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Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Carnival of Lost Souls: Shrewsbury Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 13/02/2005

A bright afternoon in Positive John’s pit of despair, with a withering wind swirling into the faces of 100 or so Shrewsburians down in the outer reaches of the Osmond Stand. Yeah, yeah, it rained a bit later, but only the players and police got wet, no real people; just fops, flops and cops.

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


Grimsby Town 0 Shrewsbury Town 1
12 Feb 2005, Coca Cola League 2

Town lined up in a 4:4:2 formation, as shown. The substitutes were the five last men standing: Young, Crane, the tax dodge (Downey), the great orange booted hope (North) and the little boy that Santa Claus forgot (Ashton). Ah, at last, that old faithful formation, Slade’s winging wonders, or something phonetically similar, take your pick. Hockless promenaded down the left, his mere presence bringing peace to the world of the green ink faction in the crowd. Of course, now he’s back, nothing can go wrong. Can it? He’s still got lovely hair. And Parkinson down the right, ready to unleash that blistering pace. Everyone else was where you’d think they’d be.

As Town warmed up Graham Rodger stood over Pinault issuing instructions on where to welly the ball. Into the corners seemed to be the tactic. Or perhaps he’d just watched Saturday Night Fever. He wasn’t wearing a white suit though. You can tell by he way he walks that he’s a football man, yes you can.

The Shrewsbury players looked a lot bigger than they did in October. Either we’ve shrunk or they’ve been training on fertile fields. Maybe not a good day to pack the team with midget gems.

Dish of the Day: Simon Ramsden’s chicken Kiev, chips and baked beans. An odder combination than his mullett and scrape hairstyle. It’s footballers’ pica.

Ladies and gentlemen, the experiment is about to begin. Please put on your safety giggles to avoid irritation to the psyche.

1st half

Shrewsbury, the laddies in red, kicked off towards the Pontoon. Five big blokes stood on their left, ready to race forward. What would they do next? Over to you. Remember, the clues are there. Up in the air, big man number 28 headed back to big man 4, the crowd fell silent, bored already.

I’m staring into space. No, I’m not catatonic yet, it’s the one between the defence and midfield.

Still waiting for something to happen, a shot, a pass, a vaguely coherent tannoy announcement, a plastic bag wrapping itself around the referee’s ankles causing much Norman Wisdom-like hilarity, anything will do.

Hurrah, an event, dear boy. Ramsden rushed out from the back to nick the ball in midfield and missed, Shrews raced away, Shrews crossed, the ball deflected out for a corner. So far, so mundane. Over it came, out it went to the edge of the area, bodies hurled ballwards, Ashton flashed his feet and the ball zoomed through Rodgers’ legs straight to Williams, who plucked it like a feather. That’s Rodgers, not Rodger. So far still so mundane, sorry, that’s just the way it was.

Hockless dancing, a mis-placed pass. Crowd silent, embarrassed. Fleming, a whirling dervish of vacant possession. He is where the ball isn’t. Gritton and Reddy, distant shipsmoke on the horizon, their hips move but we can’t see that they’re playing. Town players visible, some risible. Trotting, rotting, dreaming of a yachting holiday. A collective amble and shambles. And just 10 minutes gone.

There is no sound, there is no expectation. There is nothing.

Grimsby
Anthony Williams
John McDermott
Terrell Forbes
Simon Ramsden
Ronnie Bullyellow card
Andy Parkinson
Thomas Pinault
Terry Fleming
Graham Hockless
Martin Gritton
Michael Reddy

 

Subs
Greg Young
Tony Crane
Glen Downey
Danny North
Paul Ashton
 
Attendance
4,781

 

Referee
Martin Atkinson
(West Yorkshire)

 

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The report continues in Part Two.

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