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25/09 Cambridge 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
TWO bi-planes drifted across the sky, but there were no wing-walkers to liven things up. There was a pitch invasion by 1,000 children in blue tracksuits, which made some of us think we were about to have a display of rhythmic gymnastics. There were more on the pitch than in the stands at one point.
Cambridge United 0 Grimsby Town 2
With about 25 minutes Town exerted some pressure on Cambridge, with the ball bouncing across the pitch from right to left. Fleming, in the centre, lofted the ball across and then forward, barging his way goalwards. The ball reached the right edge of their area and Crowe leapt to challenge. PARKINSON allowed it to drop, took one look, one step and steered a superb shot across the â€˜keeper into the top left hand corner of the goal. Steered baby, steered, with the outside of his right boot. You could say it was attractively built.
Town visibly relaxed, Cambridge shrank even further into their turtle shell. That sweet, sweet soul music that is Town showing off got played for a few bars, but only a few. Reddy started to move a little quicker, Sestanovichâ€™s chest puffed out, Crowe started to win tackles and his passes went even closer to Town players. Sestanovich nearly charged down a fly kick from Jowsey and then, a few seconds later, well, here comes the sun king. Sestanovich (I think) on the half way line intercepted a dreadful pass/clearance/waft forward. He licked the ball up to Reddy, who rolled past his marker, cut infield and up to the edge of the area. Striped shirts poured forward and Reddy shuffled, teased and taunted the defenders with some Latin American cha-cha-cha. He fair glided into the box and awaited support. Reddy played a perfectly weight short pass to McDERMOTT, near the penalty spot, who steadied himself and carefully placed the ball around the goalkeeper and into the bottom left hand corner. The Town fans erupted, oh that magic feeling, nowhere to go but higher. A real connection between player and supporters as Macca sprinted to the clump of marinerdom and roared his little head off, punching the air. If the ref had allowed him to heâ€™d have hugged every one of us. Twice. The goal was special not just because it was clearly the points sealer, but because it was Macca, the man that is Town. It wasnâ€™t just a goal, it was our goal, like we had scored it. Everybody was laughing, everybody was happy. Except the locals, who started to drift away, one by one.
The last quarter of an hour or so was a doddle, a doodle, a sketch pad for Sestanovich, an open field through which Fleming could gaily skip amongst the buttercups and daisies, singing songs and doing cartwheels. Oh Sestan, heâ€™s a pretty nice player but his mood changes from game to game. Enervated for an hour he suddenly started to displays his wares in the market place. With just over ten minutes left C Williams replaced Reddy and his first contribution was to totally confuse the occasional away supporter. They just didnâ€™t know who to blame for a poor pass or failed tackle. Parkinson, Williams and Coldicott ran around in a pack. Which baldyman to blame? They settled for Stace, for old time sake. Heâ€™s a man, he can take it. We loved that back-heel in the first half though. Whenever Macca ran past he was hailed, finally, with songs of appreciation. We know we donâ€™t have to say it, but itâ€™s still good to verbalise our appreciation now and again. There is only one John McDermott, and heâ€™s ours.
You can tell not much football was going on, canâ€™t you. The Cambridge players had long since resigned themselves to defeat, with only the occasional breakaway which was of potential danger only if Turner got the ball. Quite a nifty lad, the only yelllowboy who stood out, pinging a flat leaning volley from 20 yards just a foot or two wide of the left hand post. It even made Williams move, the first time for half an hour. Yes, Town were under that much of a liquorice cosh. Dip it in sherbet next time, Abbeyboys. Oh what joy for every Town girl and boy knowing the game is safe
With about five minutes left Sestanovich was replaced by Robinson, who immediately set up C Williams with an excellent reverse pass inside the full back, rounding off a little flickery and trickery down the right touchline. Williams advanced but was frozen in fear, deciding to curl a cross to Parkinson at the far post rather than shooting. His pass was pathetically weak, rolling gently to Jowsey. A couple of minutes later Town ripped them apart again, one-two-three quick passes and Robinson free a dozen yards out, to the left of the penalty spot. Fleming got in the way, then prodded a pass sidewards, but Robinson had stopped, allowing a defender to hip his way across and clear. Anything else? Oli messed up a clear chance when Town were caught on a breakaway. Forbes and Whittle blocked without too much fuss just inside the penalty area. Err, Parkinson dribbled past two defenders, hit the bye-line and didnâ€™t cross to the unmarked Robinson? Not very interesting, not something that changed the course of world history, not worth thinking about too long.
After a couple of minutes of added time the referee allowed us to wallow in the glory of victory. Ah, Town is old, Town is new, boring the way to victory, like we used to. How did Slade finally do it? It has been quizzical how Town have managed to avoid victory at times so perhaps those late nights all alone with his test tubes produced that midfield gruesome twosome; leaving Dr Jekyll on the subs bench and two Mr Hydeâ€™s snapping away. It wasnâ€™t pretty, but it was pretty effective. The plaudits go to the backboys, for offensively Town offended with lacklustre trundlings. A bigger win was on offer if theyâ€™d bothered. Cambridge werenâ€™t bad, just not quite good enough in every single department. They were far more aesthetically pleasing than some of the rugby teams on offer in the fourth. They could do with a couple of old fashioned bruisers. But thatâ€™s not our problem, is it.
Three points, two goals and one happy bunch of Town fans jiving down the Newmarket Road.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
Gordon and Forbes were barely out of neutral, such was the ease with which they dealt with opponents. However, and not just for the gaol, itâ€™s Mr John McDermott for his perennial blooming, his never ending running and intelligent movement. Macca is back.
Mr R Booth. Nothing much to say about him, for he was mostly unobtrusive. He didnâ€™t get much wrong, except perhaps the booking of Fleming, but as that was in the dullest of the duller dull periods of dire dullness we can forgive him for seeking to spice up his life with a little madness. The earth shakes and the god of nebulous statistics belches out 7.532.
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