League Two Table
Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
08/02 Oldham 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
ANDERSON and Ford replaced Groves and Jevons, with Town trying to play in a 3-4-2 formation. Crowe played in the centre of the back three, with Ford on the left.
Oldham Athletic 6 Grimsby Town 0
More Oldham raids, with Crowe outstanding in repelling the blanket of blue enveloping the area. Offside, indulgent passing and wild, wild shooting saved further humiliation. For the moment. Oops, hang on, here it comes. Pass, tap, flick, a player free inside the Town area on the right. Crossed, Murray unmarked seven yards out beyond the far post, half volleying over the stand. Are they embarrassed too?
With about 25 minutes left the Pouton Posse walked out to their waiting cavalcade with police outriders, following a steady drip, drip, drip of Town fans out of the stand, out of the ground, out of their minds with rage. Like an egg timer, the grains inexorably emptied, time running out, in the game, in the season, for the leader. Leadership? None apparent, the players silent (ignoring Craneâ€™s regular rant at the referee), no-one visibly in charge, the bench was not animated. Characterless, rudderless, soulless, a bland shape without form, shade without colour, a paralysed force.
Ooh, a Town shot, oh the ironic cheers. "Youâ€™re supposed to be at home". Barnard got all his wobbling mass behind a low shot from 25 yards out, which Pogliacomi scurried aside from the left hand post using his chest and biceps. Barnard curled the corner toward goal, the Pogmeister general clutching the ball on the line, under the bar at the near post. No town player challenged. More Oldham raids, lost in music.
At some point Oldham took off Sheridan and Vernon, bringing on Eyres and Calvin Zola, About five minutes from the end they got a corner on their right. The ball swung into the middle of the six yards box and Davison punched clear. From the centre left edge of the box Boshell (probably) headed the ball back into the middle of the penalty area. ZOLA controlled the ball with his back to goal, spun and swung his tripods around, the ball zipping into the bottom right hand corner. Crane behind, Crane not defending. The remaining Town support demanded a seventh. It was like Walsall away in the dog days of Lawrence, the team unwilling to save him, the crowd demanding a quick death. Short term pain for long term gain. Or should that be a different kind of pain delayed?
The last few minutes were as interesting as the previous forty. Town had another couple of attacks, with Thorpe chasing down a defender, robbing him of the ball and curling a cross straight into the goalkeeperâ€™s arms as Daws and Boulding shrugged their shoulders. And finally, the moment that summed town up. Barnard crossed, Daws sneaked around the back, heading across the face of goal. Boulding, six yards out, unmarked, an open goal, allowed the ball to flick off his shins and away for a goalkick. Town canâ€™t even muster the will to give us some fleeting moment of false hope. Barnard and Murray had a kicking and scratching fest as they competed for a loose ball. Barney in a barney eh? How mature, and just what Town need, their only left back sent off for violent conduct. The referee gave both yellow cards. Weak.
The end, game over, perhaps something else over. An era ended? The team has no personality. There are no Town players anymore, just people who play for Town. They put on the shirt, for thatâ€™s who pays them, it is just a paycheque. They donâ€™t live in the Town, havenâ€™t Player Database, itâ€™s just another job for the itinerant footballer. But they will be the Town players for another few months, how to inspire, who to inspire? There was more ego than ergo on display today. That moment of catharsis is near.
The Town players know a little song, they were singing it for us today. It goes like this. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do, Iâ€™m..half....crra...zy.....allll....f...o.r....the....l....o......v......e....
Stop. Stop Paul. Stop.
So this is how Paul Grovesâ€™ Mariners World ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
If he been allowed to stay on the pitch it would have been Edwards, our only defender. However, for once the sponsors are right - ALAN POUTON, the only Town player to cheer the hearts of the miserable mariners, one last step over for the lads.
Markieâ€™s UnMan of the Match
Arenâ€™t there so many candidates? Crowe redeemed himself in the second half, but Tony Crane most definitely didnâ€™t. He was a walking, talking, stumbling, fumbling disaster. Embarrassing in the extreme, he does get joined in the hell hole by Stuart Campbell, in a world first. Campbell was so invisible he has to be singled out, for it took 20 minutes to realise that it was Jevons whoâ€™d been substituted at half time, and not him. Captain Calamity.
Mr A Leake. A man ready to kick a fan when heâ€™s down with a weedy sending off. What was the point? Town were already 4 down, and he decided to send off the only defender. Out of sheer spite he gets 3.763. Not that there was much else to complain about, though he probably should have sent Barnard off. Yeah, the ref was useless and cost Town the game....by allowing it to go ahead in such atrocious weather conditions, I mean you could see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles. The Blackpool Tower and the Taj Mahal restaurant clear in the distance. How are we expected to enjoy football if we can actually see it? These people, they just donâ€™t understand the game, do they.
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