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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
21/08 Rushden 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NO changes were made by either team at half time. The Rushden goalkeeper pulled his socks above his knees. Turleyâ€™s terrible tights were not a hit with the ladies.
Rushden and Diamonds 1 Grimsby Town 0
And then Rushden started to get the ball, they started to get inside the Town half, they started to attack. A deep cross tempted Williams away from his line. He flapped, some Town defenders flipped as the ball drifted out for a goal-kick. Another Rushden cross, a header, a save. Simple stuff: a warning? With about 20 minutes left they won a corner on their left after McDermott blocked away an attempted cross. You could feel it, that Town had slacked off, that Rushden had suddenly realised Town werenâ€™t invincible conquerors, that Town had an Achilles heel. The one weâ€™ve have always had: crosses and corners. The corner was floated into the box, it was half cleared, fell to a blond haired midfielder inside the box whose shot ricocheted off some red socks straight to an unmarked striker, a dozen or so yards out on the left. BRANIFF slapped a right footed shot over Williams in to the top left of the goal. Pathetic defending, sloppy. Yes, sloppy and Russ says he doesnâ€™t do sloppy. His players do though.
Thatâ€™s what you get for pretending the dangerâ€™s not real. What a surprise for us, a look of terminal shock in our eyes as the next 10 minutes flew by, and the ball flew towards Williams at alarmingly regular intervals. Oh, and Sestanovich was replaced by Mansaram on the restart. Sestanovich had rather deceived with his flattery, but had proved how important he was. His ineffectiveness highlighted the paucity of attacking flair elsewhere. Reddy and Parkinson rely on him to create: he feeds, they chew.
Poor old Dazzler had a stinking 20 minutes. His first four interventions were derisory, two miss-controls and two dreadful dozes at Rushden corners, which allowed crosses and shots. From the first, a couple of minutes after the goal, they played it short as Dazzling Dazz slept; in came a cross, out came Williams as a striker stooped in the centre of goal. Williams put off the striker by doing a Coynian star jump. The header seemed to brush the worried Welshmanâ€™s ankles and bumbled a foot or two wide of his near post. Another corner, another period of rest for Mansaram, another cross, more danger. Fizzed across the area, fly hacked back across the face of goal by a stretching white socked limb and one of the substitutes dived forward and steered a header over the bar. The goal was unmanned, he was unmarked: Town were becoming unhinged. Have you noticed? Rushden threatened from set pieces. Oops, spoke too soon. Mills was allowed to run forward 20 yards and crack a cracking shot towards the top right- hand corner. Williams parried the ball over the bar. Cracking. Rushden suddenly started to look like a capable football team, with Town feeling ever so sorry for themselves. "Miss, Miss, itâ€™s not fair. Tell â€˜em, Miss"
After 79 minutes Bull replaced McDermott, meaning Crowe went to the right side of middish field. Town had a bit of a resurgence towards the end, nothing like the first 70 minutes though. This was a more desperate, more direct form of association football. Crowe and Bull were pushed forward and there were many moments of hope, well, hope that a cross would come in. After a free flowing move down the centre Parkinson was sent scurrying behind the defence of the left, turned back, and laid a short pass to Bull, who whipped in a curling cross towards the penalty spot. Ah, fantastic... Pinault (I think, though some claim it to be Reddy) flew forward and smacked a glancing header towards the top left hand corner. Turley took off and clawed the ball away . A rather magnificent save. A rather fed up set of Town supporters. We keep seeing opposition keepers make great saves. The worst goalie weâ€™ve seen so far is our own, and that is worrying.
Still Town pressed, off came Pinault with three minutes left and on came Coldicott. Ah, finally ridding the team of that stodgy French water carrier eh, and bringing on some guile and craftsmanship? Flicked up, over the top,Reddy pouncing, Reddy rolling, Reddy falling under a challenge a few yards out. Penalty claimed, no way, corner given. Whittle headed softly high and wide. Town again, Reddy, rocking and rolling, a cross cleared, Fleming knocked the ball back over the top. Reddy with his back to goal five yards out, Turley right behind him. The ball bounced between Reddyâ€™s legs and off Turley for another corner. Perhaps this was when Whittle headed? Maybe. Maybe not. It was frantic, frenetic and failing. Town again, a Coldicott cross to Reddy, ten yards out in the centre, who flicked and glanced the ball a couple of feet wide of the right hand post. The last chance for salvation was Gordon curling a cross to the far post which drifted, drifted and crawled out of play a matter of inches from Crowe and Reddy.
Another three points bites the dust.
What a waste of time, what a waste of our money. It felt even worse than last seasonâ€™s debacle, the gulf between the two teams was much greater this time, Town were eons superior for two thirds of the game. You can feel the bile rising from our guilty past: weâ€™re getting a complex about this hollow club in Nowhereshire. The same emotions felt, the same words come flooding back. Arrogance, showing off, strolling, strutting, preening, posing. Take your pick. Town were like a nouveau riche wastrel jalloping down the beach in an open top sports car, wallet open, having a gay old time.
Angry? You bet. Itâ€™s Town.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Mmm, difficult this one, for the flashes from the flashy ones wooed the unwary, but generally infuriated. Pinault passed, Gordon hoovered but, on balance, and after a lengthy debate by the Booker prize Jury, Andy Parkinson gets to have the metaphorical laurel crown resting upon his ears, simply for being a massive pest. Perseverance isnâ€™t a parrot bought by my aunt, but Townâ€™s number 10.
Mr J Singh. A little fussy at times, but at least he was consistent: the moans were minor. Nothing terrible, generally adequate, just about as good a gaoler as one could expect down in the deep dungeon. Whatâ€™s the score? It has to have a six in it, 6.996. Oh. It had two.
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