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Harrold: Last Game
Harrold: Last Game

02/04 Mansfield 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 03/04/2005

NO changes were made by either side at half time. Behind the stands the flight of the caravans continued: the long line of wobbly metal and plastic sauntering off to Skeggy. So that's where all the Mansfield fans are. They'll get stuck on the Lincoln by-pass.

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

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

Within a minute the mobile home that was McLachlan was booked for tripping and whipping Parkinson inside the centre circle as the shimmering Scouser was about to tip toe through the tulips. Oh no, not again, another Pinault mistake, passing directly to jail, not passing Go. Mansfield off, off and away, Rundle scootering up the left wing, crossing beyond the far post, where Brown shovelled the ball towards the bottom left hand corner. Williams flipped the bumbler aside. What is this thing you call defending?

Is this some flotsam to cling on to as the river levels rise? Parkinson past one, two and a third, releasing Harrold in the centre, just outside the penalty area. A brief moment in time, snap, it's gone: Harrold delayed, passed towards the unmarked Fleming, who.... lost out in the tackle. So close to being almost something where it is possible that it could lead to a potential danger, depending which way the wind blows.

They made another change, bringing on yet another willowy, callow youth, Lloyd. Sorry, I misheard the tannoy, that's Callum Lloyd. Still no animation on the Town bench.

Where's Crowe? Neil was away down their right, four attackers against two defenders, Brown unmarked ten yards out; Whittle's big bottom to the rescue. Good job he left his little one at home today. Wise decision.

Town were getting worse, players reacting only when the ball was near, easily shrugged aside by opponents who could see that win bonus in their pocket. If you go home now you'll beat the B & Q rush-hour. Mansfield were being a little pixie-ish; Brown lurking behind Williams as Agony Ant (© P Green) waited to boot upfield. Yes, it's a pantomime: "Behind You!" we shouted at the grand dame in goal. Was this game any good? On no it wasn't.

Town did a move - quite good - four passes along the ground, but Fleming crossed straight to Pilkington. I thought I'd better mention it. Gotta be positive.

This game is hopeless: Mansfield strolling, cocky enough to start trying flicks and tricks. They'll be "olé-ing" soon.

On the hour Pinault was replaced by Soames, putting us out of his misery. Perhaps the weather had him pining for the fjords of France. Soames went to wide right position whilst Fleming was released from his shackles to roam the savannah in the centre.

A small flurry of activity sparked by Soames' pestering got Town a corner. Cleared out to Fleming in the centre, his shot apologised as it passed several ankles before striking a blue sock and looping up towards the six-yards box. Gritton leapt, looked and attempted to hook the ball goalwards. Pilkington hurled himself at the upturned Scot, managing to block at point blank range. Ah well, there we are. Another minute, another false dawn. Parkinson surging past two, crossing a foot or so above the unmarked Harrold at the far post. A few minutes later Parkinson sailed past three, cut into the box and chiselled the ball well over the cross bar as team-mates were yingling about to his right. Oh yes, this is where you are supposed to say "Parkinson not offside but..." At least he was having a go, if Town should do anything he would be the catalyst. Yes, I know, we haven't bought a converter for our little Mini's engine.

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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And what were Mansfield up to during this illusion of Town pressure? Dancing in the streets, wearing their hair in a bob and in short skirts too. They were having a lovely day, frequently puncturing the balloon, but teasing too. They didn't want to kill the bull too early, everyone might go home before they've finished their act. Neil, in particular, was dictating the tempo, scrumping the ball off the dozy Townites, encouraging his minions to scatter the good seed on the land. Barker wafted wide after a flick from a throw in. Too simple, painfully poor by Town. We're waiting for the next goal.

We didn't expect that. A Town shot. Fleming advanced in the centre, tickled the ball to Harrold who spun around his marker and played a perfect pass behind the full back for Soames to run onto. Alone, inside the box Soames hit the shot early from about 15 yards out, but straight at Pilkington's legs. The ball rebounded high, high, behind Pilkington into the six-yards box. Keeper, strikers and defenders all careered into the same spot, waiting for the sun. Gritton and Harrold were directly underneath the ball: they collided, fell and the ball bounced down, across, and wide for a goal kick. They brilliantly saved the day for Mansfield.

Town didn't do anything else any good, if you are prepared to class that as good.

Fleming was booked for moaning, then with 10 minutes left Ramsden replaced....Gritton. The Town fans considered that the management team had made a mistake, and alerted them to this belief in traditional manner. Gritton feigned an inability to see the board and trudged off looking slightly dissatisfied with life. Ah, now what formation did Town revert to....4:4:2 still. Ramsden went to left back, Crowe to right midfield and Soames partnered Harrold upfront. This made things even worse.

With five minutes left Barker flicked on and Rundle za-za-zoomed through on the left. Forbes (Was that bloke from Radio Humberside at the same game. Can't tell his Macca's from his Crowe's from his Forbes from his elbows) backed off, and off, and off, and off, and was turned into a reversible raincoat when the flying funster cut inside. From about 12 yards out RUNDLE whacked the ball high across Williams in to the top left hand corner. Good finish, lousy defending, lousy game over. What contest?

After this Crowe stopped moving backwards, twice allowing Mansfielders to drivel past him and get to the bye-line. Too much cockiness by the Stags saved Town, for they looked for their paper hats and kazoos, rather than crossing to one of several unmarked mates. In the last minute Barker was allowed to do a geological survey of the Town half, with the Town defence akimbo. Alone, inside the area, he smackerooned the ball way over the bar. Thanks for thinking of us Richie, as 2-0 looks a respectable scoreline.

During the two minutes of added time Town had a couple of attacks. So lacking in interest or purpose were they that I am not going to tell you anything about them. Town players inside Mansfield area shock.

It has finished.

This game was over last week. Town played like they wanted to be with the locals, caravanning in Skeggy. No-one came out of it with much credit. The best were simply people who could be seen to be trying. There was no form, no obvious style or plan of action. Town should really register themselves with the Charity Commission: we are dispensing much needed succour to all our opponents. In desperate need of points? Welcome inside, here they are, take as many as you wish, be our guest.

The Scunthorpe game is looming: we've given generously recently, let's keep something for ourselves, just once. Patience is exhausted. We need some reason to keep going. Can anyone find one?

Nicko's Man of the Match

Erm, oh, do we really have to have one? We're attempting to differentiate between degrees of (in)adequacy. Why bother; they didn't much. No-one was man of the match.

Markie's Un Man of the Match

Oh dear, the pain, the pain, poor old Pinault: nothing he did was right. It was plain to see he was hopeless. He was King Midas in Reverse.

Official Warning

Mr L Mason

The locals roused themselves in faux ire with some decisions, mainly when he kept giving Town goal kicks. Oooh, you are awful. Overall there is absolutely nothing to complain about, nothing bad, nothing good. He was there, kept control of himself and the players; he ended the game. If we look to our right we can see the judges' score...... 7.652. Solid and respectable.

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