League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
|Joachim: Late Goal|
24/09 Boston 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
BOSTON replaced Whelan with Rusk. I suppose the salad dodger wants to remain alive. Thirty seconds in and Town had nearly punched their own sucker.
Boston United 1 Grimsby Town 1
A cross through the area, Macca was forced to nod away for a corner. It's coming, you can see it, you can feel it: Town were barely in this match, standing and waiting for the next attack. Remind me again - who has ten players? Another free kick, lofted to the left edge of the Town area. Mildenhall came out and half punched the ball straight to Maylett, twenty five yards out, who took one touch and spun a volley goal wards. The ball glided over the retreating Mildenhall, over McDermott on the line and just over the angle of post and bar. Town tried some possession football to slow the game down, to dictate, but after five passes the ball ended up back with the centre backs, who just whacked it upfield.
The change it had to come, we knew it all along. With fifteen minutes left Croft was replaced by Parkinson, with Newey retreating to left back. Only one change? Within a minute Town broke away from the half way line, Cohen dribbling forward, the defence retreating, he slid a perfectly weighted pass out to Gritton on the left. The Gritster took the ball on with the defenders running parallel, not closing him down. He got inside the area, looked up and saw blue shirts arriving in the centre. He took another stride and, from about a dozen yards out wide of goal, pinged a firm drive across Abbey, who parried the ball to Parkinson, a dozen yards out. Parky stretched to control the ball, but sliced a clearance out of the area, such was the power of the parry.
Once more into the breach in their defence. Boston desperation, Town clearance, Kalala in the centre, Gritton peeling, Reddy reeling and a perfect pass into Reddy feet. He zoomed, he loomed, he failed to look up. Kalala and Gritton were unmarked inside the area but Reddy only had eyes for himself. With three defenders huddled around, he cut infield and tried a further shimmy, rather than rolling the ball five yards to his right. He wasn't the toast of the Town at that moment.
Reddy and Gritton were hardly moving, Cohen seemed to be limping, Kalala was starting to become static, but still Town had the ball and an extra player. Town took up time with another period of possession football. OlÃ©, olÃ©, olÃ©, oh no, it's back with Whittle. Boom, ball back in Abbey's arms. Five minutes left, and Town broke again, Parkinson tickled away down the left and losing possession, then winning it back. About twenty five yards out, just to the left of centre Parkinson delightfully curled a shot over and around Abbey. The ball suddenly dipped and clipped the top of the crossbar. A sure victory missed by perhaps an inch.
Hold tight defence: count to three, gotta stay close to Newey. Hold tight fans: sing and shout, shut our eyes, ride this roundabout. Boston piled forward, sending Futcher up to be centre forward. Such space into which we could move, but we'd have to get the ball first. Gritton acted as an auxiliary centre back, then left winger. He was everywhere, yet nowhere. More free kicks given away, pressure building, we've been here so many times, where you see the future and it hurts. With less than a minute left Bolland pursued the bouncing ball as it bumbled across the pitch. Close to the touchline he jumped and a Boston boot stretched out and lifted the ball, it striking him on the arm and going out of play. The referee decided to give a free kick. The ball was lofted in, Mildenhall half came out, a Town head nodded half clear, straight to Rusk, who punted it back, high towards the far post. Gritton was outbumped by Ellender, the ball skidding off his forehead to the right edge of the six yard box. Bolland pursued JOACHIM who spun instantly and harpooned the ball high into the top right hand corner.
There were three minutes of added time, during which Town thrust forward, getting nowhere until Reddy, with just a few seconds left, was pushed over on the edge of right edge of their penalty area. Reddy fell on the ball and immediately took the free kick, as Bolland dashed in to the area unmarked. Free behind the defence and about eight yards wide of goal, Bolland opened his body and steered the ball over and around Abbey towards the top left hand corner. The statistically worse keeper in the division soared to his left, stretched every sinew and then some of Futcher's, Ellender's and the tea lady's, to magnificently tip the ball aside. The ref ended the game there and then. The Town players stood aghast, astounded and apologetically in front of the huge wedge of Grimsby banked before them. Doing enough isn't enough sometimes.
Overall you can't complain about the result, Boston created just as many chances and had far more of the game than Town in the second half. After half time Town were hanging on - against a numerically inferior opponent. Town didn't play well, they didn't pass the ball well, some players didn't look well. But if this is going to be our disappointment this year, I think we'd take it.
I think we're all a little bit giddy from this last week. Let's take a break for a couple of days and put this down to hormones.
Nicko's Man of the Match
Only two possible candidates here. Mildenhall was his usual commanding self, making three excellent saves, especially from the free kick. So, if not Mildo/Mildew/Mildy then who?
You've known him since you knew his name,
He's always on our side,
He's always there or thereabouts,
He's taller than he's wide.
Here's another clue for you all - the walrus was Paul. No that's a red herring. Who else but media tartlet John Sir Mac of St Dermott. Why is he always interviewed in a helium filled room?
Rob's rant of the day
They all came out today. Enquiring as to their mode of transport to this match and whether they all came on the same Massey Ferguson. Yes, rubbish ground and no fans, but that loses its edge when it's true: we must have irony, we are Town, we are unique.
Mr G Salisbury. Concerned the cognoscenti by playing up to the crowd when clapping us for recognising his peccadilloes, but we warmed as he gave a penalty, sent one off and generally calmed down a bit. He was a bit inconsistent: similar challenges didn't necessarily result in the same decision, and he was a very reluctant giver of advantage. That suited us fine as it hindered Boston more than us. Overall he was OK. I see it in the stars, between Ursa major and Ursa minor: 7.03
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