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17/02 Bristol City 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 18/02/2004

NO changes were made at half time, though the start was held up as Bristol were one player short, possibly caught short.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Bristol City (h)

Grimsby Town 1 Bristol City 2
17 Feb 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Within a minute Bristol should have scored. A free kick out on their right was pumped into the middle of the area. Crane didn’t bother challenging Peacock who, from about 10 yards out, headed firmly over the bar. Eek, and eek again, the second half started just like the first, with Town in disarray at the back, a certain amount of psychic flappage apparent. City were encamped inside the Town penalty area, pumping crosses and corners, with barely a header won by a Town player. Is Crane really six foot five? At last some relief as Campbell burst down the right after some, wait for it, wait for it....passing and movement involving Rankin and Daws. It had to be said, you need your fix of p & m. Campbell’s cross, delivered from the bye-line inside the penalty area, flopped towards Anderson at the far post but a defender just managed to glance it away. After a sturdy slide block Coldicott appeared to be injured and he was immediately substituted for Hamilton. A minute later Anderson limped off (having taken a whack in the first half) and was replaced by Jevons. 53 minutes gone and two substitutes used. Jevons made an instant impact, receiving a pass just inside the Town half, on the touchline, and dribbling a full 30 yards, past his marker, barging another brittle Bristolian away to deliver a cross.

Clear you throats - in about 57th minute Bristol had a goal disallowed - a dink in from their left to the near post and a header. Clear your throats to roar - another bit of Town play from the old school. Crowe, Daws and several others linked up down the right with one touch passes and flicks. Campbell, 20 yards out in the centre right, rolled around Rankin and smacked a shot with the outside of his right boot, which skimmed a couple of feet past Phillips’ left hand post. At least it was a shot, even if it never looked like going in. It’s probably best to hide your head in the sand for the next 10 minutes, for Bristol slaughtered Town. A cross from the right, a free header at the far post. Wide and high. A slick bit of interplay between Peacock and Miller resulted in the skunk-haired mobster running free down their inside right. Into the area, Davison off his line, Miller looked up and dinked a little chip over, over, over, onto the face of the cross bar. The ball dropped down to Crowe, stood in the middle of the penalty area, who hoofed clear. At last, a brilliant goal not scored agin us.

Onwards Bristol steamrolled. A corner from their left, curled to the far post, and Davison forced to stretch up and flip the ball out for another corner as a giant lurked. Another attack, another corner, frightened away from goal. Another minute, another corner, again from their left, caressed beyond the far post and some unknowable Bristollian thumped a header goalwards. Davison leapt up and superbly tipped the ball over the bar. Another corner, half cleared, another corner from their right, punched away from the line by Davison. Pressure, tightening around Town’s raw exposed neck. Ouch. Nerves fraying, City taunting, teasing, they even disputed Town’s balls. Not enough air in one, then two of ‘em, apparently. This spell, and it was a bewitching period, was ended with a twitch of Young’s nose. Bounding down the left, rampaging, rousing the crowd up on their feet, ready for action. Towards the area, a pass, something wrestling, Town won the ball back through Daws. Mansaram finally did something useful, rolling into the area, passing the ball back to Campbell, via Young, about 15 yards out on the left. Campbell zipped goalwards, to the left, to the right, shimmying past one defender, swaying past another.

Campbellyellow card


Hamiltonyellow card53 mins
Jevons54 mins
Soames84 mins


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About a dozen yards out, Campbell cracked a low shot towards goal. Phillips plunged to his right and just managed to get a finger tip on the ball and it bounced off the foot of the post and out back towards Mansaram. Town retrieved, Town crossed and the ball achingly, agonisingly curled between the far post and Rankin. Inches from glory, if only he’d stuck his leg out.

Mansaram was replaced by Soames straight afterwards with about five or six minutes left. Thank goodness as, apart from that one moment a minute earlier, Mansaram had been terrible in the second half, getting in the way, managing to break up Town attacks just as effectively as the Bristol centre backs. Soames harried and hassled down the left touchline, muscling his way in front of a defender, robbing, ribbing, dribbling off into the distance. Inside, outside, a cross, cleared, back to Daws, stood in the centre, 25 yards out, who played a marvellously weighted first time pass through the tiniest of gaps between full back and centre back to Jevons. The white booted messiah opened up his body and sliced the ball across goal. The ball drifted closer, closer and missed the post by a matter of inches as Phillips feigned disinterest.

With a couple of minutes left Bristol actually managed to go near Town’s goal. The defence rocked, Jevons, yes, Jevons, averted danger by covering for the hobbling Crowe. Just a couple of minutes, that all, that’s all we ask. C’mon Town you can do it.

Hisssssssssssssssssssssssss. That deflating balloon again. Hamilton, for the first time in ages, made a tackle. The ball was played into a City player about 30 yards out on the centre right. Hamilton slid in from Tetney. The Bristol player was upended, Hamilton came away with the ball. Free kick, complaints, a booking for Hamilton. The ball was chipped to beyond the far post, and was headed back into the centre. Bouncing, bouncing, bodies around, someone leapt up and did a scissors kick. The ball disappeared into a bundle of players and into the net, somewhere on Davison’s right. BROWN had scored. From the moment Hamilton started his slide you could feel the goal coming.

Town huffed but that was it, a free kick in injury time brought momentary hope, ended by the linesman flagging for Crane being offside as Phillips collided with a defender. He wasn’t. Thirty seconds later Town nearly attacking, ended by the linesman again flagging for a non-existent infringement. And then it was over.

In truth, Town were inferior and had less chances. Bristol were just better in all respects, but it could, probably should, have ended as a fortunate draw. Town’s spirit deserved some reward and they had been ending the game strongly. There is no need to labour the point about the defence, it was as bad as it has ever been, but Town didn’t cave in, so that’s two games running where they’ve tried.

Now if only we can stop the opposition scoring and score a few of our own, then that’s this football lark sorted. Easy.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

No-one was outstanding, some managed to achieve OK-ness. And that’s as far as it went. Rankin was a threat when the ball went near him (but not in the air, for he decided not to challenge after an hour), Daws was steady, but in a surprise move which will set the showbiz world buzzing it’s Jason Crowe. For being the only defender who defended.

Markies Unman of the Match

A joint award to Town’s twin peaks of despair, Messrs Crane and Ford. Crane hardly won a header, and Ford circled the earth, only occasionally was satellite contact made. They were just incapable of coping with the 20th Century (we have reached it in Grimsby, haven’t we?) . They came in to our lives and then Town’s life was over. Together they are beautiful, if you support the opposition.

Official Warning

M Jones. The whistle blew, breath baited, who knew which way he’d point, least of all him. At first he seemed to be scared of upsetting Bristol, and then had a huge guilt trip over not giving an obvious penalty. Those Bristol fans were right, he didn’t know what he was doing. Yes, we were all calling Mr Jones. After Saturday’s bile some generosity of spirit flows through Lincolnshire. He gets 3.826. How generous indeed.

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