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Pinault: Tried
Pinault: Tried

28/03 Rushden 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 29/03/2005

NEITHER side made any changes at half time. Pinault immediately curled the ball down the right, the ball rolling, rolling, rolling out for a throw in two yards from the corner flag.

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

Grimsby Sleepwalkers 0 Rushden & Diremen 0
28 Mar 2005, Coca Cola League 2

They got the ball, ran off, got a corner, it skimmed off a Town head for another corner. Town broke, nothing happened. There you are: basic facts, unembellished by frilly rhetorical flourishes. Cold and very, very painful. Like staring into the abyss, it was primal scream therapy.

A Town attack. Harrold, sent free down the left, twisting, twizzling, ignoring the pouring support on his right. Inside, outside, inside, outside, inside the area: thwack, a rising drive crawling over the angle of post and bar. Better, I suppose. A minute later two red defenders challenged each other, flicking the ball on for Parkinson. Onwards, chased by some illegal hounds, Parky cut back from the corner of the penalty area, sending the two beagles sliding towards Mars without parachutes. Free? No, Parkinson fell over his own feet; the moment passed without cause for an obituary notice to be placed for Rushden in the Football League Gazette. Parkinson again carouselling down the right, flicking his wand at one, scrunching his nose at a second, making the little pixies disappear. Then tripping himself, again, sending various inhabitants of the Pontoon into an altered state on consciousness, yapping like neutered poodles in frustration, words failing to emerge.

Pinault picked up his long-forgotten baton and got the orchestra into some sort of semblance of order. From the cacophony a tune began to emerge. You, yes you behind the bikesheds, you Parky, on second fiddle. And you over there, Mr Fleming on the big bass bassoon. Professor Pinault plucked his harpsichord, dropping perfect passes onto the feet of our widemen. We had a good ten minutes before the ugly brass section started complaining. Parkinson again, sizzling along the right, drifting wide and croaking a low shot across Shearer and...a few inches wide of the right-hand post. Macca raiding, Macca falling over his own feet, Macca falling over invisible feet. Crosses from the left, crosses from the right, Gritton shaking his hips and clutching his hair in mock frustration. Crowe bounding down the left into the corner flag, a cross drifting into the centre. Fleming rose, unmarked inside the six yards box, right in the centre, but headed softly straight at Shearer, who dropped the ball before it was auto-shuffled away. A corner given, cleared, the swamp reclaimed the lost tribe of Town. Pinault's cogs began to seize up, passes astray, radio de-tuned, contact lost, send out the search party in search of flair.

After 64 minutes a change: Coldicott replaced by Hockless, to subdued groans, for Coldicott had played adequately; it was Fleming who was expected to by sacrificed on the alter of the Nabob Hockless. Perhaps Stacy was wearing the bid red ring. Fleming went into the centre with Hockless on the left. Hockless did one run where he almost did something. After that he caught the bug that is going around the squad, you know he should have had that anti-apathy injection when it was offered to him.

I haven't mentioned our opponents for some time. Rushden. There you are, just to remind you who Town were playing. They hadn't gone home yet. They had the ball sometimes too, passing it to each other. We could learn something from them. But not from their forwards, who were less striking than ours. Some going. Turgid is a word, so is defenestration and serape. Only one of these accurately describes the yawning chasm on our lives that was this game.

Anthony Williams
John McDermott
Justin Whittle
Terrell Forbes
Jason Crowe
Terry Fleming
Thomas Pinault
Stacy Coldicott
Andy Parkinson
Martin Gritton
Matt Harrold


Graham Hockless65 mins
David Soames81 mins
Rob Jones
Tony Crane
Glen Downey


Joe Ross


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Congratulations Jason Crowe, 71 minutes gone and you finally won a tackle. Well, I say won, the ball hit the back of his shins after rebounding off Hockless, but let's not be too picky, eh? I think I'll match your effort into describing how bothered you were playing in this game. Oops, I've already exceeded that.

A Hockless shot, over the stand. Pinault volleying, the ball remaining inside Blundell Park; another from Pinault, way, way high. Gritton complaining to McDermott; Macca dismissing with a regal wave. No my Celtic friend, Macca don't do route one. And Macca IS Grimsby Town.

Ooh, hello, what's this? A Rushden break, almost through, Forbes to the rescue with a strong challenge in the middle of the pitch. And again, a sort of shot, more like a mis-placed through pass, decades in front of his intended recipient, the ball struggling to roll over the bye-line, yards wide of the goal. At some unmemorable time one of their taller, blonder players had an unremarkable shot which hit Whittle's calf and struggled through to Williams. Look, I'm trying to be fair to them and tell you all about those Rushden attacks.

Hockless took a free, I can't be bothered to bore you with more details here. Awful.

With ten minutes or so left Gritton was replaced by Soames. And Town perked up a bit. Route one here we come. Bang, hoof, hump, lump, what a dump this game is. A Town corner, pressure, head tennis inside the area, bodies barging, ball dropping to Fleming 12 yards out: sliced and hooked several yards over. Soames suddenly free down the centre after being tickled free by Fleming. One touch, to the edge of the area, still no Diamonds around, Soames slashed a drive across Shearer and an inch or so wide of his left post. Another minute, another chance. Pinault seduced the ball over from the left, looping over Whittle and dropping into a big fat space. The defenders stopped, Hockless ran around and, from a narrow angle slapped a low cross into the centre. Soames challenged a chunk of red cheese inside the six yards box and the ball ricocheted just wide of the near post for a corner. It all sounds very exciting, and in some ways it was, but without that expectation that the ball would go in the net. And if it did, so what? We're not used to this end of season strolling. Especially in March.

As the fourth official put his board up, some wondered should they go or should they stay, their band had one more song to play. The Rushden left back drop-kicked hugely down the pitch, Littlejohn backed into Whittle, they both fell over. A free kick was awarded to them, right on the edge of the area, just to the left of centre. Town set up two walls, which both crumpled as McCafferty stroked the ball goalwards. The ball crept through the theoretical outer wall and winked against Williams' right hand post, back in to play and Whittle tucked it under his shirt and ran off home to mother. Town lumped it up field, had a fight, Harrold chested the ball down fifteen yards out and Soames poked a volley a few inches over the angel of post and bar, to Shearer's right.

Game over.

Do you hear that John Fenty? It's the sound of silence. That is what you should worry about. I'm sure the bald statistics for this game would show Town dominant, and they were, but there was never, ever the feeling that Town would score, or that half the team were that bothered if we scored or not. This game was a complete waste of everyone's time. Harrold was moderately effective for an hour. Gritton was effective last month. Parkinson looked like he was about to do something, then kept falling over. Pinault had moments to savour, moments to forget, but generally at least tried to do things. He looked for movement, and there was none. Overall the style of play was horrible; the back four kept trying to pass it, like they'd been told to retain possession, but after a few seconds they gave up and cracked it long. An unedifying sight - a Grimsby team playing bad rugby.

Rushden may rue their timidity. That's two points dropped, not a point gained. This season can't end quick enough.

What wreckage can we cling to?

Nicko's Man of the Match

For the second home game running Mr Terrell Forbes was head and shoulders above the rest for consistency and effectiveness. Ignoring his chronic inability to pass accurately, he did what he's paid to do: stop them. Best player on the pitch by eons, his last minute surge upfield past three Rushdenites is the clincher - at least he was trying.

Official Warning

Joe E Ross. Wasn't he Rupert Ritzik in Bilko? And Sergeant Flint in Hong Kong Phooey? Go back to your journeyman comedy roles. In a game where there were no decision to make, you managed to get a load wrong. Do you know your basic anatomy? The hand is attached to the wrist, the wrist to the arm, and the arm to the shoulder. The chest is somewhere else, over the rainbow. Arbitrary annoyance gives an arbitrary score of 4.342.

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