League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
17/02 Bristol City Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
DAWS and Coldicott were completely outmanoeuvred by nimbler, fitter, younger push-me, pull-me opponents. Town were unable to get hold of the ball for more than a couple of seconds, and when they did, there was no-one to pass to, just a big bloke in red haring towards them.
Grimsby Town 1 Bristol City 2
From a yard or two out, just wide of goal, Ford clipped the ball against Peacock for a goal kick. This was just the most theatrical of a whole series of gaffes and gadfly defending inside the Town penalty area. Hesitant, fearful, minds in a tizz, if in doubt get it out!. Except Crane, who managed to make the wrong decision every time. Hoofing when he should have passed, passing into danger when a Neanderthal thwack was required; he was the rottenest banana in the fruit basket that was Townâ€™s defence. Letâ€™s, like the referee, ignore the handballs by Young and Ford inside the Town area. We saw no ships. Or perhaps he was confused by the scrolling teamsheet on the scoreboard, for it was stuck on fast play.
On the half hour Rankin was sent clear down the inside right. He beat one, cut inside another and voomed into the penalty area. About a dozen yards out, just wide of goal he pulled his right boot back and....what a fantastic tackle to clear the ball. A few islands of one-eyed hopeful Town fans claimed a penalty, but heh-heh, they were young and inexperienced in these things. Why waste your energy. We wise old fools who remember tight shorts and bubble perms, and possibly tight perms and bubble shorts, wouldnâ€™t bother with such outrageous flights of fancy. Oh, a penalty! The Bristol players complained of course, as did their fans, but then again they hadnâ€™t insisted on the referee making a correct decision a quarter of an hour earlier. Swings and roundabouts, sirs. ANDERSON puffed out his little chest, placed the ball on the spot and wellied it low to the â€˜keeperâ€™s right, the buttercup boy plunging that way too. My, what a bright scoreboard, it was like being in a modern discotheque, all flashing strobe effects and teenagers with their hands in the air.
The rest of the half was played satisfactorily away from the Pontoon for long periods. Not much good happened, but we are reduced to being excited by players not falling over too often. And then one did. As Town built a breakaway down the centre, Rankin was hauled down on the half way line, way, way, way off the ball. Play continued and eventually the linesman called the referee over. A sending off perhaps? No, just a yellow card. I didnâ€™t see anything, so it should have been a red card, obviously. The Town fans were getting mighty restless with the referee for his inability to see Bristol nudges and pushes, but imagineering fouls by Town. Oh look, here we are again, another non-foul, and a free kick to Bristol City, 25 yards out on their right. Flirtingly curled into the box, Crane took one giant leap for Cranekind and miscued a header across Davison, the ball lolloping a foot past the left hand post as Wilkshire decided not to stretch out his leg and score, which was nice of him. Davison caught the corner, the half ended.
Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Bristol City 1
At least that was over. Bristol looked like scoring every time they approached our spindly thicket of dying juniper bushes. That they didnâ€™t was entirely down to good fortune and diffidence on their part. It is difficult to say who was the worst Town defender, Ford or Crane, though Ford did, once or twice, manage to make clearances. Young looked like a new born giraffe, totally unable to deal with Wilkshire. Luckily for Town Bristol only attacked down their right in the first 10 minutes. As the half wore on Daws and Coldicott managed to impose themselves upon Doherty and Tinnion, but only enough to stop Bristol. Town pressed, but there were just fleeting moments of danger created. A Campbell surge and cross, an Anderson dribble, Rankin bulldozing through. Crosses over the top, but mainly cut out at the near post. Plenty of corners, but I canâ€™t recall Phillips making a save.
Town were doing well to hold on to their coattails, it could have been a lot worse.
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"If they wanted to they could Hartlepool us".
The report continues in the Second Half.
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