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27/03 Chesterfield 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 28/03/2004

TOWN didn’t make any changes at half time, though Chesterfield did, taking off some bloke later identified as the one who got injured in the first half and replacing him with the Gus of Wind, Uhlenbeek.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Chesterfield (a)


Chesterfield 4 Grimsby Town 4
27 Mar 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Town started well, squeezing down the right with Coldicott robbing some klutz and sending Anderson behind the full back. From near the corner flag Anderson curled a high cross to the far post where Rankin leant back and headed towards the centre of the six yards box. Antoine-Curier, with his back to goal put a foot up and then his shoulders slumped as a big blue boot appeared to welly clear.

Town didn’t get inside the Chesterfield penalty area for another 38 minutes.

The Derbyshire droogs pummelled forward, abandoning their prissy route one stuff for something more direct. The ball was literally hoofed as far and as high down the middle of the pitch as possible. There were moments when they got carried away with their territorial domination, when one or two of their players started to have ideas above their footballing station. Quite amusing it was to see them try some passing along the ground. You could see the panic in their shinpads as the ball bombled towards them. The spirit of Corporal Jones wafted through the still air, apt given that Town don’t like it up ‘em. A bit of cold steel always undoes the Town trousers.

Cross after cross, header after header. Yawn, get on with it Chesterfield, we know you’re going to score soon. Is this it? Young tackled well and the ball reared up and hit Coldicott’s hand. A free kick in the centre about 25 yards out. Some bloke ambled up and slapped a wild shot well wide of the right hand post. Well, that wasn’t it. Perhaps this then. A corner from their left hit hard, hit low and a big bloke about 10 yards out headed firmly goalwards. The ball disappeared into a thicket of legs and other limbs. Players jumped about and the ball was scrambled away from the foot of the left post. Maybe Fettis saved, maybe it was cleared off the line, whatever, it didn’t go in. Another minute, another maybe moment. Brandon fizzed down their left, with Crowe in urgent pursuit, into the area, towards the bye-line. Crowe tackled, Brandon fell. Penalty cried the multitude. Corner said the referee. It looked more a penalty than a corner form our perfect vantage point 120 yards away. Phew, the referee has taken agin the homeboys. Oh, no he hasn’t . Coldicott mugged in mid air - "Play on". Lawrence restrained by special constable Evatt, using truncheon and secured by handcuffs - "Play on".

A flick header at the near post, plopping to Fettis, a long throw, a scramble, Brandon continually pestering Crowe, Town barely able to reach the half way line. Around the hour Warhurst stood in Zhang-like tranquillity, arm in air, meditating. Ommm, Ommm. I am at peace with the earth, the earth I am at peace with, yeah, yeah. Hurst ran off, down their right, crossed and the ball was headed back to Uhlenbeek in the middle of the penalty area. Windy Gus fell over the ball, allowing just enough time for Stacy to race over and sweep danger away with his trusty dustpan and broom. You’d have thought the referee would have noticed the cleaning implements being brought onto the field of play. Another long throw, another flick with a big balding bruiser free inside the Town area. Must have been a defender, for the shot flew free as a bird towards the craggy dips and dales of the Peak District.

Croweyellow card
Barnardgoalyellow card


Mansaramred card


Frazer Stretton


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After about 20 minutes Chesterfield got a free kick about 25 yards out near the left corner of the Town penalty area. Uhlenbeek swung it into the centre of the area and REEVES, stood on the penalty spot, stooped in front of Warhurst, and glanced a header into the bottom right hand corner. The old Fettis tree was felled by an invisible lumberjack. The locals woke up.

Young was substituted a minute later, holding his shoulder, enduring a painful walk to the dressing room. The stewards allowed his dad to go down the tunnel, which was nice of them. Now that was a great big shame for Town too, for Young had played very well, the pick of the Town defenders. Jevons came on, to much public demand, with Armstrong moving to the centre of defence and Barnard to left back. At first it looked like Ford was to replace Young but the Town fans made it pretty clear that ought not to happen.

I’d like to tell you more, but there isn’t anything to tell you about until seven minutes later, when Antoine-Curier was caught offside. The free kick, about 10 yards inside the Chesterfield half, was launched straight down the middle. All their big blokes ambled forward and settled on the edge of the Town penalty area. They all jumped and a bald head flicked the ball on. Brandon sneaked around the back, with Crowe behind. Around the penalty spot Brandon caught up with the ball and fell over, as did Crowe. Barnard cleared and... the referee was suddenly Mr Popular down Saltergate way. REEVES placed the penalty kick into the bottom left hand corner as Fettis ailed to his right.

Emboldened by the fortuitous lead, the ‘field fans started a cheeky chant of "Nicky Out". The Town fans didn’t respond with supportive shouts for the Bouncer. Just silence and a few caustic comments about "we never wanted him in".

Around this time Town got over the half way line. Just once.

A period of great drossfulness chuntered on towards full time. The Town fans who had some life left began to get angry with each wally, welly and whack. With 10 minutes left the Frenchman was replaced by Mansaram, a move that was seen as an improvement. You wouldn’t have bet on that last week would you. And there was an improvement. Mansaram held the ball up, then ran free down the left and crossed towards the near post, but behind Coldicott. But hey, that was the first time Town players had come to see the Town supporters for ages. We’d forgotten what they looked like, always assuming that Law hadn’t gone out and signed a few more new players in the meantime.

With five minutes left the game went haywire. Lawrence collected a knock down and burst through the centre. Two defenders bundled him over about 30 yards out. The ball rolled on to Innes, who looked at the referee, saw the referee staring at him, then kicked the ball away. Out came a yellow card, then a red. Ah, so it was him who got booked after Town’s second goal. The referee, prompted by Coldicott, picked up the ball and marched forward 10 ever decreasing paces up to the middle of the "D". Jevons and Barnard stood over the ball. Muggleton stood in the middle of his goal and joined us in admiring BARNARD’S delightful little sand iron into the top left hand corner. The Town fans laughed.

Chesterfield kicked off, Town won it back, Coldicott played the ball out to Barnard in the LEFT BACK position, who hit a superbly weighted pass inside the full back. Mansaram ran across from the centre, twisted and hit a first time cross from a narrow angle across the face of goal. Muggleton ached arthritically down and missed the ball, Blatherwick stretched and missed, but RANKIN, a yard out, didn’t. The Town fans cheered and began to count several chickens.

Oh what a party, Chesterfield defeated, abject, dejected, streaming out of the ground in their tens. Mansaram wasted a couple of minutes by the left corner flag, winning throw ins and free kicks, getting a player booked for barging him into the crowd. A corner, kept by corner flag and the referee finally gave in and awarded Chesterfield a free kick. Muggleton wellied the ball forward from about 5 yards in and upfield. What does it matter eh, the game has been won, such trifling matters can be overlooked. Oh. The ball was headed to their left and Brandon, a pesky little blighter all afternoon, skipped past Coldicott and zoomed towards the penalty area. Crowe stood his ground and Brandon flicked the ball out wide, tumbling spectacularly over an invisible leg. The crooked Spireite had won another penalty. REEVES placed the ball high to Fettis’ left, as the wandering Hullite wafted beneath. The kick off was delayed as the referee sent off Mansaram, presumably for dissent. All of which meant a further delay as the whole Town team surrounded the green manalishi to discuss recent developments in soil technology. Or something, can’t think what else it would be.

Game over, season over? What a waste, what a waste of time. The last five minutes were pure madness and blurred the reality of the previous 85. Chesterfield have the worst players in the division, and Town struggled to get the ball off them. Chesterfield were big, and they didn’t have to be clever to cause Town problems. It is still impossible to discern a method for Town, the goals came from individuals doing something rather than from organised team play.

This game had everything - except skill, finesse, decent refereeing and all those things that raise the professional game above pub football. Don’t worry too much, we’ll be playing them next year. In Division Three.

Oh, and the crowd was 4,444. Wow, like yeah, really freaky. Perhaps that’s why the ref gave the last penalty, he’s in to symmetry.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Ian Anderson, when he got the ball was Town’s most threatening attacker. But the jury retired for a short period only and came back with a majority verdict - Greg Young, for fortitude under fire, solitude standing.

Markie’s UnMan of the Match

Mickael Antoine-Curier achieved the previously unthinkable - a Town crowd pining for the introduction of Darren Mansaram. He won two headers and is only partly redeemed by his setting up the second goal. Our survey said "U-uh" . Sorry, Mickael isn’t up there, try again.

Official Warning

F Stretton. Pah! Infuriated the locals with some pettiness, sent the Town contingent stratospheric with his penalty decisions. Everyone had something to complain about. One must leap to the players’ defence here though, I’d be prepared to provide a witness statement - they definitely did not use the c-word to him. They never accused him of being competent. If he was that fussed about dissent he would have sent Jim Reeves off way before the end for his constant harassment. So, a score on the door, Isla? He gets 3.41075, on the Richter scale of arbitrary assessing.

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