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20/11 Kidderminster 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
KIDDERMINSTER replaced Christiansen with Matias. I spent 40 minutes convinced that Stamp had been substituted too, but apparently not, he was still out there in the distance somewhere, roaming the plains of Abraham.
Grimsby Town 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1
Parkinson almost got on the end of a flick into space inside the area, but he looked to see where the â€˜keeper was then stopped, allowing the ball to skid through. Gordon flung a free kick to the far post, Jones headed goalwards and Parkinson headed wide from 6 yards. Rare moments of interest in a deluge of dreariness.
With about 20 minutes left Kidderminster, again, attacked down the Town right. Macca forced Brown wide towards the corner flag. Cramb ambled back with an opponent behind him. The Kidderman moved, Cramb didnâ€™t, Brown passed infield to a team-mate near the corner of the penalty area. The ball was crossed low, MATIAS stepped forward and swept the ball into the top right hand corner from about eight or so yards out as Jones stood behind watching. Absolute silence, the referee hung around the penalty area with his hand in the air. Confusion, had it been disallowed? No, someone was being booked for something unobserved by the mutineering Mariners.
Town got worse and more passes were made straight to Kidderminster; more holes appeared. Bull slipped again, Brown again racing free, Jones and Whittle denying with stretching lunges. Full scale booing imminent; a change needed,
With 15 minutes left the substitution was made, and youâ€™d never have guessed who came off. He certainly didnâ€™t. Mr Dean Gordon, scourge of the Kidderminster right, was replaced by Coldicott. Crowe went to the wide left position with Coldicott back in the centre. Well, with Gordon only on a rolling short term contract he might not take kindly to such decisions by his present employer. Itâ€™s gonna be a cold, cold Christmas without you if youâ€™re too annoyed, or at least as annoyed as the fans, who booed to the rafters.
Did things improve? Not much, possession was rarely retained, movement was restricted. The odd moment of Svengali Sestanovich, or Pinaultian pleasure was just a single Smartie in a vat of lard. Kidderminster bombarded Town with direct football. Flicks, tricks, getting on our wick. The Town defenders trembling. Rebounds, ricochets, flashing drives, blocks and surprising shots raining in. Williams had to make a save when, with the Town defence in a pickle, one of their players, which may have been Stamp, shot straight into his midriff from somewhere near the penalty spot, give or take a 500 yards radius.
A Town break, Cramb determinedly shaking off two defenders, bursting out to the right touchline. Rolling the ball underfoot, awaiting reinforcements, Stan the Trolley bus clang, clang, clanged along to help. Kidderminster players bounced off his forcefield as he circled the area. He espied Crowe streaming in on floodlight beams, and rolled the ball into a huge space on the right of their area. Crowe shook his left foot at the ball and it safely cleared the bar. A minute or so later Cramb cushioned a lay off to Parkinson just outside the area, who shimmied, shook and shanked a shot wide, it taking a deflection on the way.
There were three minutes of added time which Town tried to waste in the corners, but didnâ€™t, as usual. Kidderminster ended the game with a huge punt into the area. Williams flapped, missed and the ball bounced towards the left hand corner of the goal. Jones acrobatically hooked the ball off the line. The linesmanâ€™s flag was up for something, and that was that. The ceremonial booing could begin.
Yes, Town were booed off after winning. The second half had been so poor with opponents who had looked incapable of boiling an egg being allowed to dictate the evening meal: the vocal displeasure was justified. Town, in the end, were lucky to win. They should have been four or five up at half time, but just failed in the second half. Whoâ€™s to blame? Not me, or you, thatâ€™s for sure. Did the players play to instructions? Or did they just decide to have a stroll, the job done before sunset? Whenever Pinault or Sestanovich (who was very tactically disciplined for once) had the ball something looked like happening, but the others didnâ€™t give it to them much. Itâ€™s quite simple really.
Isnâ€™t it strange how little Town change.
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
For adequate achievement in the field of dismality the award goes to Mr Colin Cramb. Gordon and Pinault were in the last three, but why not share the prizes around?
Markieâ€™s UnMan of the Match
Rob Jones saved himself by that last minute hook off the line and for a Woodsian shoulder shake in the first half where he sent a striker the wrong way and rolled a perfect pass out to a team-mate. It was positively Handysidian. Itâ€™s a coin flicking metaphor between Parkinson and Crowe. Does Parkinson get let off because he was injured? No.
A Leake. I canâ€™t remember him much, apart from a very defined side parting, which looked sculpted. Apart from booking someone after Kidderminsterâ€™s goal for some ill defined heinous crime, he was, for the most part, a reluctant booker, which helped Brown and Bull stay on the pitch. We canâ€™t blame him for rubbish linespeople, can we? For the suggestion that he spends hours every day in front of the mirror with a soft hairbrush he gets 6.66, always assuming he has a reflection.
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