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28/08 Mansfield Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 29/08/2004

SIT back and enjoy shall we: it’s the same old story, you’ll hear words you’ve never heard in the bible.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Reports > Mansfield (h)

Grimsby Town 2 Mansfield 0
28 Aug 2004, Coca Cola League 2

Without any warning, Mansfield broke, flickering the ball over the top down their right. Larkin was away, bounding free into the area, towards the bye-line. He dragged the ball behind the defence towards the penalty spot. In rushed O’Neil, who leant back and steered the ball a foot over the bar from about 10 yards out. Oh yes, we remember now. They score goals this lot do. They should have scored, they didn’t. Exhale, breathe slowly and regularly, relax, feel the tension flow out of every orifice. Aahh, Town, pure Town. Pinault, Macca, Pinault, Parky, Sestanovich, one-two-three, it’s so easy, it’s like taking candy from a baby. Sestanovich drifted through a gaggle of quivering quavers and curled a shot a couple of feet over the bar from about 20 yards out.

The first twenty minutes or so were a little cameo of Town’s season so far. Loads of possession, lots of wonderful micro-moments of shimmering hips and shammering passes, but no hammering shots. Great to watch, but nothing tangible was resulting from this period of control. I could give you some useless information, suppose it could fire your imagination. Reddy this, Parky that, Sestanovich a twinkling star in a far off galaxy, briefly glimpsed. But it all centred around control in midfield. Mansfield were no match for a Gallic balladeer, roaming the land with a lyre and a lyric for all occasions. Sweet, sweet song, sing to us Thomas.

Ouch, that hurt. Oof, that stung. Ah, we see. It’s Plan 9 from outer Nottinghamshire. If you can’t beat them, beat them up. Unable to match Town for football, Curle got out his comedy fangs, the ones that fell out of his cracker at the Christmas party. I bet if we played him at subbuteo he’d flick a kick and the ref wouldn’t know. Bang, bang, bang went the trolley of tosh. Reddy felled by Artell in the crudest fashion near the half way line. Just a little finger wag from the increasingly weak referee. Reddy took the free-kick quickly, setting Parkinson free, but the green gimp wouldn’t let play continue, he wanted to chat to Artell. How about that yellow card? Over went the free-kick, down went McDermott, a boot in the chest, or maybe even chin. The Mansfield supporters grumbled, perhaps they were annoyed that McDermott’s head remained in contact with rest of his body. What a weak challenge, eh? There’s no room for wimps in their team.

Crash, bang, wallop. Sestanovich separated from his ankles by a dreadful thwack from behind. Left in a heap, the referee content for play to continue: after all it was our advantage, Mansfield had the ball. Fleming raced over and cracked a yellowman. Free kick to them, Sestanovich eventually allowed to receive treatment. Home crowd fuming. The free-kick, way out underneath the Findus/Smiths/Stones Stand was wellied high and long, dropping just beyond the far post. Artell wrestled Whittle away using all three of his elbows. No free kick given. Artell levered the ball back across the face of goal and Asamoah, the laughing gnome who was a constant menace, leapt up and softly nodded it goalwards. Williams drooped onto the ball at the foot of the post. No power, not going in; it looked closer the further away you were. The residents of Louth were most concerned. Home crowd fuming even more at the pusillanimous poltroon in nominal charge of this game.

The match had descended into a fight, with kicks getting higher and harder, especially from the yellow ones. As the referee didn’t do anything, the Town players started to get ratty, then take vigilante action. The Mansfield fans were clearly confused by the golden summer of sport. All this Olympic coverage has addled their brain, or brains: they thought they were watching Tae-Kwan-Do and their players thought that was the name of the game too. If they’d stuck to football they may have got somewhere. Their "rugged" approach certainly put a bung in the Town tap, but they had already showed that they were a dangerous team on the attack. Larkin kept sneaking away down the flanks and Asamoah was a thorn in the right side. Macca did brilliantly a couple of times to hunt down the Ghanaian greyhound by doing the Macca thing: defending without tackling. A masterclass Mr Crowe, just watch and learn.

Anthony Williams
Justin Whittle
Simon Ramsden
Dean Gordon
John McDermott
Thomas Pinaultgoal
Terry Fleming
Jason Crowegoal
Ashley Sestanovich
Michael Reddy
Andy Parkinson


Greg Young55 mins
Stacy Coldicott81 mins
Darren Mansaram89 mins
Ronnie Bull
Clint Marcelle


Steve Tanner
(South Gloucestershire)


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Whoops, Larkin free behind Gordon, at a narrow angle 10 or so yards wide of goal. Wahay! Shinned into the crowd. Phew. Another snitchy attack, a cross drifting through the area. This is a bit worrying. Oh no! A wellied clearance curled behind Whittle and Ramsden on their centre left. Larkin hared off, free, alone. As Williams came off his line Larkin lifted the ball safely into the arms of Mary. Another let off.

Crunch. Thud. Pinault crumpled as Murray tried to volley him over the Main Stand. Mansfield moans, Grimsby groans. Rather than list every Mansfield nobble, it would be easier to confirm that there were a couple of people in the Pontoon who weren’t fouled by Mansfield players. O’Neil did a stamp volley on Gordon as the Deanster waited for the ball to drop. Booked. A minute later Artell did a forearm smash into the back of Reddy’s neck. Finally the assassin was booked. And he still complained about it.

As the whistle blew for half time Curtis shoved Reddy as he tried to control a throw in under the Stones/Smiths/Findus stand. Reddy tapped the back of Curtis’ ankles. Curtis reacted, and several Mansfield players hurtled over. Hands were raised, chests were shoved, and at least one punch was thrown towards Sestanovich. A couple of stewards ran on and escorted the referee off the pitch and, hopefully, out of the ground.

Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Mansfield 0

A fine flowing, interesting game of football had glued up and become a bank holiday kick-boxing fest. Mansfield showed a real nasty streak after they realised they’d been outfought and outthought. But it was working for them, for Town couldn’t regain control of the ball for long enough to mesmerise with their magnificence. Well, there we are, the first test of the season. Were they up to it, or would they crumble like a cardboard shoe?

Russ, over to you. Time for your genial Harry Grout teamtalk.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"This ref’ll have to work hard to avoid sending them all off."
"You can see the dentists’ Church now they’ve pulled the Jet station down."
"I think their conversation is still in Sheffield."
"Will we have anyone fit for Monday?"
"They should be thrown out: for wearing Man U tops to Town games. It’s disgusting"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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