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20/08 Darlington Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 21/08/2005

SENSIBLE hair and sensible passing. Football? No, go next door for that, this is post modern football. You don't need grass, you don't need a ball, just 22 men, three lime crunches and an enclosed area.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Reports > Darlington (h)

Grimsby Town 0 Darlington 1
20 Aug 2005, Coca Cola League 2

A real life fantasy football match, where you use your imagination to guess where the ball would be if there was one, of course.

Someone threw a ball on. Parkinson, in the centre circle hooked it over his head and down the middle of the pitch, Reddy raced past their giant peach and was away. Onwards, into the penalty area, in the centre, just Russell to beat. Reddy volleyed the ball straight at Russell from 15 yards, who superbly parried aside to his left. Reddy retrieved, about 8 yards wide and screwed the ball towards the open goal. Russell zoomed horizontally and parried aside again for a corner. Two great saves from the scourge of Slade. A minute later some trickery and flickery down the Town left saw Bolland jink infield and va-voom a tubthumper straight at Russell from 20 yards. Quarter of an hour gone and some action. Rumours abound that there had been a further Town attempt at goal, but a Jones flick header from a free kick that looped lovingly into the arms of Russell doesn't count. OK, if the banana boatman had stayed at home and completed the whole of Puzzle Monthly, it would have been a goal.

Dickman advanced again down the centre, Jones half blocked his shot, the ball squirming like a toad to Mildenhall. Jones was furious with his fellow defenders for the lack of tackling. In response Newey clobbered Wainwright and was booked. He could have been sent off for a late tackle, but Mr Fussy was kind. The referee, our old friend from Hull, was quietly pedantic, stopping play frequently for the minorest of matters. It all added to the torpor. The crowd was dulled by the pain, incapable of rousing itself to moan at the continual stream of long balls whacked from the back down the wings. Newey in particular had a Pavlovian punt every time, not even looking. Reddy chased, but rarely raced. Gritton had better things to do, like stroking his hair back and pointing. That's with his hands; he wasn't doing some sneaky brickwork whilst awaiting a pass. If he'd been doing that, he would have been able to complete a small extension for a kids' playroom by the end of the first half. Parkinson could do the plastering. Or would that be Crane's job?

What was that? Did someone just shoot? Oh no, just a near moment of almostness. Mildenhall fluffed a fly kick, Croft flicked the ball on and Reddy was almost through, but fell over when reeling. At times like this you wish the rains would come, a Chester-like deluge ending our boredom. Boredom, that's the word. Why would anyone want to come back to Blundell Park and watch this out of choice?

Hey-up, hang on, Darlo have a free kick, 30 yards out on their right. Swung high, swung far, Clarke ducked like Hargreaves did two weeks ago and pummelled a swirling, curling header a few inches past the left-hand post. A carbon copy, save for about eight inches, or a half degree difference in the angle; maybe Clark has a lumpier head than Hargreaves. Close, very close, very, very close. Phewsome. A minute later Town got a throw in, which is a victory of sorts these days. Chucked in by Newey to the unmarked Croft, just inside the penalty area. He waited for the ball to bounce, pulled back his right boot and a Darlington defender blocked. The ball remained at Croft's feet, but he was unbalanced and couldn't get a shot in as he was smothered by red dust. This was a scrap, a morsel of meaningless mush, on which we must feast. Unappetising, but it's all you'll get.

Steve Mildenhallyellow card
John McDermott
Tony Cranered card
Simon Ramsden
Rob Jones
Tom Neweyred card
Paul Bolland
Gary Croft
Andy Parkinson
Martin Gritton
Michael Reddy


Gary Cohen57 mins
Ciaran Toner88 mins
Calvin Andrew72 mins
Gary Jones
Justin Whittle


Carl Boyeson
(East Yorkshire)


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And back down the Pontoon end again. With Town's defence retreating and Town's midfield watching, Dickman advanced down the centre. From the edge of the area he lampooned a shot to Mildenhall's right, who parried aside spectacularly. A minute after that Logan played chase the lady with McDermott, tickling the ball through Macca's legs and caressing a cross though the six yard box. Mildenhall sprung from his line, punching out towards the penalty spot. As a Darloman approached Bolland snapped his fingers, raised an eyebrow and threw back his cape, snoogling the ball away with a witty bon mot thrown in for good measure. Half an hour gone and it felt like 30 days.

The tannoy announced there would be two minutes of added time, a Pontoonite claimed we didn't want 'em. "Hang on" I hear you say, "what happened to those fifteen minutes in-between?" Have you edited out, deleted, or otherwise withheld information? If you believe that you'll also believe the Martians are here. "They're here already! They're all around you", which in a way they are if you are a Town defender. Oh, alright, the only thing that happened in those 15 missing minutes was that Crane clattered someone and didn't get booked, then he tried to scythe down Logan just outside the Town area on the right, but failed. Tony Crane was Kung Fu fighting, but he wasn't as fast as lightning. Back to the fairy story - Croft cushioned a lovely volleyed back pass to Mildenhall. Lovely in the sense of perfectly weighted for Johnson to run onto near the penalty spot. The big S and Johnson tackled each other, with the ball rolling free. Johnson got up and shot goalwards, with Mildo parrying aside. With chickens clucking, another Darlington player raced up to the loose ball on the bye line to the right of goal and carefully clipped a cross between and above the goal and his fellow Redsters. Half over, Town fans half-booed; the cold indifference of the ancient rock of the Town support was an ominous Pontoon portent.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Darlington 0

It was like the Oxford game all over again. Same players, same "tactics", same lack of interest.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Newey's just a fitter, slimmer Gallimore".
"He can't be a dwarf as he doesn't have a beard".
"Croft's a real pro - he gives his manager what he wants..."
"I don't want chardonnay - I asked for wine".
"I promise not to shout "Parkinson!" this half".

The report continues in the Second Half.

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