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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
10/09 Peterborough 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
TOWN made two changes at half time: Gritton replaced Parkinson and Barwick replaced Cohen. Town sort of, in a roundabout way, moved to a 4:3:3, with Gritton on the left upfield. He's our Wayne Rooney! Stop sniggering at the bus stop, the analogy holds water. No, analogies do not make you sneeze.
Peterborough 0 Grimsby Town 1
Barwick, Reddy, McDermott, oooh, everyone doing one-touch passes, leaving the little Posh piggies in the middle. Town went nowhere, but it did galvanise the Town support: suddenly a roar rose as possession was kept, passes made, movement observed. Cohesion, intent to play football, hope of a better life, that's why we headed west. A moment that meant a lot to Town fans, and nothing to neutrals. It was a defining moment for the relationship between players and supporter: we started to support again, not just watch and throw witty one liners at them.
As the Town fans' noise levels rose, the Town players' commitment increased. They moved as one, they played as a team - but it was all in defence. Peterborough piled forward, upping the pace of play, taking off strikers, sending on quicker players, loading up their right hand side. Semple came on. Croft wibbling, Gritton was forced back to help. Semple free, crossing, the ball bombling through the middle of the area as toes poked. No touch, no goal, no chance of respite. The ball was half-cleared, back they came. Corner, corner, free kick, corner: all headed clear, bubbled away for ten seconds at most. Into the box, out again. A man free, two yellow shirts smother and a shot deflected. The ground freezes, the ball squeezes underneath a Town boot and skips off towards the top left-hand corner. Mildenhall rises like Poseidon to clutch the ball away from disaster, swoops like Superman to save the baby tumbling from the skyscraper.
Ah, swapping your Town rejectors around now are you: Benjamin arrives without a suitcase to replace Quinn, or was it Logan; do I care? Back they come, down their right, crossing low through the area. Benjamin stretched, ten yards out in the centre, the ball continuing through, Barwick to the rescue. Another surge and cross. And another, and another: through, over, round and under; smuggled inside overcoats, disguised as tourists from Hungary, painted to look like an aardvark, they tried it all, but Town's customs officers stood firm. The ball sailing beyond Mildenhall inside the six-yards box, free, inviting, everyone waiting for a blue sock to appear. It's yellow! It's.... oh, I don't know, who cares, it one of ours. Let's say it was Macca for old times sake shall we? Ooh, another sweeping move from right to left, a cross dimpled into a striker acting as a wall... Poshies to the left, Poshies to the right, laid back, leaning back and swiping the ball over the bar. Phew, and all to the sound of the eight hundred strong GTFC choir. So, Russ has finally got his own army.
With about ten minutes left the hole on the left was finally plugged when Jones the Lump was replaced by Newey, with Town really, honestly and truly, playing a 4:4:2 formation. And still Peterborough piled forward. The rate of cornerdom increased and the Town choir reached a crescendo; every block, every header added to the poultry enumeration. Another cross through the area, Jones placing an order with Lastminutedotcom for an extra leg: it arrived just in time. Semple running, Newey clattering, Jones wrapping his wings around any Peterborough striker within pecking distance. Short corners, Town sleeping, the ball drifting into the middle of the box, disappearing into the blue lagoon and shooting out again on the yellow river. Falling, failing, hoping, praying, they did it all, they got nothing.
Four minutes of added time. FOUR! Where did that come from. The ratchet was ratcheted up another ratchet, ratch fans. The unbearable lightness of being a Town fan, watching from afar as the ball hid itself in the long grass. Another short corner on their left, dinkled in, Mildenhall challenging, the ball creeping over his hands and being ladled away along the bye-line. Caught your breath? They're back again, along the bye-line, the ball pulled back; Benjamin, perhaps ten yards out, scoopled the ball over the stand, which is probably what his teammates wanted to do to him at that moment: the last moment. Town had survived until quarter to five. So we win again.
An exhilarating experience, not for the finery of our silky football, but for the guts, determination, and a brave fortune. The crowd were energised, giving the team immense vocal support, to which they visibly responded. They couldn't give in, not with that behind them. If we'd lost 4-0 it wouldn't have been a travesty, so one-sided was the game in terms of possession and chances created. But Town won, and that with only one shot on target all game, and barely another worthy of such a description, even off-target. We're the biggest muggers in the league. Now, let's sort this home form out, shall we?
Typical Town: you just keep us hanging on. Are we going to reap just what Russ sows? And what is it, exactly? With a little luck, can you hear the Town exploding?
Nicko's Man of the Match
Town's towering figures today were the twin towers at the back. Mildenhall oozed impermeability from every pore, exuding confidence. Ah that sweet smell of male confidence, or was he a bit clumsy with the liniment? Is the book going to close early this year? Again, yet again, it's last year's scapegoat of choice, no longer a laughing stock, but the man whose sock is high: Rob Jones The Stick
Rob's rant of the day
"Mildenhall my lord, Mildenhall". Well, I didn't like it, even if everyone else did. For a start substitute "Macca" for "my lord". Context is everything.
Mr Sutton. No, not my old maths teacher who used to stand on one leg, jingle jangling coins in his pocket when agitated, but a some bloke allegedly from Lincolnshire. So that's somewhere between Tetney and Crowland. He started off being whistle unhappy, especially in our favour, but then went on a whistle-crazy rampage, seeing demons in every drink. He never gave off the aroma of total madness, looking like someone who would rather not make one of those big "as seen on TV" decisions. Not that bad, considering, so an average type score of 5.563
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