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Jones: Opener
Jones: Opener

27/09 Notts Co Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 28/09/2005

FROM being permanently inside the Town half, the game started to relax into comfortable middle age, wearing slippers in the centre circle. Francis started to get the ball, Reddy and Gritton knitted some interesting bobble hats around the County centrebacks.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Reports > Notts Co (h)

Grimsby Town 4 Notts County 0
24 Sep 2005, Coca Cola League 2

But it was Bolland who took charge, wrestling with County crocodiles bare-chested and without the aid of electric forks, the flying roofer fixing a hole where the rain gets. They Shall Not Pass tattooed on his forehead.

Finally, a Town attack, though it was a god-awful small affair. Gritton tried a looper-drooper volley from about 30 yards on the centre left. Bouncing once, the ball almost bumbled over Pilkington, but he failed to fail. Still, a Town shot: there is life on Mars. Town were starting to press, Francis prominent, crosses hurled in, corners won. A bimble, a bumble and Gritton hooking, the ball squirmed through gaps in the fence and squiffed away from near the line as legs thrashed and heads bashed. Another Town cross from deep, nodded on by Jones, just rolling behind Gritton and Reddy inside the six yards box. Town were seeping into this game. Kalala-di-da, midfield huffling and puffling, County breaking quickly, a blur of blue and corner to you, Mr Pie. Clipped from their right, the ball zoomed to an unmarked Countyite, perhaps a dozen yards out, who steered the ball towards the bottom right hand corner of the goal. A nod, a wink, and Macca gracefully ushered the ball off the line with a three iron down the fairway. This isn't going to plan, is it. Town were producing little with the Magpies pecking at their nest.

After about twenty minutes the worm turned and Town started to press against the County door. Was it locked? Go on, you try, give it a push. Try the handle. Overstaffed on their left, the Nottinghamshire folk got away with it as Town sent four players into the same space, Bolland shinning the ball out for a goal-kick whilst the blueboys were phoning their agents. Another minute, another Town attack: Reddy rocking, Parky flitting, Gritton bundling defenders aside. County creaking.

Let's get their last attack of the half out of the way. They had an attack, they were offside, then one of their abstract attackers placed the ball around Mildenhall into the bottom right hand corner. So it didn't count. Happy? They weren't, we were.

Near the half hour the Town cats started to purr with Gritton the fulcrum around which the world pivoted. The Gritster rolled, Reddy reeled, Parkinson pestered the life out of the full back. A cross was blocked and a corner to Town; the Pontoon reared and roared its head as Whittle and Jones lumbered upfield. Parkinson's cross was half cleared and McDermott sprinted forward to retrieve possession midway inside the half, passing the ball back to Parkinson on the wing. The Scouse scamp took one touch, cut back and chippled a cross into the centre of the penalty area. JONES rose above mankind and pummelled a header down low to Pilkington's right and into the net as the keeper grappled with basic ballistics. Oh yes, the doors are open: welcome to the party, leave your six pack of Double Diamond in the kitchen.

A minute later Town were at it again, throttling the flimsy lacemakers. A Town corner was cleared to the centre circle and hoiked back again with Jones flickering the ball on. Reddy, five yards offside, stood in the centre with arms in the air. Gritton, on the left, shuffled forward unmarked and powered into the penalty area. One stride, one touch and a precisely placed finish over and across Pilkington into the left hand side of the goal. The crowd rose, County players sank, then a couple made mild complaints to the referee. Why? The linesman hadn't put his flag up, at all, ever, ever. Ever. After a while the referee decided to walk over to the linesman. Both stroked their chin, scratched their cheeks, shook their heads and...disallowed the goal for offside. The Lower Smiths/Stones/Findus was vacated as its inhabitants leapt up in fury. Five minutes later the linesman put his flag up, but not where the crowd demanded.

Steve Mildenhall
John McDermott
Justin Whittle
Rob Jonesgoal
Gary Croft
Simon Francis
Jean-Paul Kamudimbagoal
Paul Bolland
Andy Parkinson
Michael Reddy
Martin Grittongoal


Tom Newey79 mins
Gary Cohengoal71 mins
Ciaran Toner54 mins
Terry Barwick
Simon Ramsden


Clive Oliver


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The crowd whipped itself into an indignant frenzy, imploring Town on. The players responded with twenty minutes of sublime power and passing, grinding feeble County with Bolland the pestle. Francis mesmerised Ullathorne, flicking, tricking and brushing aside with disdain. You can see why Warnock signed him: muscular, athletic and determined. But you can also see why Warnock doesn't play him: he tries to pass the ball. Football rather than rollerball. Ah, beautiful, a spinning back-heel setting Reddy free, then a powerful surge, flicking tacklers away like specks of muck on his wellies. A corner to Town, Pilkington glued to his line, flapping his arms like a demented duck as his defenders disappeared at the sight of Jones turning and smathering a shot a foot over the bar. Ooo. OOOOOO-ducky! The referee gave a corner, seeing what no one else saw: that the keeper tipped the ball over the bar with his wide-eyed gaze. Parky slippered the corner over from the left, the ball was cleared back to him and another cross hung suggestively in the still air. Francis hoovered up yards and hovered above a defender to flick the ball a couple of feet wide of the left post.

"This one's for Becky," cried Edwards as he watched the last defender fall when Francis pummelled forward. County were obliterated, Town rampant; Uncle Albert Kamudimba mugged a little man in midfield. Gritton dribbled and four Town players piled forward in support. Defenders were squeezboxed, not knowing what to do. Twenty yards out in the centre, Gritton checked onto his left foot and cuddled a low shot through the bundle of bodies in front of him. Pilkington zithered to his left, at full stretch, and just managed to claw the ball aside as Reddy lurked.

County croaking, gasping for oxygen; they need air, they need help. Mariners magnificent: one-touch passing, Reesian backheels from Parkinson sending Reddy free. Marvellous. Macca raiding: the County cardigan unravelling before our very eyes. Francis, quickly adjusting his feet as the ball boombled off a defender, steered a side-footed shot just over the bar.

As the half ended Town attacked again, an incessant orgy of wonderfulness brought to a thrilling climax. Parky perked on the left, forcing a corner. His corner was returned back to him, he cut infield and, from near the corner of the penalty area, attempted to curl the ball towards the far post. The ball was deflected and looped loopily, lazily towards the far post, arching over Gritton and a defender, falling upon Reddy's boot a few yards out. Pilkington and a defender scrumbled the ball away from the line, but it hooped upwards, back into the centre. GRITTON, eight yards out, stooped and headed in to the centre of the net and walked over towards the linesman cheekily raising a thumb and a comically quizzical look.

Half time: Grimsby Town 2 Notts County 0

Oh yes: shining like the sun, smiling, having fun, feeling like a number one. What a twenty minutes. Town simply walked over the Piemen, burying them with testosterone and skill. They were quicker than us, but that's all. Defensively exceedingly frail, they imploded when Town breathed upon them. What? Have we got bad breath?

What a shame it had to end.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"It's got a red button and a wooden handle, you can't miss it."
"Do you think we can swap Francis for Glen Downey?"
"My balti pie was harder than them."
"All we had to do was play louder."
"They have a player who sounds like a sausage."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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