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Waiting In Vain - Second Half
By: Tony Butcher
Bristol came out ages before Town and started to do little warm up routines, like that clip they show of Roy Castle dancing with 2,000 teenage tap dancers. Little skips, hands out, bend knees, twist to camera and smile - putting on the style. No top hats or canes though.
Cramb replaced Reddy at half time
The referee added two minutes and then we went home, or at least those without season tickets did, the rest of us queued for the Scunny raffle tickets.
Do you really want to know the grim details of 47 minutes of grim grimness in Grimsby? Oh all right, if you insist. Erm, someone passed to someone else and the ball went out of play. A couple of minutes later someone kicked the ball high in the air, and a tall player headed it back, but then it went out of play again. There were some throw ins, a few free kicks, a couple of corners, and occasional punts towards the goals. There you are, in a nutshell.
Cramb was OK for about 10 minutes, though it was noticeable that his first action after laying the ball off is to turn and run into the penalty area. How bizarre.
I'm thinkingâ€¦I'm thinkingâ€¦Ah yes. After about five minutes or so Sestanovich did his usual run-round-in-circles-beat-five-defenders-and-curl-the-ball-just-over-from-25-yards. This time going from right to left. He had another shot too, straight at Miller. Normally I wouldn't bother, but in the context of the second half it was an exciting moment of almost nearlyness. Sestanovich, the modern enigma. That cat's something we can't explain. Near the hour Crowe lobbed a hopeful punt forward and Cramb slithered behind the defence, almost managing to reach the ball as it bounced into the penalty area. Miller would have been stranded had Cramb had bigger toes. Cramb dinked Parkinson free, but Parky was offside andâ€¦andâ€¦.andâ€¦.andâ€¦.andâ€¦. Between the ands were lots of throw ins.
After 61 minutes the limping Sestanovich was replaced by Coldicott, with Town seemingly moving to a 3-5-2 formation, Pinault being flanked by his two minders in the middle of the congested motorway. The pyramid had been squashed. Things didn't get any better. The crowd hadn't been animated to start with and somehow managed to become even more silent.
Hey, something happened. Cramb hit the post! If you insist on accuracy then he hit a post. Cramb chested the ball down about 20 yards out on the left, He drew back his trusty right boot and lampooned a dipping shot half way up the red post behind the goal. Or if you are a pessimist it was half way down the post behind the goal. Shall we gloss over the centre-fold in the programme. "29 - Colin Cramb", with a picture of Dean Gordon. Close, but you're not right.
How fast does a swallow fly? Sorry, I digress, we must practice for the GTFC quiz night on 9 November. African or European, by the way?
Without a by-your-leave one of their players came towards us in the Pontoon. He had his boots on, probably having awoken before dawn. He disturbed some children in the undeserved heating seating, for his shot didn't quite go out for a throw in. We saw Junior Agogoâ€¦hang onâ€¦ there's something not right with the world. A ricochet and suddenly the ball squirmed to Walker on their right, inside the area, totally unmarked. Williams ambled out to get the ball, but Walker reached it first . The warning lights were a-flashing as Williams stopped, turned round and ran back towards his goal. Walker crossed, Agogo waited and Forbes, in the centre, six yards out, did a brilliant diving headed clearance from the very tip of Agogo's toes.
Town were just rotting in their boots, formless, shapeless, clueless really. Cramb and Parkinson were rarely within hailing distance of each other with Parkinson confirming his status as the New Steve Saunders So little product for so much effort. The five man midfield succeeded only in confusing Bristol even more than it did Town, the game was grinding to a halt. We need some oil! Bring on the Macca the Mechanic. Town managed three consecutive passes, someone shot and the ball rebounded to McDermott on the right, inside their penalty area with his back to goal. Methuselah twisted around, teed up the ball and plonked a shot across the face of goal, a foot or so wide.
Look, why don't you go off and make a cup of tea or something? Have a little treat, a chocolate biscuit. You deserve it for getting this far.
Hum morphed into drum. They made some substitutions and, huzzah, something to make a noise about. Forrester came on with about a quarter of an hour left. Some booed, some clapped, most made a confused gurgling sound. We couldn't remember whether we liked him or not. What else happened? Gordon had a shot so bad I can barely bring myself to describe it. I'll let you fill in the details. He was 25 yards out at the Osmond End, the ball ended up going out of play 2 yards from the corner flag near the Main Stand. It only just managed to roll out for a goal kick. And we had mocked them. We are certainly at home to Mr Hubris. Crowe ran down the wing with a defender and as Crowe managed to fall down first, won a free kick. Pinault curled it in, Miller dropped it, no-one around. For this game that was a chance created by the gambolling Gaul.
In the last 10 minutes Agogo was a-gonegone, being replaced by Liz McColgan, though the programme records his name as Lewis Haldane. Perhaps they should turn up the volume in the Pontoon, so we can actually hear "Up the Mariners" and other important public announcements. Liz managed to liven things up a bit. He almost managed to wrestle past Whittle inside the Town area, but didn't. He hit the ground, clutching his injured locks, claiming some kind of elbow/hand/roughage in the face. Absolute nonsense. He stayed down so long, rolling like a kipper, that he had to stay on the grass feigning hurt. When play eventually stopped the referee came over, at which point Haldane suddenly jumped up and aggressively remonstrated, before having a relapse when he remembered he was supposed to be dying. He just looked plain silly. A minute later he clattered into Whittle after the ball had long gone The referee almost ran over and hit him for being stupid, but didn't. 'Tis a pity, for then there would have been something to remember this game for.
In the last minute of added time Town failed to clear a long punt, allowing Forrester to control the ball and flout a shot straight at Williams from about 20 yards. Williams parried it away from his face and out towards Haldane, chasing after the ball and scooping it away from the silly boy's feet. We can go home now.
Both sides looked happy not to lose, with the second half a waste of time for everyone. I did warn you at the start, didn't I. So don't blame me for wasting 10 minutes of your life. I had 45 minutes of it, you got off lightly. The five man midfield was just a lump of gruel on the breakfast table, Town were fortunate that the frequent moments of collective narcolepsy went unpunished. Choose your own excuse or clichÃ© for the second half. One to forget about.
We had some dreams of this game that were just clouds in our coffee. Forget about what?
Nicko's Man of the Match
Terrell Forbes was again solid and a match saver but even his heroics fail to dislodge The Man. John McDermott was awesomely omnipotent, especially in the first half. Town flows through every vein in his body
Mr S Mathieson
Dive! Dive! Dive! He didn't fall for those dives. I didn't tell you about a couple of daft tumbles by Town players in the first half. One by Reddy would have disgraced Norman Wisdom. The ref was exceptionally decent, especially towards Town, so why waste words? A season-busting 8.762.
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