The Grimsby Town FC


Question of the Week

What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?

As per this season
Just for L1/L2 sides
Invite Conference sides

Pinault: Howler
Pinault: Howler

02/04 Mansfield Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 03/04/2005

AROUND the ten minute mark Mansfield had a bit of pressure, Neil sluiced a volley straight at Williams when a corner was half-cleared. Day flicked on a long throw at the near post, Williams tapped the ball aside with his fingertips as it bimbled across goal.

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

Mansfield 2 Grimsby Town 0
02 Apr 2005, Coca Cola League 2

A momentary gasp from the massed Mariners; no danger, no Mansfielders awake.

Five minutes of throw ins. Sir John and Buxton taking it in turns to lob gently. Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go. Larkin trotting, Barker barging, no danger, no chances, nothing. It's easy, easy as a Sunday morning. Easy but boring. Let's have action, let's see people, let's see who cares. Crowe zooming, danger looming. Onwards, upwards, a Gritton flick on the edge of the area, and Coldicott rolling free on the right. The ace of Stace tried to poke-lob the ball over Pilkington from a dozen yards, but only looped it straight at the decorative glassware in goal.

Just one look and Pilkington went "Boom", as he launched the ball upfield, forcing Forbes to flibble away for a corner. The Staggies tried to take it quickly, and short, but Pinault and Crowe stopped that with a little turkey trot. When they went back to their temperature-controlled hut Mansfield took the corner... short. To the same player. Crowe wandered, wondered and watched as the yellowboy hit the bye-line and curled in a dinky little cross to the near post. Larkin stretched a bit, but not much, and Williams scooped the ball up after, and only after, he'd finished chapter 23 of that book he bought at the service station on the way. A small moment that summed it all up. A sleepy spring snoozeathon, punctuated by sneakiness. Don't they know the name of the game?

You can go and mow the lawn now, but only if it's a small lawn. Ten minutes will do. And when you come back you'll find that Carlton le Palmer had had enough of Larkin's larking and off he came, replaced by a teenager, Diet Coke. Brown now accompanied Barker in the centre. Is this relevant? Why do you need to know this? 'Cos this changed everything. Mansfield began to pass the ball along the ground, behind the Town full backs, stretching and retching Town. But not creating anything, just slowly pulling those stitches, the jumper unravelling imperceptibly.

And what a fine ten minutes Town had as the hems frayed. Parkinson racing and rippling past two on the left, a cross to the far post nodded back, a bit of scrambled egg and toast inside the area. Mansfield brows furrowing, no chance, no shot. Crowe taking the bullet train to the edge of the Mansfield area, flipping to Gritton, flicking to Coldicott, unmarked,15 yards out, the ball at his feet, his feet over the ball. The Stacemeister stumbled, the moment passed, unlike him. Another minute another moment: Whittle headed a free kick across the area. Gritton, a dozen yards out with his back to goal, thighed the ball aside, turned and shinned the ball a couple of yards high and wide to the right of goal.

On the half hour, the chance arrived. Finally a Town move: flowing, fantastic, fun. Harrold received the ball just inside the Mansfield half, on the left. He chested down, turned and stonked a superb crossfield pass out into the desolate wastelands on the right. Fleming was prompted forward by the voice-activation remote control unit fitted earlier by Dave Moore. It wasn't a wet sponge, or a pair of sunglasses, after all. Fleming waited for support and Lord John got on his cloud, surfing down the wing. Macca took the ball into the box and crossed low to the near post where Parkinson stepped over the ball and back-heeled to the unmarked Harrold, about 10 yards out. Prince Haddock leant back and swished a first time shot a foot wide of the left hand post, with Pilkington left to indulge in some aerobic windmilling. Oh dear, what a shame. Never mind, they don't look like scoring either.

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


Simon Ramsden80 mins
David Soames58 mins
Tony Crane
Rob Jones
Nick Heggarty


Lee Mason


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Oops. Pinault passing directly to yellow. Not once, not twice, but thrice. Shudderingly bad. Oh dear, off went Rundle behind McDermott, the cross kneed away from a blancmange of strikers for a corner. Warning, warning, systems failure in sector 17. Hey, they haven't made Williams move yet, have they? With ten minutes left to half time the usual happened: a shot on target, a goal. But you can't blame Williams this time, which disappointed many. Forbes cleared a half-attack straight to Pinault, in the centre of the Town half. The Town defence started to push up, Pinault passed straight to a yellow-clad brick wall. After some occasional challenges from Town, the ball was sent over the top of McDermott for Rundle to race onto. Half the defence seemed to be playing offside, the other off the wall. Rundle scampered into the area, steadied himself and rammed a shot to William's left. He parried the ball, which dropped straight at Barker's feet 8 yards out. Williams got up, threw himself at the barrel-chested bundler and blocked superbly. The ball rolled further to the left, to BROWN, who tripped over the only moving object inside the box, knocking it in. A lot of shoulders shrugged.

Forget Town for the rest of the half: they imploded. Pinault became even more inaccurate with his passing, Town players were third, sometimes fourth to the ball. I'm sure I saw Pilkington take out a little gas stove and cook up some bacon and eggs. I have a small veil, I shall draw it across this period. Except you can see through it, where Mansfield nearly/should have scored again. Gritton and Crowe fooled only themselves down by the corner flag, allowing Brown to swerve through them, playing a one-two with a spare tyre, Buxton. Gritton tried to defend, Brown was away to the byeline, a deep cross to the far post where the unmarked Rundle awaited. The ball dropped, Rundle swung his boots, the ball zippedy-doo-dahed across goal and a couple of feet wide.

There was more awfulness, other efforts, more humbling stumbling by Town, but you've had more than enough. You've got the drift as the season drifts further away. It'll be over soon enough.

I didn't mean that soon! One minute of added time was flashed up and four seconds later the referee ended the half. Perhaps he's got a hot lunch date, or a flight booked from East Midlands Airport.

Half time: Mansfield 1 Grimsby Town 0

How many times can the same things be said? The twist this time was that we couldn't blame the keeper. Nice of them to share the burden. Is that what they mean by team spirit?

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"You can't buy contemporary art on Tuesdays."
"They're better than us at being average."
"Sorry, I'm too tall to use the other one."
"How many of our players would get a job on Cleethorpes Beach?"
"I found the ladies toilet. I don't think it's been used this century."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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