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23/10 Chester Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 24/10/2004

AFTER about five minutes of staring into the rain clouds Chester got a throw in on their left, about 15 yards out. Belle hurled it high towards the near post, several layers of jumpers leapt up and the ball was flicked onwards into the centre.

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

Chester City 2 Grimsby Town 1
23 Oct 2004, Coca Cola League 2

Davies, near the penalty spot, rushed in where Fleming feared to tread and swept a half-volley against the crossbar. Another minute, another long throw, another hoopla in the box with flailing limbs and dozy defending. Excitement for the home fans, who clearly prefer rugby to association football. We purists, on the other hand, would like our team to actually play some football. Terrible, turgid, brainless rubbish. There was no movement, no urgency, just statues observing events without interest. The result was a series of hapless hoofings upfield, simply returning possession via their centre-backs’ heads.

Is it arrogant to want, to expect a team to pass, to move, to play football? How can it be, isn’t that the name of the game?

Daly was a bashful child upfront, slow, rather timid and not appreciating the route one approach. Cramb, erm, I remember him. He’s the one with blond hair, isn’t he. In one of the few co-ordinated attacks by Town he was kneecapped by Hope, who cynically emptied both barrels of his shotgun way out on the touchline, and was booked for shooting whilst the beaters were in the line of fire. He even complained about it; too much raw meat in his diet, he should be playing for Ian Atkins with that attitude. They all should. Bang, crash, crunch, stamp, twist, stick, bust. Ellison had been lucky a few minutes earlier for leaving his studs in Whittle as the Big W wellied clear. Slade even had to be restrained by the fourth official, such was his righteous fury. And he was right too.

I forgot, Whittle was booked for sliding through Branch.

After about quarter of an hour Gordon slapped a thumper from about 25 yards which sailed a couple of feet wide of the ‘keeper’s left hand post. Town didn’t go down to the dreg-end for another half an hour. Well, it was a bit cold and wet down there, better to huddle around the campfire, nearer the toilets and shops. Who knows when you may have an urgent need for some tiles.

The Town fans and players had long since tired of Cortez Belle, whose mission in life was to leave a boot-shaped impression on the right leg of any Grimsby player within half a year of him. Eventually he was booked, not for attempted murder, but for saying a few nasty words to the referee. He could have been booked for being dim as well; for being offside every time, every single time the ball was played up. Town hadn’t so much set a trap as sent out an invitation to a barn dance three months in advance. The worry was that the banjo-plucking linesman may forget his "yee-haaaws" and let play go on.

Don’t you ring the Cortez Belle when Town sink in foreign waters?

How long gone? Not long enough. Doesn’t 30 minutes really fly by when you’re having fun? At last something happened, Branch was tickled away behind Macca, flicking the ball from left to right, bamboozling the defence and hitting the bye-line. The cross was blocked back to him and flicked up to the near post, where Davies chested the ball wide from a couple of yards out. It may have looked close to Devants and journos. It wasn’t. Chester won a series of free kicks and corners, all of which were worrisome. They simply lamped the ball up into the box. Town let the ball drop and Chesterians control it deep, deep inside the area. Town were down the road at the races and there wasn’t even a meet at the Roodee. How daft is that?

Anthony Williams
John McDermott
Justin Whittleyellow card
Terrell Forbes
Dean Gordon
Ashley Sestanovich
Terry Fleming
Thomas Pinault
Andy Parkinson
Colin Cramb
Jon Dalygoal


Michael Reddy77 mins
Stacy Coldicott79 mins
Ronnie Bull
Clint Marcelle
Rob Jones


Michael Ryan


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The ball dropped, Ellison turned, shot blocked. Branch crossed, Ellison wandered in front of Whittle and slapped a shot from six yards straight into his own face. What a perfect footballer, clearing his own shot. He chuckled, they chuckled, we all chuckled heartily. Belle was allowed to roam in the everglades down Town’s left. He pushed the reeds aside and snarled a low something across the face of goal. A shot, a cross, who could tell with this heffalump. His sheer physical presence was unsettling Town, especially as he was allowed to impose his personality on the game. That’s a personality that would attract an ASBO from his local council. He was riding around the estate with his hood up. Not actually doing anything, but just by being in sight he caused the lower middle class bungalow owners to twitch their curtains and watch Crimewatch.

With around seven or eight minutes left before the pie queue reached it’s acme, Town imploded. Pinault received the ball in midfield near the half way line. He shimmied, twisted and tippy-tapped to his left. A Chester player nudged him enough to stumble, not enough for the referee to award a free kick. Some he gave, some he didn’t. (He was working in imperial measurements whilst everyone else was in metric. He’ll never land on Jupiter.) Off they went, breaking forward just as Town players, particularly Mr J McDermott, had raced up to start an attack. The ball was played down the centre left for Belle, who pulled Whittle across towards the edge of the penalty area. Belle was allowed to turn, he looked up and clipped a pass across the face of the area to the unmarked Branch. What a day for a daydream, perhaps Forbes and Fleming were dreaming about a bundle of joy, for they looked surprised to see no-one marking BRANCH, who took one touch and lamped the ball low to Williams’s right. The TANNOY blared out some dull pap in celebration.

From the kick off Town pootled about, the ball eventually rumbling back to Williams, who passed to Gordon on the left. A Chesterian advanced so he laid the ball inside to Forbes who, trying to be clever, fell on his face on their new-moan lawn. BRANCH nicked the ball away from the dilatory defender and was off alone against Williams, dinking the ball over as the ‘keeper slid low. The ball rolled slowly in to the bottom right hand corner. Cue more insulting unoriginal music. You can tell a real football club by the music they play when a goal is scored. Real ones don’t.

A minute later Town were unravelled again, this time down the left. That subtle whack and flick on caught them out again and the steaming train that is Cortez Belle was behind the defence, inside the area and, well, he simply hit the ball quite hard straight at Williams. He’s more effective without the ball, as a sort of fake footballer, built of cardboard and covered in blue and white paint. From the air he looks like the real thing and attracts those German bombers.

At last, finally Cyril, Town got off the coach and entered the stadium as three minutes of added time was announced, to gasps of disbelief. Where had all of this time come from? Had we slept through some injuries? Cramb emerged from his burrow to knock a flick back to Daly, who’d run around the back like an apple-scrumping oik. Daly volleyed onto the roof of the stand. And back came Town, with some passing down the right, Sestanovich doing his twirling thing past three midgets routine before swishing a low cross back to the unmarked Pinault, about fifteen yards out at the near post. Pingu swept a first time shot low across MacKenzie, who held on as Cramb and Daly followed up. Why can’t these opposing keepers be like Williams and drop the only shot they have to save? At some point in this voodoo period Stan the Transit Van Man kicked a Devant in a fit of pique. He may have been booked, he may have been told he was a naughty boy. Frankly the strange holes in the concrete steps had become more fascinating than the game, so who cares. My guess is that they had intended to make the away end en suite, but cost overruns meant they converted it back into a garage.

In the seventieth minute of injury time Macca flung in a throw in towards some bloke in yellow, way, way off in the distance. A bit of trundling and turning ended up with nothing, sorry, I mean a goal. Whoever this bloke was had a shot from a narrow angle near the edge of the penalty area. The ball flew off BOLLAND’S shins and up into the roof of the net as Mackenzie dived low to his left. Who was the mystery striker? Some thought it was stuttering Stan, St-St-St-Stestanovich, some guessed at Daly. A mere detail, it was an own goal and a surprisingly upbeat ending to a shocking first half.

Half time: Chester City 2 Grimsby Town 1

Town walked off to an undeserved cheer, and, hopefully, a deserved barrage of fury from the management. Town were being outplayed by a pub team.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"His socks bring his shoes and trousers together"
"This isn’t football. It’s closing time outside the Pier"
"Did he say he’s got a porch or a Porsche?"
"Is this a ploy? We lose so that when they go out of business we don’t have three points deducted?"
"In Germany they play football with motorbikes. Or am I having a Sepp Blatter moment"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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