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12/04 Blackpool 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
BLACKPOOL kicked off and please wake me when something happens. Brrrrrr...you what? Oh, Bolder, sent free down the right, near the corner flag. Why are people standing up? Like weâ€™re going to score?
Grimsby Town 0 Blackpool 2
You want blood and guts from Town - you got â€˜em. Warhurstâ€˜s wound opened up again and he had blood flowing down behind his left ear. Oh the guts bit. None of that, I am afraid. As the game wore on Jevons went more and more into the centre, leaving Town without any width on the left; the game was congealed in the middle. No space, no chances created. Crane headed a free kick wide, Ford glanced a Hockless corner 25 yards wide, Jevons clanked a free kick from about 30 yards straight at the â€˜keeper. Jevons smoothed a gentle cross through the 6 yard box towards Hockless but Eunice Burns kneed the ball away for a corner. Or handballed it as the Pontoon claimed, even before the ball had reached the little luminous lollipop.
The moment that finally nailed down the coffin came with 20 minutes left. Jevons sweetly kissed the ball down the left and Soames set off after the ball, barging the big centre back towards the ladies toilet near the bye-line, just outside the area. He advanced along the bye-line, saw Warhurst at the near post and slowly rolled the ball towards the wandering minstrel on the edge of the 6 yards box. A Blackpool defender stretched and nicked the ball away without too much fuss.
Thatâ€™s it. Iâ€™m not kidding, thatâ€™s it. No more. Twenty minutes of pish-posh tosh. Our visitors gaily skipping around, having a whale of a time in midfield, whilst Town increasingly imploded, the players coalescing into an amorphous black and white blob in the middle of the pitch. Jevons occasionally drifted through for momentary almost moments, but his flicked pass was often just a bit too hard for Warhurst, who visibly slowed, his legs no longer able to move. Heâ€™s just too old, thereâ€™s no more to say. You get old, you canna hack it anymore and then your career dies. Townâ€™s utter wretchedness was laid out for all to see by a free kick towards the end. In the centre about 30 yards out, no-one went up to take it. Finally Crowe wandered up, looked up, opened his arms wide, shrugged his shoulder and just chipped it forward, the ball sailing out for a goal kick.
Other moments to sum up the abject horrendisity? At the end, Warhurst curled in a dangerous cross to the far post. No Town player was within 10 yards of the ball, the crowd just jeered and laughed as Warhurst looked in disgust at the rest of the team. In normal times youâ€™d be chortling at Warhurstâ€™s bee swatting incident when he won a free kick by swiping the ball forward whilst ridding himself of that imaginary bumble bee near his ear. But you arenâ€™t laughing, and neither were we.
There was some added time, during which Blackpool players tried to waste time in the corner. Why bother? The whole game had been one big waste of time. The game was strangely bereft of tension or pace. Blackpool had turned up to fulfil their obligation to complete the fixture list and a more vigorous and passionate team than Town would have walked all over them. But Town allowed them to have the ball, and Blackpool were good enough to show us a few party tricks.
Analysis not required, reconstruction is. Again. If you want a weak punning excuse then Murphyâ€™s Law applied here. But it goes deeper than mere "luck". The players shoved in as an emergency hadnâ€™t a clue what they were supposed to be doing, and neither did the more established ones. They had to look to see where people were, and more often than not players were caught betwixt and between, neither up nor down, left nor right: piggies in the middle. No empathy, no telepathy, all lost in a fog of confusion.
Of the management team only Rodger showed any passion, any emotion, any animation. Heâ€™s one of the few to stand on his feet, one of the few Town people left and that was the buzz as we trudged wearily out of the Theatre of Woes. Nail the Thundercliffe Manifesto to the gates of Blundell Park - where is our team, where is our Grimsby. We sit there waiting for the real Grimsby Town to run out, not the surrogate band. The board are now finding out where we fans really stand.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Jevons gets a big mention for his effort, which rather faded in the last quarter of an hour. But in lieu of any outstanding performances then the default position this season is Mike Edwards. Oh Edwards you tried for us, but there is a Swansea.
Markieâ€™s UnMan of the Match
That unmentionable Frenchman gets half a gong, but Chris Bolder gets the full whack. The worst thing is, he really, really tried. Its not his fault heâ€™s a victim of the Peter Principle.
G Law. Another match where the referee was incidental, only required to start and stop the game . He got a bit of gip from the Blackpool supporters for giving so many free kicks to Town. He had to, they kept fouling! He was very lenient and seemed to operate a three fouls and youâ€™re booked system. But, apart from that, I canâ€™t find much to complain about. So he gets 7.428.
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