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20/03 Hartlepool Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 21/03/2004

ONWARDS, onwards, players rushing forward, Barnard free, Campbell freer, but Jevons closed his eyes and thought of the television glory. About 25 yards out he hit a rubbish shot which wobbled seven yards wide of the keeper’s right post. His team-mates were not pleased. What next?

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Hartlepool (h)

Grimsby Town 0 Hartlepool United 2
20 Mar 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

A Hartlepool free kick on their left belted into the middle, missed by all. Let’s gloss over the two red-eyed meat eaters free at the far post. They missed it too so it doesn’t matter, right? It is alleged, M’lud, that Christopher Bolder, aged 21, attempted to shoot towards the Hartlepool goal. The police didn’t press charges as there was no victim; the advertising board was unaware of the incident.

Another coachload of Hartlepuddle fans arrived and they finally remembered to remind us of previous encounters. They just don’t realise that was another Town, in another era, galaxies and light-years ago. There is no connection between then and now. We’re rubbish now in entirely different ways.

It was so dull; the weather was awful, the time ticked so slowly. Already two balls had disappeared over the top of the stands. Ah, at last something. After about quarter of an hour Coldicott, yet again, won the ball with a terrific figure hugging tackle, sending Armstrong free down the left. About 20 yards out Armstrong ran out of gas and clipped a skimming low cross through the penalty area. The ball perfectly dissected Jevons and the goalkeeper, about 10 yards out.

That was Town’s chance. The high point for the striped crusaders. Those of a delicate nature should stop reading now.

Their goalkeeper did actually touch the ball with his hands in the game. He dropped a cross from Barnard near to where Jevons would have been if he had been. But he wasn’t. From about the 20th minute Hartlepool took over, with Town unable to clear the ball against the increasingly erratic and strong wind. Mostly the Puddlepeople over hit through balls and clearances. Their centre backs, Walker and Nelson, both bullet headed bouncers, looked very wobbly, with a series of miss-kicks and ditherings. Ripe for peeling, they were never tested. Shame really, as there were goals to be had.

They may have had the ball a lot, but they didn’t do much with it. This is so boring, worse than last week. Oh, they nearly scored. After about 25 minutes a deep cross from the ‘Pool left sailed wistfully in to the middle of the Town penalty area. About 10 yards out Danns, or possibly Westwood, or maybe someone else entirely, stooped and headed a few inches past Fettis’s right post. Ooh, that was close, they are still here then. And five minutes later the game ended. As usual, it came from nothing followed by a small mistake. Warhurst stepped forward about 10 yards inside the Town half and slapped a clearance up field. No, not upfield, up in the air. The ball arced up, went over Coldicott and back towards Warhurst, who half stepped forward to deal with it. Coldicott tackled as the ball fell, and it went sideways in to a great big toffee pudding of second division footballers. You know what follows next in these situations. Hartlepool tickled the ball over the top down their inside left channel. The ball bundled on, Boyd bounded after it. Warhurst had his hand up appealing for offside, tutted in disappointment, then ran back in a straight line, parallel with Boyd, who eventually caught up with the ball somewhere near corner of the six yards box. Warhurst moved towards the striker, but BOYD clipped a low shot across Fettis, who parried the ball up and in off the underside of the crossbar, as Young did a triple Lutz with piked twist in attempting to head the ball away.

Youngyellow card
Barnardyellow card


Crowe45 mins
Mansaram81 mins
Antoine-Curier46 mins


Lee Mason


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Town did respond, kind of. Edwards took a lot of throw-ins that increased the ire of Law - some actually stayed in play. Ah, that’s more like it. Coldicott, always Stacy isn’t it, mugged and hugged, flicked and tricked receiving a return pass from Rowan on the left hand side. Into the area, a dozen or so yard out wide of goal Coldicott did something. It may have been a shot, it may have been a cross, the jury will probably never return a verdict on that. Provett caught it. You see I fibbed earlier, he did touch the ball again. Bet you feel better now for ploughing on into the wind.

Sometime in the hours between the goal and halftime, Hartlepool occasionally visited their own supporters, just to keep them warm and happy, to wave and smile, to meet and greet. Crosses, overhit, corners flibbled into the centre. Chances? No. Boyd was free again, behind the defence racing towards Fettis, who stuttered off his line. Actually it may have been Porter, but little men hiding inside big red polyester all look the same. Fettis attempted a slide tackle inside the area and whoever the striker was fell. The ball zoomed out of play and the referee gave a gaol kick. Town seemed a bit lucky there. It was either a dive or a foul, wasn’t it? Lucky again, Fettis punched away a corner and was given a free kick for being fouled by Armstrong. Please end this rubbish, I have a sandwich to eat.

Ah, Bolder, Bolder, we remember you. Racing into the areas on the left, a pass flicked through by Jevons. The crowd on their feet, Bolder off his, slipping as he tried to side step a defender. The attack petered out pathetically. Rowan , Rowan, poor little Jonny, fading from view, the crowd increasingly irritated by his weakness, his sleepiness, his sheer lackness. Irritation turned to jeers when he crossed into the Pontoon when sent free down the left. What a catalyst he hasn’t turned out to be, left standing like a naughty schoolboy. Nothing more to say apart from their left back thadumped a free kick from a full 40 yards which went about a foot over the bar. Cheeky.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Hartlepool United 1

Somehow we got to half time without someone being decapitated by a swinging speaker or viciously tackled by a corner flag. You really could have someone’s eye out with them you know. I don’t know how many extra minutes were added for the retaken throw-ins and delays when free kicks, goal kicks and corners had rolling ballitis. And I don’t care. It probably wasn’t enough, but it was far too long. Help, end this now.

The conditions were terrible, but that does mask some rather unpalatable matters. Town were only fleetingly adequate. The notional fullbacks struggled manfully with their task but you just can’t get away from the fact that they are centre backs. They didn’t support the attacks very much and when they did the crosses and passes were rather haphazard. Town were a blob of lumpy custard, too much of one thing, and not enough of the other. Definitely not enough cream in the jug.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"The vet was surprised I didn’t feel my cat’s bottom".
"My neighbour’s depressed, but nothing justifies Meatloaf".
"With any luck the wind’ll blow the ground to Kansas".
"It’s only 1-0, that’s a three goal improvement since the autumn".
"So Law wants Lawrence, he’ll be after a Lyons next".

The report continues in the Second Half.

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