Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
20/03 Hartlepool 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
EDWARDS and Rowan were replaced by Crowe and Antoine-Curier in straight positional swaps. And then they scored again, goodbye. There you are, the condensed milk version in just six easily understood words.
Grimsby Town 0 Hartlepool United 2
Jevons again! I hesitate to describe the build up as interplay, letâ€™s just assume that Town employees conspired, with intent, to manoeuvre the latest in a long line of footballs to the feet of Phillip Jevons. He shimmied several ways and carefully curled a shot from the Town left to somewhere over the rainbow. I believe, yes I believe, that on this occasion the ball remained inside Blundell Park.
The referee, bored as he was, decided to wake up the locals with some daft decisions. Warhust stood still underneath the ball and was barged sideways. Clearly a free kick to Hartlepool. Ten seconds later over on their right a clear, clean tackle was deemed a cynical hack, and I donâ€™t mean Geoff Ford. The free kick was dinked into the centre of the penalty area and Williams dimpled a little back header which managed to wobble a couple of inches wide of the right post as Fettis sat in the Pontoon and sucked on a thoughtful tooth. Around the same time there was a cross which went just past the right hand post. Wow.
With around 12 minutes left Coldicott was replaced by Mansaram, with Town changing to a 4-3-3 formation. Armstrong went into the centre of midfield with Barnard reverting to where he should have been all along. I havenâ€™t mentioned Barnard much. He seemed to have wandered off to the nearest post box at half time, and sent his performance in by second class post. Actually, Iâ€™m not sure whether he remembered to put the stamp on. He fell over the ball near the corner of the Puddle penalty area, letting Boyd race off upfield. Barnard turned round and hacked Boyd down, Booked, lucky to be only that too.
With three minutes left Hartlepool got a corner, taken quickly and short on their right. Istead, on the corner of the penalty area, waited for the waddling Welshmen and surged past to the bye-line. He crossed to the near post, Fettis blocked put could not hold the ball. Up it popped and the Town defenders looked on as BOYD, a couple of yards out, toe poked the ball in. Flip, flap, bang, half the Town support got up and walked off.
In the last minute Monsieur Le Mansuramme twisted and turned, skipped past two defenders and was up-ended 30 yards out. The ball rolled to the English Mansaram, who squirmed through two defenders and, deep inside the area on the right, poked a shot towards goal. The goalkeeper seemed to knock the ball against the post and out for a corner. Who cares.
The tannoy announced that "The fourth official has indicated there is no hope." I jest, "Two minutes of added time". Whatâ€™s the point? There were still some Town fans left in Blundell Park when the game officially ended, perhaps the ones without hoods or hats, sheltering from the storm.
Rotten, guileless, hopeless, clueless, think of a positive word and put "less" at the end. You get the drift. The weather was appalling, but that is only mitigation, so was the Town method. Method? What method. It isnâ€™t unsound, thereâ€™s isnâ€™t one at all. Humping the ball down field is not a method, someone should tell them that all that rugby will put hairs on their chest. Hartlepool were by no means scary, they were just OK, doing what they had to in the circumstances. They turned up, which is all that is required these days. Town were much better last September, in "that" game, as an attacking force.
Oh for those glorious, heady, golden days of the Rodger era, eh? So, so long ago, was it all a dream? Last month Town might score. Under Law, we hope we might not concede. The crowd have given up, silence tells more than a million cat-calls and boos. How many will return after two weeks of the dullest, gormless football seen for a very long time?
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
If really, really pushed to name a name it would be half Jevons/half Coldicott - Stil Jevicott - simply because this amalgamation of brawn and beauty was the only entity to try, try and try again all afternoon. So itâ€™s come to this, so quickly, lauding the ones who ran about most.
Markieâ€™s Unman of the Match
For not being there, it has to be Stuart Campbell. The captain is supposed to remain on the sinking ship â€˜til the last. Heâ€™s never done good things, heâ€™s never done bad things, heâ€™s never done anything out of the blue. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Mr L Mason. Almost an irrelevance, he could have called it off for health and safety reasons. Thatâ€™s the mental health of the suffering Mariner masses. He had no idea really how to differentiate between fouls and falls, to understand the crazy meanderings caused by the wind. His bookings were, like the weather, a lottery. Into a big black velvet bag my hand goes and out comes the number 4.976.
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