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12/02 Shrewsbury Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 13/02/2005

NICE pass from Hockless, nothing happened. Nice cross from Hockless, something almost happened. Floated to the far post the bedazzling full back leapt across and headed the ball across goal with the goalkeeper shivering behind him. No Town players near, shame.

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

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

Is that a shot? Could be? Pity Fleming decided to clear it, diving to divert a goalbound shot from some Town player or other. Let’s say it was Macca. The Town machine slowly grinding forward, the rust falling slowly from the wheels. Hockless, shimmering through the haze. One run pathetic; without purpose, without strength. Another better; a shot flailed a couple of yards wide. It’s a start. A minute later, two, three, four passes and flicks. Pinault rolling forward, Reddy linking, jinking, Gritton rolling left and rapping a shot across Howie. The tousle-topped stopper flew left and clutched the ball to his bosom, like a prime chunk of ham. At last, a moment.

Some verve, some team play. Passing, movement, energy, desire from the team. Don’t get excited, it’s just another Shrewsbury incursion hobbled away for a corner on their left. Rodgers pestered, crossed through the box and Macca had to scrumble the ball away from Aiston’s sphere of influence. Curled in, flicked on by Langmead at the near post, steered over by Tinson at the far post. Unmarked, a couple of yards out, a fantastic miss. Look around you, what do you see? Opponents six inches taller than their Town counterparts. We need some height.

More comedy teasers from the jokers in the Shrewsbury defence. A little nickle over the top saw Parkinson scampering away; a defender came across, the goalkeeper came out, Parkinson stopped. The Gay Meadow cavaliers collided, the ball squirmed away for a throw in. We have to have one of these every game - Reddy raiding down the right. Predictably alliterative, predictably he fell in the area as an afterthought, no thoughts of a penalty by the referee. He smiled, benignly.

A foul! A free kick! About 25 yards out on the Town centre left. Please be upstanding for our special guest tweaker, Mr Graham Hockless, who will be performing the famous Grimsby Town free kick routine without the aid of a deckchair. With his glamorous assistant, Madame Le Pinaultpidou by his side, he espied the red wall, an eyebrow raised, a cheeky smile, two steps and a swivering shot crawled an inch or two over the bar. His fellow munchkins felt vindicated, and returned to their Jaffa cakes and Tizer.

Instant replay. A couple of minutes later a Shrews’ corner was cleared by desperate defending; two manly challenges saw red men tumble, play continued and Hockless felled a third. A free kick given: minor uproar in a small town, as Hockless appeared to win the ball with a sliding lunge, 25 yards out in the centre. A small, ramshackle obstruction was placed about ten yards away, with wind and tumbleweeds billowing through the gaps in the wattle and daub. Williams hid behind this man made a blot on the landscape. Can he see the ball? Up strode some bloke, later identified as Sedgemore, who arced a shot over and around this mock-Tudor style boundary fence. Williams scurried across to his left, BULL unmarked, standing level with the post about a dozen yards out, stooped, stretched and steered the ball into the bottom left hand corner, diverting it enough to go in, and enough to go over Williams. If Bull had stood still there wouldn’t have been a goal. It was, and there is no other way of describing it so please excuse this overly technical language, an own goal. When you’ve watched the game for 72 years you kinda pick up on these things, even though you’re not in the game. The crowd reaction? Unsurprised: we’d pressed the mute button ages ago.

It started to rain.

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


Greg Young
Tony Crane
Glen Downey
Danny North
Paul Ashton


Martin Atkinson
(West Yorkshire)


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Up till the goal Bull had played perfectly adequately. By his standards. After it, well, let’s be nice and just not finish that sentence. Shudder. Bull trapped, possession lost, Rodgers breaking, Forbes shuttling to safety. Safety? A back pass to Williams is safety? Spooned up, straight to a big Shrew 25 yards out, the goal-a-gaping. Town players scattered across the turf like crisp packets, fortunately Shrewman was dim, passing to a mate who was miles offside. Town imploding, players shrinking, have we a team of eleven Stuart Campbells? Shrewsbury pressed on, pushing Town up to the back of the Pontoon by their lapels, demanding points with menaces. Town had a little sniffle and called their mum. A simple tactic, tall man against small man, one of these days they’ll cut us to little pieces. Aiston looming, leaning, levering past Macca inside the area. Six yards out, eight yards wide, thaddump - a shot driven high to the near post, parried well by Williams, swerved away by the alert Forbes. Town being strangled, grasping for some air. Corner after corner, Shrews toying with little Grimsby. The ball in the net again - offside days ago. Town any good? Years ago.

Town! A Hockless cross, Howie flapped and quacked like a hungry duck straight to Parkinson in the centre. The ball bounced up off the chest of the man-who-is-never-dropped, a defender hurtled out and Parky slapped a volley off the defender, the ball sailing into the sun. A corner. They broke, Town screamed. Anything else, M’lady? Yes sir, a Hockless cross bimbled through the Shrewsbury chorus line. Kick step miss, kick step miss, off the final defender’s shins and away for a corner. All it needed was a monkey, a man with an enormous moustache and a large lollipop and we’d have a classic silent comedy. And Reddy had a shot that there’s no point in describing as he was offside.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Shrewsbury Town 1
Then the boos came. Sound’s like an overwrought Tennessee Williams’ play, doesn’t it. You can always depend on the kindness of strangers, or strangers can always depend on the kindness of Town. There is nothing positive to say, it’s a simple as that. There were gaps everywhere, there was little movement, so how ironic that Mr Perpetual Motion Fleming managed to be everywhere the ball wasn’t. The laws of physics and the application of statistics demanded that he touch it at least once. Hey diddle-diddle, the cat and the fiddle, Fleming in the middle. Ramsden didn’t know how to play as a marking centre back, his several mad dashes out to intercept were ill-timed, ill-conceived and made us ill. Luckily Shrewsbury were more pests than pastry chefs.

Now earn your cornflakes, Mr Slade.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"An arts centre in Rotherham, that’s an oxymoron."
"I never thought I’d ever demand Tony Crane be brought on."
"I’ll give it 15 minutes, then I’m off to the pub."
"I’m always stuck in the 70s before lunch."
"Their defenders are our best attackers."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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