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17/12 Oxford Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 19/12/2004

TOWN seized control, or were handed it on a baguette, depending on the colour of your spectacles. Whatever, Town dominant, Pinault the prince of passing; Town trundling forward, almost here, nearly there, a foot in the way, a bottom blocking. Not quite, but pressure building.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Reports > Oxford (h)

Grimsby Town 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1
20 Nov 2004, Coca Cola League 2

After about 18 minutes something eventually happened. Dibbles and dabbles in the centre lulled many a mulled-wine addled Mariner to sleep. Suddenly Pinault emerged, right of centre, just inside the Oxford half. He curled a perfectly weighted pass around and behind the centre back for Parkinson to scamper after. The ball teased and weased boozley Woozley, who stretched, got the merest of twinkling toes on the ball, simply controlling it for perky Parky. Parkinson, about 20 or so yards out, just right of centre, promptly fell over the ball, stumbled, tumbled, fumbled and was as surprised as the rest of us. CRAMB arrived on the late running Trans-Pennine express and swept a low shot across Clarke and into the bottom right hand corner. Cramb sprinted off towards the manager bringing sunshine, arms raised, hopping like Eric and Ernie. Makes a change from him and Parkinson playing like Bert and Ernie.

Red socks at night Town delight?

Town continued to tighten that tourniquet, the game played almost exclusively in Oxford’s half. Gordon crossing, Parkinson spinning, Crowe crowing, balls in, balls out. No shots, just dangerous, if not magic, moments. If Perry Como was still alive he’d be old. If Perry Groves was till playing football he’d still be rubbish. What’s this got to do with the match? You have to keep warm somehow, to keep your brain moving.

At some point Oxford had a shot. Hesitancy and dilatory dibbling by Forbes saw him easily manoeuvred away from a bouncing ball just outside the Town area. The ball was laid back to Mooney who stroked it to the right winger, free behind the floundering Bull. Hackett, near the corner of the penalty area took one stride and lampooned a low shot across Williams and a bit wide of the post. A bit? How long is a piece of string? It didn’t go in, that’s all you need to know.

More Town embroidery. A Pinault free kick glanced exceedingly wide by Whittle. Ooh, a shot. Parkinson sent free, thwizzing a shot a couple of feet high and wide from 20 yards. Ooh-worthy. Doesn’t he play for Norwich?. Cramb crossing from the right. Where’s the ball? Behind you! Scrambled eggs for tea, no shot. A Pinault free kick, lovely panic, cleared from inside the 6 yards box. Noise heard from Main Stand, brandy and babycham spilt in the Press Box.

Just after the half hour Cramb collided with Crowe inside the Oxford area and hobbled off for treatment. Back on, then off again, replaced by the white-booted saviour of the universe, Flash Mansaram, in the 35th minute. Mansaram received an ovation, for absence has made our hearts grow fonder. Or we’ve forgotten everything. Dazzler moved with perkiness, controlled the ball inside Blundell Park and was generally adequate. He had a shot too. Rising, rising, no danger.

Another Oxford shot. Two, in one half. Amazing. Bradbury, who kept tripping over his own ego in the penalty area, slipped again on their left, on the edge of the area. A free kick was given, the wall was cranked back the full 9.71 metres, and some bloke wellied it straight at Williams, who tipped it over for a corner. The bulk of the kicker suggested it was Bradbury himself who shot. Is your life more fulfilled for knowing that? Thought not. Oxford looked to be capable of sublime football...between the penalty areas. Just like Town. We were watching the North and South fourth division underachievers challenge cup final (1st leg).

Anthony Williams
John McDermott
Justin Whittle
Terrell Forbes
Ronnie Bull
Jason Crowe
Terry Fleming
Thomas Pinault
Dean Gordon
Andy Parkinson
Colin Crambgoal


Ashley Sestanovich70 mins
Michael Reddy88 mins
Darren Mansaramyellow card36 mins
Stacy Coldicott
Rob Jones


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Still Town piled forward. Still Oxford ignored the snake charmer in the middle. Was there a total exclusion zone around Pinault? Clarke started to wobble, throwing straight out of play, mis-kicking, wading out of his area at bizarre times. All it needed was one more goal and the game would be won. Oxford didn’t seem that interested in getting the ball, but were quite prepared to do so some soft shoe shuffling for the crowd when it fell to them by accident. Now! Sumptuous, sensuous, seamless movement, Parkinson free inside the area on the left. Parkinson confused his fellow professionals by looking up and crossing low through the 6 yards box. The ball trickled and tempted, trundling along waiting for a divot to divert it goalwards. Robinson and Fleming raced towards the far post and the full back just managed to get there before the pretty Flemingo, sweeping the ball away from a foot or so out. Both collided with the post, Robinson kissing into the pocket off the post and Fleming a full backside whack. Ouch.

Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Oxford United 0

That’s the first half that’s fit to print.

Shoulda, coulda, didnae. Sums the season up. So we know what’s going to happen in the second half, don’t we.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"I’ll meet you by the vegetables - are Town’s defence going to Tescos too".
"Forbes is playing like a Town player now we’ve signed him."
"Is Mooney playing? He will be."
"He rang to give some feedback from Vicky’s cascade. Is that a dream or a new film?".
"You’ve still got all your own eyebrows. What kind of student are you?"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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