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20/11 Kidderminster Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
GORDON, the wandering minstrel on the left, hop, skip, jinking his way to instant karma, crossing with impunity, defenders hacking and thwacking for corners. Ooh. Ooh again. Ooh, thatâ€™s nice, just there, thatâ€™s where it itches.
Grimsby Town 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1
The pattern of the game didnâ€™t change, though Kidderminster managed to kick the ball a bit further upfield, creating minor moments of mayhem, mostly around Bull and Jones. Bull couldnâ€™t stand up, constantly slipping, which was not ideal given that he was marking the only decent Kidderminster player, Brown. Fortunately the one time Brown did threaten, when he dinked the ball between Gordon and Bull, it was kicked directly out of play for a goal kick. Oh, and Kidderminster did pump a couple of free kick type things into the Town area. Williams dropped one and flapped another with a big centre forward, Stamp, ignoring the ball and simply barging into the player described in most programmes as "Grimsbyâ€™s goalkeeper". We Pontoonites didnâ€™t feel threatened with emotional disturbance, though some teenagers down in the depths of the unreserved seats were physically disturbed by the insistence of Diop curling shots into one particular seat.
Was there any need to described Kidderminster efforts? No, not really, I was just being kind. I canâ€™t lie to you about their chances, but they did have our sympathy. So atrociously inept and heartless were the Kidderminster players even the poultry enumerating daydreamers in the Pontoon had enough humanity not to taunt the opposition. It was a little embarrassing, sitting there wondering just how many Town would be bothered to win by.
Just after the quarter of an hour mark Parkinson flattered another deceiving moment. Pinault spun him free down the centre right. Behind the defence, goalkeeper rushing out, what to do, what to do? Parky drifted past the goalkeeper to the right, eventually caught up with the ball near the bye line and crossed into the goalmouth. Several Town players were hailing, but Brown managed to get back and flick it away for a corner. Taken short, worked in, cleared out, Gordon shot, goalkeeper saved. Gordon cross, another corner, and another, and another. Yabba-yabba-yabba, how many corners? How many crosses? How many goals? Thatâ€™ll be two if you have some patience sir. A period of Town pressure in the 24th minute resulted in a Gordon cross, headed out towards Pinault about 20 or so yards out, level with the â€˜keeperâ€™s right post. Le Professor turned the lights low, adjusted his cufflinks, flambÃ©ed his crepe suzette and seduced the crowd in to a collective coo. Power, precision, poise. PINAULT. He took a step, opened up his body and steer volleyed the ball into the net via the inside of the post. Unstoppable, câ€™est magnifique. He ran to the Lower Stones/Findus/Smiths stand and eventually found some supporters, who shared in his joy with garlands strewn across his path as he glided 6 inches above the turf.
Itâ€™s a procession, a royal gala, an extravaganza for you and you and you. Specially invited opposition, here to make us happy, a claque, a dupe, hired hands for our entertainment. Another Town corner, perhaps the 412th so far, from the left was trickled to Gordon, who flicked a dinkling cross into the area. Parkinson shook his head, the ball crawled across the face of goal and just wide of the far post. How rude, they had a shot. Brown salsa-ed his way down their right, passed infield to Diop, who took one touch and side-footed the ball safely into the higher portions of the Pontoon. What next? Probably another Parky almost moment, you know the sort of thing, enough for perennial optimists to claim heâ€™s useful, but the terminally glum to observe he doesnâ€™t actually produce anything. Somebody did something, then someone else did something else and eventually Gordon flicked on some kind of nonsense forward clearance through the so-called defence. Parkinson shuffled away, inside the area, causing a thousand or so Grimbarian bottoms to rise from the warm plastic seats. Clarke raced out and flung himself Parkinsonward and the ball rolled underneath and past. A couple of hundred more backsides rose, but the professionally cynical remained firmly upon a polyethylene based lumber support. A defender rolled the ball away from just inside the six yards box . Promised more than delivered.
More Town, another corner, another cross, Jones and Cramb attacked, the ball zoomed straight into Clarkeâ€™s midriff. And heâ€™s off again, Parkinson free behind the defence after Pinault hit another perfect first time pass. Off, away, fly my little bird, down the centre right. Onwards, closer, closer still and, from just inside the area, he put his head down and hit a shot straight at Clarkeâ€™s face. Parried, cleared, sit down. I suppose all this standing up and sitting down is god for your thighs.
At last, some wreckage onto which Kidderminster could cling. Bull slipped, Jones floundered, Brown free, advancing, clear, in the area, shot, saved. Williams parried the shot away from the near post for a corner. It was probably going to hit the post, and wasnâ€™t struck that hard, but that is to quibble about a minor detail. A shot, a save, they should have scored, they didnâ€™t. A warning that they may only be asleep, they arenâ€™t dead yet. And again, another warning. A simple tap over the top by Brown saw Diop explode into space like a true natureâ€™s child. Jones grappled, but failed to rugby tackle old Maceyboy. Diop let the ball roll and Jones, about eight yards out and left of goal, swiped the ball away for a corner. Diop rolled his eyes, rolled his thighs, waved his arms around. On came the physio, out came another flouncy gesture, a dismissive, angry backhanded waft. Eventually he was dragged off the pitch, and his sock was dragged off his foot. For the next few minutes nobody noticed what was happening on the pitch, for Diop had a tantrum, twice more gesticulating at the physio, who packed up his troubles in his old kit bag and smiled as he walked back to the dug out. Diop was left alone, abandoned in mid-game, the waves of derision lapping over his ego. Sinking, sinking, glug, glug, glug. Writhing around, smacking his fist against the ground, unconcerned citizens milling around the advertising boards "Whereâ€™s your physio? Whereâ€™s your physio?" Far, far away. After a few minutes he attempted to hop his own way back to the dressing rooms, accompanied by a chorus of affectionate jeers. "Dio-hop-hop-hop. Dio-hop-hop-hop" in perfect synchronicity with his bouncing progression back along the touchline.
Apparently they brought on a substitute during this distracting side show blob. A little lad with bleached hair. Then we noticed their 11, Keates. He might grow into his shorts one day. Or was he their 6 year old mascot?
Half time: Grimsby Town 2 Kidderminster Harriers 0
That was it. 45 minutes of total serenity, it was difficult to see how the opposition had managed any points at all. Yes they have injuries, but doesnâ€™t everyone? If they had a tactic it was little better than knock it high to a bigger bloke than Macca and see what happens. The bigger bloke than Macca turned out to be a Dane; he was awful, even worse than their two centre forwards. They were easily dealt with by Whittle and Jones. No lower praise can there be. So bad were Kidderminster in defence that at one point Brown, whoâ€™s really a West Brom player, ran over from right wing and gave a vociferous, impromptu masterclass to the left back, our old friend Beswetherick. So all in all, it was another brick in Kidderminsterâ€™s wall, 2-0 was a rubbish score line for Town, it should have been a multiple of that, without them even breaking much sweat.
The only danger to Town was the linesperson under the Stones/Smiths/Findus stand. There was great mirth at the sight of "a laydee", as though the ability to look across a field at men in polycotton sportswear is a cross gender issue.
For the shrinking Harriers in the Osmond the first half was so terrifying only screams could describe it.
Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk
"I must confess Iâ€™ve never won an Olympic medal for figure skating"
The report continues in the Second Half.
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