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03/04 Sheff Wed 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
TOWN came out and stood around waiting for Wednesday. And waited. And waited. Perhaps they were watching the Grand National? Perhaps they were securing the guy ropes for the big orange barrage balloon they wheeled out into the goalmouth. How does Pressman, the Mr Creosote of football, do it?
Grimsby Town 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0
Hang on a tick. Another Wednesday free kick 30 yards out, flung to the far post, flicked away for a corner by Rowan. Shall we say oooh just for the sake of it? Are Town going to attack again? I moaned too soon, for with quarter of an hour left Town played some football. Anderson on the wing flicked the ball infield to Coldicott, who hit a dinking curler down the right touchline. Rowan hared after the ball and, near the corner flag, twisted and slapped a cross into the near post. Rankin, on the corner of the 6 yards box, nipped in front of the centre back, turned, shimmied to the bye-line and hit a brilliant cross to the unmarked Jevons at the far post, seven yards out. The barrage balloon hoved into view and Jevons headed firmly, but an inch or two over the crossbar. That woke us from our slumbers.
Have Wednesday had a shot yet? From open play I mean, not one of Bruntâ€™s free kicks? Well, had they? Ah, you sneer too soon, for a bit of bumblage inside the Town area following either a long throw or a free kick resulted in the ball falling to Proudlock about 10 yards out. Not one Sheffield supporter made any movement that indicated excitement, hope, or expectation. They know their players. Proudlock slipped and slapped a shot into the ground and yards wide of the left hand post. Silence from 2,400 Sheffielders, sniggers from 4,200 Grimbarians. But behind our sarcasm desperate memories lie. Did Wednesday do anything else? Not really, there was a cross which was scootered away from Chambers by Crowe at the far post as it drifted through the 6 yards box.
Town had one more effort, with about six or seven minutes left. Anderson received the ball 25 yards out, swished infield, and flicked a pass forward to Rankin, about 12 yards out. Rankin fell as he laid the ball back to Jevons, who fell as he miss-hit a shot which lollopped high and mighty, dropping a 8 yards wide, and a foot over the bye-line.
Thatâ€™s it, go home, be happy. You can still worry though. There was nothing here to cause any concern, nor to fill more than 30 seconds of any John and Rolyâ€™s highlights video. Town at least looked like a team, but it is difficult to gauge how much of the victory, or comfort, was down to the paucity of professionalism from the Sheffield Hillyboroughies . Still, it was nice to see some of the old timers come back, you know, players we had in August.
In this league of very ordinary gentlemen the mundane is sometimes something to aspire to. Wearisome wins are better than dire defeats or demented draws. Just another twelvety points needed.
Nice to smile again though, isnâ€™t it.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Coldicott ran around a lot, battling, buzzing and sawing off several Sheffield legs. Ford had another one of his excellent returning from injury games, and Crane headed the ball a lot. But Town fans know one thing, and one thing above all this season, the best defender is MIKE EDWARDS, a rock standing out in an ocean of doubt. He returns and Town defend properly.
P Dowd. Extremely erratic, the big decisions he got right, but all the little ones were way off. For not giving Wednesday penalties for obvious diving - 2 points each. For sending off N-N - 2 points. For not booking for crude upendings by Mustoe and Smith - minus 1 point each. For turning up on the right day - 0.427 points. Now factor in the imaginary inverse co-efficient of competence, otherwise known as Plonkerâ€™s constant, brought forward from last season, and we have 5.999992.
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