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30/04 Kidderminster 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
KIDDERMINSTER made two changes at half time, replacing a defender and an attacker. Burton and Birch coming on. The referee decided he had to re-start the game, and did so. The game ambled on, a diverting backdrop for us daytrippers, yeah.
Kidderminster Harriers 1 Grimsby Town 4
It would be nice if Town had another visit to the dozing Town fans, wouldn't it.
Hello! A free kick pumped long, nodded on by Whittle to the unmarked Ramsden on the right, ten yards out. The ball bounced, dropped and the Rammy Ramster leant to one side, arched his back and beautifully curved a volley twenty eight centimetres wide of the 'keeper's right hand post. Even his mullet was starting to leap up in anticipation of glory.
Mr Green he's so serene, he's got a cheese and onion pasty in every room.
He we go again, more Kiddy raiding: Birch leaning on Bull and glancing wide; Rawle free, unmarked, and unable, poking horribly wide and high inside the penalty area. When you think about it that wasn't horrible at all for us. And we are us, they are them: see how they run like pigs from a gun. Rawle bounding away past Williams, who missed the ball as he tried to sweep up behind Crane. Perhaps he should have taken his cloth cap and overall off before trying to run. Rawle clipped a cross to the far post where Birch leant on Jones and glanced wide. Russell: a long shot, post hit. Not their day is it; not their season. They're setting off to the Conference with soft explosions. We've had two of these seasons recently, so a bit of silent sympathy flew towards the two thousand homesters.
With just less than twenty minutes left young Heggarty replaced Parkinson. Apart from his goal, Parkinson barely registered on the radar; you'd have though that modern technology would have picked up his ears at least. A couple of minutes later Jones was clobbered, never recovered and the impossible happened: DOWNEY entered the arena. A reminder that they also serve who sit and stare. There will be medals cast, to be personally presented by Positive John, to every Town fan present. In 50 years time there will be a blue plaque placed on the away team bench to mark the spot, and the occasion. Downey got an extra-special cheer which, like his boots, was laced with irony.
Kidderminster were sent into a right tizz by the sight of Glen, for within a minute Town had another attack. The ball was lazily tonked down the left. Heggarty eagerly pursued, and dribbled with intent. His pass to Reddy was intercepted, but cleared straight back to Crowe, who tapped it to the now unmarked Reddy, about 15 yards out way to the left of the area. REDDY nodded the ball across a defender into space, steadied himself and lashed a skiffling shot over and across Danby and in to the top left hand corner. A cracking finish that got even the most jaded, cynical, and unconscious Town supporters into the air with a Woo-hoo-hoo.
A minute or so afterwards Coldicott replaced Crowe. And Town finally had someone in midfield: Conan the Destroyer was back in his yard.
Kidderminster continued to attack and continued to waste chances. Downey almost touched the ball, but was repelled by an invisible forcefield, allowing Birch to control, advance, infiltrate the area and poke terribly wide. Rawle crossed, Downey waited, Downey missed the ball. Time ticking, Glen still hadn't touched it. Would he ever or would this be the twist of the comic knife? Ooh - now? Darn it, a tackle missed. How about you Ronnie? Whoops, another missed clog. Still, at least he managed to pass to a Town player once this game, if you count a free kick whacked forwards as a pass. You do? How generous of spirit you are.
Kidderminster made a final substitution. Bringing on Sturrock to replace pint-sized Russell. Crane was able to deal with Blair Sturrock and Argyle Highlanders all on his own, placing himself with is back to the sun, always looking to gain an edge. Reddy terrorised down the left, chest bursting past three after a superbly weighted pass from Heggarty. No one was quick enough to get in to the box for his cross. Pinault, on the centre right, advanced and played a perfect pass between two defenders for Reddy to run on to. The 'keeper came out and Reddy tried to drift past on the left but Danby managed to get a hand to the ball . A brief glimpse of a hint of a chance for Heggarty, but a big butch defender stood in his way, then scythed through him from behind. No free kick, of course.
And the it happened. In the last minute Glen Downey touched the ball, tackling out on the right for a Kidderminster throw in. Rapturous applause from the Town faithful. We'd seen history. Ten seconds later he touched it again, making an excellent block. Then, another ten seconds, a header away! What more could we ask for? We'd seen it all. What a minute.
In added time Reddy again wiggled and waggled past three inside the penalty area, crossing low to Coldicott, in the centre near the penalty spot. Stace opened his body and steered the ball first time towards the top left hand corner, but it drifted a few inches wide. Added time? There were eight or nine years of it.
Well, there we are: a nice day out sightseeing near the Severn. A little team bonding and some never to be repeated events. This was how all the games could have been since the Darlington defeat. You choose which one I mean. It was OK, but don't read too much into this. The opposition succeeded in failing. Town won through a combination of Kidderminster's inabilities and Michael Reddy. The three amigos at the back were not comforting, skyscrapers being functional buildings at best. There was very little attacking from Town, and what there was resulted from breakaways and accidents. A grand day out, that's all it was. If it's a trailer for next year: beware.
This was something beyond football, perhaps the very first post-modern football match. It was a work of performance art. You see what you want to see.
Nicko's Man of the Match
Crane headed the ball a lot, and clenched his fist a few times, but positionally he was vintage Crane. It has to be Michael Reddy, our sunshine superman, using any trick in the book. When I say he's a little cool, I think that you know what I mean.
Markie's UnMan of the Match
I know he tries very hard, but a footballer he ain't . It's that man again: Ronnie Bull. He was on the pitch, he wore a Town kit. Much more than that I cannot say.
Tim's Man of the Minute
It's the 89th minute, it's Glen Downey. That was his minute, maybe even his career. He did have a very good minute.
Mr B Curson. Another one of those refs who has zero tolerance for Town players touching opponents, but likes the game to flow when Town players are assaulted, preferably with two feet. He wasn't very good, and was a bit slow to deal with the six thousand head injuries. He arrived on time, started it on time and ended the game within a reasonable timescale. How about 4.999?
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