Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
15/01 Leyton Orient 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NEITHER team made any changes at half time. I forgot, Orient made a substitution in the first half, taking off Scott and bring on Duncan. I canâ€™t remember Scott doing anything, so thatâ€™s why I forgot.
Leyton Orient 1 Grimsby Town 2
McDermott intercepted, laid a first time pass up to Reddy, who turned and supercharged his way through the illusion that was the Leyton defence. Past three, four, retreating, panicking, they stopped on the edge of the area, squeezed tightly and watched in awe as Reddy toe-poked the ball through to the unmarked Parkinson. Now, Parkyâ€™s seen them professionals on TV do this. They wait for the ball, decide where to place it, then open up their body and curl it in. A dozen yards out, Harrison upright and uptight, Parkinson lofted the ball six yards wide. The awfulness of the finish matched the excellence of the approach play.
Weâ€™re off again. McDermott, magnificent Macca, confiscated the ball from one of the second-years, took a stride or two and fizzed a superb cross-field pass on to Parkinsonâ€™s toenails, about 30 yards out on the centre left. The scampering scouser controlled the ball, outpaced the defender and went for the bye-line. He looked up (Hurrah!) and chipped a delicate hanging cross over beyond the far post. The ball sailed over Gritton and the â€˜keeper and Fleming took flight, floating through the thick London air to volley the ball back across goal. Harrison leapt and just managed to tap the ball away from the unmarked Gritton. One, two, three, four, can we have a little more?
More raiding from Reddy, the defence split asunder. The home fans silently watching a lesson in counter-attacking football. Hasnâ€™t he run out of energy yet? Oh sir, no, not at all. With about 20 minutes left McDermott, again, stepped from the crowd to turn Orient upside down. He curled the ball down the right touchline and Reddy sprinted away, bullied the defender, turned up the amp to 11 and headed for the corner flag. A couple of little flies were attracted by the dazzling light, leaving room for Reddy to turn the ball back to Fleming, just outside the penalty area. The Flemster scooped the ball over and behind the advancing defenders and Parkinson scurried after it. Form inside the area, a few yards from the bye-line, he wobbled a cross through the 6 yards box, past the flopping â€˜keeper and straight to the totally unmarked GRITTON, who stretched, poked out a leg and let it hit his calf and bomble in. All three forwards again involved, and a similar goal to the first one. If itâ€™s played this way, 3 up front looks fantastic. Two goals literally walked in to the net, like a kick-about between the local 10 year olds and their older brothers. One half expected Gritton to stop the ball on the line, get on his knees and nudge it over with his nose.
A couple of minutes later the third goal arrived. Or should have done. Orient defenders hung around on the half way line as the Town forwards played the ball amongst themselves. Parkinson, right in the centre, knocked the ball through the defenders and scurried onwards. Defenders froze, Parkinson alone, running on from the half-way line. Onward, onwards, closer still. Harrison came out, stopped, did a hop, flapped his arms around and Parkinson chipped the ball against the goalkeeperâ€™s chin. At no point did Parkinson look like scoring. He could have simply run past the â€˜keeper, or tapped it either side, but appeared mesmerised by the immovable object in front of him. Ah well, heâ€™s only got so many goals in him, why waste one, eh?
What had the Os being doing recently? Nothing. More shots out of the ground and then something to wake us all up. A slick move involving at least four players. One touch, give and goes, from left to right, a midfielder striding forward and free fifteen yards out, no defenders near, the goal demanding attention. He side-footed low to Williamsâ€™ right. An easy save. Oh look another long shot still curling towards the moon. Sheer poultry in motion, a dozen Town fans jingling all the way, watching Town win away. Count them chickens, Dweezil. If thereâ€™s no one quite like Grandma, thereâ€™s no fan quite like a Town fan when it comes to chutzpah.
Tony Crane continued to run up and down in front of the Town fans. He engaged in short, and not particularly sweet, discussion with one of his admirers.
Time speeding on, Pinault coming on, with 12 minutes left, replacing Coldicott. They were both ovated. We have our sexy little French pinaultfore on. A minute or so later McDermott was felled 10 or so yards inside the Town half. No foul given. The ball broke loose and Pinault clipped the wings of a Leytonian as the ball was flipped forward. A foul given. A little grumble rumbled up from the belly of the little knot of Mariners as they tried to work out whether the washing lady was now cooking noodles or spaghetti. And just what is the difference? If you canâ€™t see the pitch you may as well snoop on the neighbours. Orient sent everyone above 5 ft 6 up into the box and the free kick was clobbered high beyond the far post. Jones hung in the air like some wet washing and appeared to head back across goal. Williams was transfixed in awe as the iron chicken clucked overhead. The ball hit the inside of the other post and went in, possibly off ECHANOMIâ€™s head. Several players bundled about in the area, there was some amateur mudwrestling inside the goal and a lot of sound and fury. The home fans started shouting "off, off" and the referee called over Bull and Fitzgerald. After one minute a red card was showed to Bull (joy for lazy headline writers the world over), a further minute and another red card hung over Fitzgeraldoâ€™s head. Mmm, interesting. Perhaps that was the only word not used.
I think the washing lady was making a stir fry. Or was that the referee?
Well this changes things, doesnâ€™t it. Parkinson spent a few minutes at leftish backish as Greg Young was very slowly prepared for battle, finally arriving with 5 minutes left. Orient abandoned frippery, belted the ball forward and sent everyone south of the river. The rest of the game was played inside the Town area, bodies thrown here and there. Another shot over the bar as the ball dropped on the edge of the area; a cross, flicked from a redhead; long throws hurtling Williamsward, hanging by a chad. Williams dropped a cross, no foul. And another, no foul. Theyâ€™re through, the ball between Jonesâ€™ legs, behind the defence, on their right. Williams out, striker sliding, Jones hovering, ball deflected wide. Corner, high to the far post, back in, dropping, yellow bricks in the wall, blocking, lunging, falling, calling, shooting. Over! Wide! Over again. Williams booked for time wasting. A scrum in the box, defenders hunting the ball like hungry locusts. They see, they swarm, they consume, they destroy. The earth was scorched in a frenzy, as the scoreboard indicated....four extra minutes.
Repeat above, turn up the tension, add lashings of Grimsby fatalism. Town break, time-wasting in the corner. Fails. Back up field, the planks are splintering, the water is beginning to ooze. All hands on deck, send out a Mayday call. Town break again, Gritton past four, in the area, poked past the â€˜keeper, Fleming chasing, brief flurry, Orient return. A throw in, booming into the area, grasped away for a corner. A final corner, four minutes gone, this is the end, the last time, the last dance for Ling. The Orient â€˜keeper came up, threw himself into the scrum, the ball buried in a mass of orange, as red and yellow blurred in a hack-fest inside the Town area.
Finally, the game was over. The Town players soaked up some adoration from the fans, Macca more pleased than most, punching the air, rousing each player in turn. Ten minutes of panic, 80 of purrsome professionalism. Town should have scored four, Orient could have scored two. It was easier than it sounds, a very good all round performance from Town, restricting them to isolated moments of concern. Gritton and especially Reddy led them a merry dance, truly frightening them with their speed of thought and foot. Town played like a team, a solid team, with no-one you could say was a real weakness. The last ten minutes were out of character with the game...but Town did hold on. The change happened as soon as Coldicott went off, but that was purely coincidental really. Their goal sparked bombardment which had little to do with the middle of the pitch.
Right theyâ€™ve done it once, they can do it again
Nickoâ€™s Man of the Match
There must be a big mention for the Stacemeister. COLDICOTT! Is that big enough? One man stood out, previously the butt of many moans for lack of application. Today he was Mr Motion. He scared them. He is Michael Reddy. Are you?
M S Tanner. He was perfectly fine for 75 minutes, then the silicon chip inside his head switched to overload. Started to become a little firmer on Town than Orient and his booking of Williams for time wasting was a waste of time. No idea on the sendings off: youâ€™ll have to freeze frame the video highlights to see what happened. Of course it may show he had no idea on the sendings off either, in which case deduct 3.763 from his score. Overall he gets an extremely average 6.231. The warm glow of victory always chisels away the gripes.
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