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08/10 Northampton 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 10/10/2004

NO changes were made by either team at half time. They kicked off, some spectators nodded off. After a couple of minutes or so something happened down at the other end which made their fans say "oooh".

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Reports > Northampton (a)

Northampton Town 0 Grimsby Town 1
08 Oct 2004, Coca Cola League 2

A header of some kind, bombling long for a while near goal, kicked away without fuss. It really wasn’t worth it.

Minutes ticked by. The ball was still stuck in the middle with Pingu, jokers to the left of him, clowns to the right, no-one to pass to. Twisting, twirling, if someone would bother moving something might happen. Perhaps I should take up reading books again, to give me something to do whilst Town piddle.

Northampton strung three passes together. Their fans remained silent.

Wahey! That’s marvellous. They added a fourth pass, just to vary the comic routine and Rowson finished off with the coup de grace. The ball laid back to him, 25 yards out, he did some teenage trigonometry, applied some basic ballistics and carefully placed a shot somewhere to the east of Irthlingborough. Perhaps he hasn’t heard that the prize for the first privately-manned space flight has been won. No need to continue your experiments, sonny. Try some football, it’s easier. Five minutes later his experimenting continued, this time the ball remained within the town boundaries, being sliced away beyond the thunderdome, or at least into the bowling alley behind the ground. No strike there, laddie. Roll another one.

Hang on, comedy, football,’s not Stuart Rowson is it? Can’t be, no ambulances involved.

Town have the ball! Town passing! Town moving! Had to be Pinault, didn’t it. Spreading play, Gordon raring up the wing, crossing to Cramb, briefy unmarked ten yards out level with the corner of the six yards box. He swivelled and had his shot blocked by Fred MacMurray. Pinault pinged the corner beyond the far post and Whittle rose above his marker and headed three yards wide. Town started to go beyond just stopping them and began to create little moments of danger. Reddy racing up the wings, turning defence into attack; Cramb intelligently turning and playing Parkinson free. Parkinson was rubbish today, so nothing happened. Rachubka parried a corner straight out to Fleming who flibbled a hooking volley goalwards, but straight back to the flapper. Nearly, but not. Reddy again, running from the edge of the Town area up to theirs. What pace! what power! what support? Corner won, Reddy empty, Reddy off and replaced by Sestanovich.

Oh, I missed something really important. Northampton had a corner. It travelled through the air, reached one of their players and his "shot" hit Gordon’s shins. It was "that" close. Phew, just imagine what would have happened if no Town players had been on the pitch. Ever...

I dismiss them too soon, for some neat, incisive approach work down the centre and right cut Town to pieces. A striker was unmarked on the right of Town’s area, the ball rolled to him, he prepared for glory. Sestanovich slid across, causing a partial lunar eclipse, blocking the shot with his backside. What danger?

In the last 20 minutes the game suddenly became a bit more open. Low amused himself by running into a mantrap consisting of Gordon, Forbes and Fleming. It got the home crowd going a bit, I suppose. Was Sabin still on the pitch? Hah, Town.

Anthony Williams
Jason Crowe
Justin Whittleyellow card
Terrell Forbes
Dean Gordongoal
Terry Fleming
Stacy Coldicott
Thomas Pinault
Andy Parkinson
Colin Cramb
Michael Reddy


Ashley Sestanovich66 mins
John McDermott
Ronnie Bull
Rob Jones
Clint Marcelle


Lee Mason


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Breaking quickly, Cramb the catalyst, Pinault the hub around which the wheel turned. One-twos, a wiggle and Sestanovich gliding across the turf down the right. Three defenders shuffled like umpa-lumpas in front of him, whilst Sestan got out his theodolite, which he’d secreted in his back pocket, and surveyed the scene. He looked up, wiggled his bottom just one more time and, from about 20 yards out, wide of the penalty area, curled a dipping fizzer over the goalkeeper and against the top of the crossbar. A few minutes later Sestanovich did an audacious waist high back-heeled volley to Pinault, who immediately flicked and tricked the ball out to Parkinson. Sit down: he kicked it against a defender whilst others raced up in support. Parkinson again, drivelling a low shot straight at Rachubka from 25 yards. He should have passed to one of the hordes of Mariners racing across the Northamptonshire Steppes.

Still Northampton, errr, had the ball occasionally. Chuckle if you must, but they had another shot. Wide, high, distinctly dreadful. Williams was dying of boredom. Not now though. The referee took pity upon the locals, perhaps feeling a little guilty that he hadn’t awarded them any free kicks. Whittle was booked for winning the ball against two strikers. They fouled each other, Whittle headed the ball, they got a free kick and it was marched forward ten yards. He probably got booked for kicking the ball away rather than the supposed foul. What happened at this free kick. Nothing. Oo, and another one....nope, no danger. We noticed that their left back had his name spelt oddly. Jaszczun. Mmmm, maybe the Registrar was drunk. With about 10 minutes left they took off Smith and brought on J K Galbraith, perhaps attempting to nullify Pinault through the concept of countervailing power. Whatever, he didn’t do anything. For Northampton it was the bland leaving the bland.

Northampton continued to pass with little purpose, and cross with little accuracy. A Gordon flick header averted danger and one of their midfielders flipped a free kick from about 20 yards just over the bar, the ball riffling the top of the net as it stopped. Has Williams touched the ball with his hands in this half?. Another Town attack, that’s nice. Quick flicks, neat feet, Parkinson sent free, Gordon overlapping, Cramb unmarked...Parkinson managed to cross onto just about the only defender’s head. There were other defenders, but they were headless at this point. It’s a nil-niller isn’t it, or one of those daft late defeats that is part of our genetic make up.

La-di-dah, Northampton trundling off down the other end. Here it is? No, another rubbish cross. How long left then? Five minutes, plenty of time to... oh, a free kick to Town about 30 yards out on the right. Err, why? Who cares? Let’s see action. Pinault stood alone over the ball, waving away the rosbifs. He curled the ball low into the area. It skidded off the grass and no-one seemed to be moving. What a waste, typical Town. GORDON, about a dozen yards out at the far post, threw himself forward, wrestling a crocodile at the same time, and thundered a diving header goalwards. Rachubka only managed to parry the ball against the underside of the crossbar and there its was, in the net. It’s what is known in "the game" as "a goal". It’s the sort of thing that makes you take the world in a love embrace.

And the Cobblers stopped being so cobblers. They threw the ball forward, upped the pace, upped the intensity. Sabin flicked a header a yard wide, Coldicott gave away a free kick by diving across, feet first, just 20 yards out in the centre to stop Low after he drifted past four Town players. The free kick hit the wall, the rebound was looped very wide, very weakly. Another free kick, another weak effort. Three minutes of added time were added , but Northampton needed three years, they never looked like scoring. To score you have to shoot, and on target. If all movement is accomplished in six stages, they were on number one: get up, get out of bed, drag a comb across your head. The last kick of the game summed it all up, a pumped-up cross and Whittle majestically flying above the molten earth to scream a header away.

Another win on Russ’s magical mystery tour, where satisfaction is sometimes guaranteed. By jove I think we’ve found the elixir of youth. Don’t bother playing well, that’s the road to perdition. Play rubbish and win. That’s the secret formula. You want to know about the players? Great performance was it? I have rather glossed over some terrible mistakes by Dean Gordon, he welched out of two tackles, was frequently awfully positioned and turned upside down by Low, but he did score so he’s let off being UnMan of the Match. Parkinson was not worth the paper his names is written on. He tried, he always tries, but succeeded with nothing. The rest were versions of adequate ranging from alright (Coldicott and Fleming) to really quite good (Crowe and Pinault). Yes, even the bandageless Reddy did what he was supposed to do.

Don’t bother trying to buy the video of this game, the result’s the thing. If any team deserved the victory then it was Town, but only in the sense that we deserved to draw more than they deserved not to lose. It’s nice to creep up the league unnoticed, waiting in the shadows, observing the alley cats fighting amongst themselves. Let’s let ‘em tear their hair out, but let’s not stroke our new fur coat too much. We don’t want to be the cats who licked themselves to death. We did that last year.

Not bad so far.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Jason Crowe was a human dynamo up and down, up and down, up and down the wing, but he loses points for style, or lack of it. What a rubbish dive at the end of the first half. No, no, no, thrice I say no. I’ll have no truck with transit vans and people carriers, it’s the 12-wheel articulated lorry for me. Mr Justin Whittle, faultless in defence and only a couple of "Hull balls" whacked down the pitch towards the Ferrensway flyover.

Official Warning

Mr L Mason. Unusually Town-friendly for most of the game, his little errors were merely irritating, like the free kick where Whittle got booked, but overall a perfectly acceptable non-homer. What other score-dooring than 6.263 will do? Well, none.

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