League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
24/04 Stockport 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
AH, the second half, a different kettle of fish. Well, it stunk in a different way. Town, all Town the second half. Balls whacked, whacked and whacked again towards the Stockport goal. The veneer of passion, of fight but, stripped of the desperation, it was still just aimless hoofing.
Stockport County 2 Grimsby Town 1
Stockport really wobbled when Hockless arrived on the pitch. Some invention, some verve, some desire, at last. Dribbling? Passing? What are these alien concepts. Thatâ€™s the sort of thing you see on television. Around the time Town scored Rankin chased a long through ball, the goalkeeper wandered outside his area and miss-kicked out to the left. The ball went straight to Anderson, about 45 yards out on the wing, who poked a first time volley goalwards. Well, goalwards in the sense that it went East. The ball drifted out for a goal kick, near the corner flag. Barnard smelled a low shot through the penalty area from about 20 yards. Through legs, past ankles, Rankin on the 6 yards line flicked, missed, and the ball thumped into the goalkeeperâ€™s arms
Town were pouring players forward, leaving just a couple of players back. Oh for Edwards, the rock, the giant, twice averting danger inside the Town penalty area with magnificent tackles. He swept on the right, he hooked on the left when the last man. But County did get a chance or two. A long drop kick was headed away by Edwards but straight to Williams, who slipped a pass down their inside right. Wilbraham (I think) bounded free inside the penalty area, but Fettis raced off his line and blocked marvellously . What else did Stockport do? Rrrrrrickeeeeeeeee Lambert side footed well, well, well wide at one point, and Wilbraham passed the ball to Fettis from outside the area. Apart from that I canâ€™t recall much going near Fettis. They did bring on Beckett with a quarter of an hour left. A right little pest he was, dispossessing Edwards from behind with a flying burrito brothers kung-fu assault and generally being "competitive". Edwards, then Warhurst, clobbered him, which sorted him out. Warhurst? Yes, he replaced Crowe with about a dozen minutes left. He played at right defender in a back line that started as a four, then as the minutes ticked by ended up as him and Campbell sometimes.
There arenâ€™t many chances to describe, just pressure, as Town walloped the ball straight down the pitch. Rankin and Jevons were just trying to flick the ball on in the hope someone was near, to apply pressure; the something might happen if youâ€™re lucky theory of football. Rankin, turning, a shot blocked near the line. Barnard bouncing a shot through the penalty area, headed away from the line, bodies bundling, boots flailing, ball cleared. Town players queuing up on the edge of the area; Hockless dribbling, passing; Campbell swishing a few yards wide of the left post.
With about five minutes left, Jevons drifted a cross from about 25 yards out towards the far post. Anderson leapt, the defender fell over and Jethro chested the ball towards goal, perhaps 10 yards out. He was free, a chance, a goal.... Anderson fell over the defender. Half hearted claims of a penalty emanated from the Town fans rather than the players. The ball was cleared upfield and Crane mutilated a Stockport player with a scything hack from behind. The last five minutes of normal time was taken up with Stockport players being injured and receiving very long, slow treatment. But still more Town pressure; a Barnard shot blocked, several dozen men in the penalty area, boots jacking and jagging at a bouncing ball.
Just three minutes of added time were given, but still Town rolled forward. A cross, a knock down, Anderson on the corner of the penalty area, zooming towards goal....and volleying just over the angle of post and bar. The game ended with a free kick rolled by Campbell to Warhurst who, rather than pumping forward into the crowded penalty area, simply passed it back to Campbell. The whistle blew, Campbell passionately shouted at Warhurst who shrugged his shoulders.
Then we all went home.
Analysis? Whatâ€™s the point. Itâ€™s only saying the same things as usual but in a different order. Only two words needed to sum it all up: supine and tawdry.
Do you hear that sound? Strain your ears and you can make it out. Itâ€™s the Third Division calling out: "Youâ€™re my wife now."
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Hockless had a nice 20 minute cameo , but there is no other contender worthy of even whispering. Mike Edwards, a one man band at the back. I really should have a rubber stamp made up for this bit.
K Wright. He could have made any decision at any time for any reason. He gave free kick for players standing still, ignored the odd clout here and there, and was distinctly average for this division. So an average score of 5.0249
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