He looked up! He crossed! Perfectly into the centre and JEVONS, a dozen yards out, headed firmly down, the ball sliding underneath Dibbles ample stomach. The falsest of false hopes. Pure Town.
A couple of minutes later more excitement. Mansaram did one of his patented meanders through life, the universe and everything. Twisting, left, turning right, spinning round, and beating at least three defenders, he travelled the world: starting just outside the penalty box and looping around via Skegness into the left of the area and towards the bye line. We stood up, he failed to look up and from a narrowish angle about 8 yards wide Mansaram belted the ball at head height across the face of goal. Town got a corner out of it when it should have been a goal. One just couldnâ€™t help drawing comparisons with Wrexhamâ€™s third goal, Edwards looked up and passed; Mansaram closed his eyes and hoped. Hope. No, not that word again! Banish it from Blundell Park, should we rename it Danteâ€™s Infurneaux?
Anymore to tell you? Well, Wrexham had breakaways, usually ended by the offside flag, or our Edwards. They were incisive and very dangerous when breaking. I donâ€™t recall any shots going through to Davison, but they didnâ€™t need any more goals, did they. Coasting along in neutral, happy to sit back and watch Town lump the ball forward towards little men, spindly men, and invisible men. And donâ€™t you just know it, Hamilton had his best game in a Town shirt. An able body, silky, lithe, confident, linking, jinking, everything he was supposed to be, but hasnâ€™t been yet. What a waste. In the 82nd minute, Hamilton broke up a Wrexham attack on the edge of the Town area and was the umbilical chord for Town as they swooshed upfield, making four perfect first time passes to keep that Latin American cha-cha-cha rhythm going. Mansaram was enthusiastic in the extreme, darting everywhere, trying to do everything. We held our heads in our hands when he completely missed his attempt at a long range shot. I think he ended up kicking his own hand. Jevons, on the Town right 12 yards out, passed a first time shot into Dibbleâ€™s arms. Edwards, our Edwards, almost sneaked through when a free kick dropped at his feet on the edge of the area. The ball squirmed off the turf and just managed to reach Dibble before Edwardsâ€™ boot swung it in.
In added time a corner on the right was swung into the near post and Jevons, eight yards out, rose, glanced the ball, and shrugged as his header skipped off the crossbar and straight out to a Wrexham player. The game ended with Young volleying Poutonianly wide and Mansaramianly high. Ooo, canâ€™t mention that name beginning with P, too many people will cry. Over, out, gone? Who knows? Many wish. What a pretty pass we are in, cashless, Casless, hopeless. We need a team, with a team ethos. Thatâ€™s the second division for you. Town need a leader on the pitch, there is no personality, itâ€™s so soulless.
An act of catharsis is required. We canâ€™t wait for luck to come back from its round the world trip, can we?
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Ironically Townâ€™s best was called Edwards, just like for them. Despite three goals conceded, Mike Edwards was a staunch rock, the defeat would have been far worse had he been absent. He was head and foot above the rest.
Markieâ€™s UnMan of the Match
He would plump for one of the Burberry caps singing "sack the board". They didnâ€™t have the wit to come up with an original chant - "Wake Me Up Before You Go Groves" perhaps? See, itâ€™s easy, just a bit of imagination required. They can have that one for free, I wonâ€™t charge royalties. On the pitch, it was a toss up between Andersonâ€™s first half performance and Young throughout. We all felt sorry for Young, totally out of his depth as an emergency left back against the Jackal. He stood in the wrong places, missed tackles and generally made one pine for the days of Gallimore.
G Hegley. Apart from a couple of inconsistent applications of "advantage" he wasnâ€™t conspicuous. A short period of foul aversion in the second half threatened to get the crowd going, but he soon settled back into adequacy, so he gets a paranormal 5.786.
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