Question of the Week
What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?
02/04 Mansfield Part 2
By: Tony Butcher
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.
Mansfield 2 Grimsby Town 0
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."
The report continues in the Second Half.
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