Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
14/02 Brighton Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
AFTER four minutes something happened. The ball was sploshing about in the puddles under the Findus/Smiths/Stones stand, around the half way line. Coldicott imposed himself upon a dilatory defender, forcing him to retreat, retreat and retreat again.
Grimsby Town 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Firstly Barnard for standing in the way of Knight as the tiny terror flicked the ball past him down the left. Barnard turned his hips, Knight jumped into Barnard, Barnard was booked and the referee walked the free kick forward ten yards to the very corner of the penalty area. Fortunately Dawsâ€™ big feet got in the way of the free kick. A minute later Benjamin chased a through ball down the left hand touchline, underneath the Stones/Findus/Smiths Stand. Crane slid across and swiped the ball out for a throw in. The referee decided to book Crane and give them a free kick. The crowd were roused and riled beyond a safe level, as were the Town players. Knight won a free kick for slipping over right next to the linesman, in almost exactly the same spot. Next up, or rather next down, was Mansaram, flattened from behind by Culip, who went though the back of the octopus with legs and elbow. Just a quiet word from the referee, got to take account of the conditions, havenâ€™t we. The free kick was chipped to the far post and Ford, unmarked about 10 yards out but stretching, headed a couple of feet wide.
Around this time Brighton had a shot. Davison diverted it to his right, Crowe cleared. They didnâ€™t have another. They were awful.
With about 10 minutes left Town began to attack again. Rankin, who had been strong and tricky, flicked a loopy header from a free kick just over the bar. Worth an "Ooo". Mansaram turned superbly on the right, about 25 yards out, spinning and thwacking a tremendous shot which sliced across goal and went 25 yards wide. Not worth an "Ooo". Oh, and a couple more bookings, of course. Daws slid across to block Knight, who spun off the old manâ€™s thighs, then Crowe thundered into another wailing wimp. Weâ€™re drifting towards half time now, you know. Campbell - hello Mr Campbell! - ran in from the right wing past one, two, then a third who hauled him down as he approached the penalty area. You canâ€™t be serious thinking the ref might book a Brighton man. Barnard and Anderson held an impromptu balloon debate, with Anderson winning, curling the free kick towards the top left hand corner. The ball flicked off a strand of hair on the end of the wall and looped a couple of yards wide. Barnard curled the corner high to the far post. Jones dropped it, the ball landing at Craneâ€™s feet. The man with the largest backside in association football stabbed the ball goalwards and it disappeared behind several bodies, re-emerging away on the Brighton right. It had been knocked off the line by someone, we presume not a Town player. Brighton broke away, but didnâ€™t do anything particularly threatening. Poor old Stace was gone from this world, eventually arriving inside the Town penalty area, hands on knees, looking ready to drop. Heâ€™d given his all and more.
And that was the first half, well, almost. It ended with a throw in under the seething Stones/Smiths/Findus Stand. As Town prepared to chuck it in Campbell was elbowed by Oatway, who then turned around and pushed Campbell away, hand in face. The referee saw it, ran over and told Charlie boy not to do it again. To a chorus of boos the referee made his way off the pitch, as Town were applauded. In such times we must make mountains out of molehills, for the very thing missing from last Sunday was back, personified by Coldicott. Even his perennial critics were moved, if not to tears, at least to support and appreciation. Rankin looked to be as quick as Boulding, and much, much stronger. He linked up well, he passed, he held the ball up, he looked a more complete forward than anyone seen in Black and White for a considerable length of time. Competence is something Town now aspire to.
Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Town were a little unfortunate to be level at half time to a bunch of brigands, a team in their managerâ€™s mould. As Norman Stanley Fletcher once observed - "a charmless Celtic nerk". How the heck did they manage to be fluttering around the play-offs?
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"If elbowingâ€™s allowed, bring back Livvo!".
The report continues in the Second Half.
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