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02/10 Cheltenham 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 03/10/2004

NO changes were made by either team at half time. We had four minutes of flapping and paddling as the ball skidded off the turf and off various coloured boots. Oooo Reddy down the right wing, Reddy twinkling his little toes, crossing to the far post.

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

Grimsby Town 1 Cheltenham 1
01 Oct 2004, Coca Cola League 2

Crowe rising from the depths of a dark, dark pit headed across goal, the ball thudding into a blancmange of footballers. A defender and Fleming tussled on the edge of the 6 yards box and Town’s troubadour poked out a leg and flicked the ball goalwards. Higgs was trembling upon his goal line and reacted by flapping his hands at the ball as it passed his nostrils. He managed to claw the ball away to his left and one of his mates swept it further away as Parkinson and Pontoon watched and wondered.

As usual in a second half, it was Town piling forward towards the Pontoon, creating countless moments of potential interest. Reddy roving on the right, smooching past his rather rotund marker, his cross deflected up and just beyond Parkinson at the near post. Sestanovich, (remember him?) released from the half way line by Pinault, did his usual bulldozing rampage down the middle, attracting all 12 defenders. He stopped, cut back left, cut back right, Reddy and Parkinson to his right, Crowe to his left, all unmarked, all awaiting a pass. Sestanovich decided to drag a low shot goalwards. Higgs saved comfortably, but at full stretch, low down by his right hand post.

Sestanovich again, doing exactly the same, in exactly the same position, this time hitting a shot against a defender’s ankles. Oh Sestan your always window-shopping, but never stopping to buy, shake those downy feathers and try - a little bit. Sestan again, oh, this is getting annoying - pass it next time. The gullible newcomers seemed to be excited by Transit Stan’s meanderings. But then again some people are impressed by bright balloons and hairy hats. Substance rather than image. He shoots when he should pass and passes when he should shoot. He frightens opponents, but rarely produces. He’s capable of so much, but has so little to show for it.

Cheltenham strung three passes together. Gordon got the ball back, we’re having none of that nonsense round here thankyouverymuch.

Town rolled across the plains towards the Pontoon, attack after attack after attack, though rarely getting a glimpse of Higgs’ underwear. Leave it to Dean: charming his way past Guinan he advanced from the half way line, shimmied and shook a stonker from 25 yards. Higgs flew to his right and just managed to paw the ball away from his right-hand corner at about head height. And again, Gordon angered by the shilly-shallying in front of him, pushed the throng aside to stride forward, this time dragging his shot a couple of yards wide.

In the 57th minute a Cheltenham player swung his right foot forward. It touched the football and that football went in a straight line towards the Town goal. Williams caught the ball in his midriff. Congratulations to our visitors, a shot. There you are: basic facts, no thrills, no Stan- like window-dressing. It was as dull as that.

After an hour the children were bored and started to do a Mexican Wave. How embarrassing, that’s the sort of thing Pimms drinking show jumpers would do. Real fans don’t wear plaid, or do Mexican Waves. They may be local but we obviously can’t help them, there’s nothing here for them. Town won a couple of corners and the younger unpaying newcomers stood on their seats, getting excited. "We never score from a corner". Hah, that’ll teach you to come along and be happy - I’ve given away the ending.

Anthony Williams
Justin Whittle
Terrell Forbes
Dean Gordon
John McDermott
Terry Fleming
Thomas Pinault
Jason Crowe
Ashley Sestanovich
Andy Parkinsongoal
Michael Reddyyellow card


Paul Robinson
Stacy Coldicott
Ronnie Bull
Colin Cramb
Greg Young


Gary Lewis


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After 20 minutes or so Cheltenham made a substitution, taking off lumbering Guinan and replacing him with Spencer, who was equally big, but also a bit nippy. Why worry about them? This is easy? The weekend starts here.

Sestanovich...cut and paste from above. There were glimpses of team play, hints of a collective purpose rather than individual endeavour, mainly started by Gordon who seemed to spend most of his life rampaging down the left. Oh yes, where was Mr Crowe then? A five man passing move going from left to right ended when Reddy laid the ball back to Pinault who steered the ball against the underside of the Pontoon roof. Around the same time Sestanovich thwacked a half-volley from the right, about 20 yards out, the ball brushing against the back of the side netting. It probably made the Smiths/Stones/Findus rise in hope, but no-one else. Perhaps this is it; more Gordon raiding, some interplay, to interweaving and Reddy zoomed a right-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area. Higgs flew horizontally and clutched the ball low to his left as Macca followed up, nibbling at his gloves. Any more? Some more passing and moving down the right, two Cheltenham players colliding as Sestan’s hips wiggled; Sestanovich barundling along the touchline, hitting the bye-line and crossing to the near post. Parkinson flopped rather than stretched as the ball was picked up by Higgs a couple of yards out.

With just about 15 minutes left the referee infuriated the Town crowd by awarding a series of free kicks to Chelters on their left, 20 yards out near the corner of the penalty area. Reddy was booked for encroaching, the ball was brought to the edge of the area and McCann thwacked the ball through the area and several yards wide of the left hand post. That was their fifth free kick from that position and none of them were any good. Drifting, drifting into unconsciousness: sleepwalking to midnight, awoken from slumbers by a Town attack. Gordon, again, overlapped down the left, whipped in a superb first time cross along the edge of the penalty area. Fleming flashed forward, twisted and volleyed the ball goalwards. The ball skipped off the turf and Higgs just managed to flap the ball aside, just wide of Macca and Parkinson.

How long left now? Five or six minutes. Plenty of time to mess up. A long ball, a header, a shot, a save, a goal. Simple. Wellied from left to right, Spencer won a header, knocking the ball back to Vincent somewhere near the edge of the area in the middle. Vincent seemed to be falling to his left, but still slashed a shot towards Williams. The ball slipped off the grass as Williams dived low to his left, only parrying the ball back out. SPENCER hared in, slid forward and steered the ball high to right of the goal. Slipshod Town, for they hadn’t even hinted at shooting before the goal. At this dozens of Town "fans" got up and stormed out. Ah yes, "Grimsby till they cry".

From the restart Cheltenham revved up and pressed Town back again. Long balls work. They got a corner, Williams flapped and just managed to finger-tip it out for another one. Panic, ricochets and bundlings inside the box. Cleared. Sestan the hero? Go on my son, keep going, past a third, a fourth defender Town players screaming for the ball either side. Up to the edge of the box, unstoppable, irrepressible, a wonder goal to behold, to cherish, to get those three points back. A final shimmy and Sestanovich was past the last defender and inside the area, but he was viciously felled by his own feet, then rolled between Crowe and ball. The chance had gone, and Sestan’s evening of ineptitude was complete.

There were three minutes of added time, but about 2 were played. Town attacked, Town did nothing, Town trudged off to a silent reception. They turned to look but we were gone into the night. We had better things to do.

Town have no-one to blame but themselves. Utterly dominant but bereft of cohesion, the over-reliance upon Pinault and Sestanovich was horribly apparent. Neither had a good game, one injured, the other yet to land on earth. Reddy and Parkinson ran around a lot, with Reddy generally more effective. Crowe was Campbellian in his invisibility whilst McDermott was rarely given the ball despite a stream of steaming runs down the right. The defence was unfussed, untroubled by any little fly, apart from the goal. It would have been nice if Williams had saved it properly, wouldn’t it, though that should have a mere detail of history with Town way over the hills by then. If Cheltenham were still in Cleethorpes, Town should have been somewhere near Spilsby. If only they’d put the right petrol in the team transit van.

Carelessness again. That jigsaw still has a piece missing, and Russ never thought to try the nobbly corner piece he found under the sofa.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Really only one candidate, Mr Dean Gordon, for outstanding achievement on the field of excellence. He defends, he attacks, he glowers at the penalty missers. He’s our best player and we all know it.

Markie’s UnMan of the Match

Ashley Sestanovich, for getting in the way. For once Pinault underperformed, but Setstanovich was a right pain, for raising hope and then trampling our hopes in the dirt with his personal mission to do everything. If he was playing on Bradley Pitches they’d call him greedy.

Official Warning

G Lewis. An rather irritating custardian of the whistle. Perhaps he’s seen the three moons of Uranus, for he saw what no others did. We fouled, they didn’t. Not helped by a daft linesman who, in the second half, managed to give an offside when the ball was played back by Cheltenham. That probably stopped Town scoring the killer second. Well, maybe, if you can stretch your credulity as far as Doncaster. Oh I forgot, you want a number: 5.000001.

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