Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
|JPK: Another Classic|
27/09 Notts Co 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NEITHER team made any changes at half time. Town emerged several minutes late, perhaps relaxing in the executive suite with champagne and caviar, watching the Spurs game again.
Grimsby Town 4 Notts County 0
With twenty minutes left Reddy was replaced with Cohen, who immediately did something or other involving his big chest. Not his little chest, his big one. It got us up off our feet, whatever it was. Sorry, do you come here often? We're the ones in stripes. Cohen had a header, it went over, a footnote in history. We only stand up for goals now.
County rolling sideways again, Town in knots. Berry wiggled, wriggled and flavoured a sharp little clip goalwards through a banana of bodies. Mildenhall was positioned perfectly and plucked plumply. Milders chomped the ball from the sky all night long; an impassable barrier, the mere sight of which caused Magpies to flee in fear. Town were playing out time, content to play chess. With just over ten minutes left Newey replaced Parkinson, just after Parky had dribbled past a defender, rather than try and run through him. Town won a throw ten yards inside their half, with Gritton receiving the ball, spinning and caressing a curious pass inside the full back and down the wing. Newey hared off past his putative marker, hit the bye-line and smacked a low cross towards the near post. COHEN got his motor runnin', stepped inside and nonchalantly steered the ball high into the net from about eight yards out. No messin', no fussin', nowhere for County to hide. Their fans staunch, their players a collective paunch.
Ah yes, the conga again, and way past their bedtime too. No need to roar, the team soaring, let's save some energy, just like they are doing. OlÃ© football, with a thousand and one Arabian passes to everyone. Jones and Whittle forced the centre-forward into some piggy-in-the-middle before Jones hit a brilliant 976 yard pass down the wing for Newey, who headed it out of play for a goal kick. In the last minute Berry shivered free, turning Whittle into a pumpkin before cutting infield and lashing a shot goalwards from the left side of the penalty area. Mildenhall swayed to his left and parried the ball away, with McGoldrick handling the ball as he followed up.
Three minutes of added time were added, as they often are. That'd be 30 seconds for each minute Pipe was injured, and after taking all that time away for the sending off. Do we care, do we mind? Of course not, let's return to our constituencies and prepare for government. During this added time Croft had a run and shot by the way, hitting the back of a defender. That's all.
Well, there we have it. For twenty minutes this was like every home game this season: Town stodgy porridge, opponents outmanoeuvring, outpassing and nearly scoring. But after the first goal the 'Pies crumbled. Town were sumptuous, confident, irrepressible and above all a joy to watch. The half time scoreline flattered County and the game was over by the famous never-ending 47th minute.
The performance wasn't perfect, for there were a few funny turns. Croft's legs don't move quickly, Jones and Whittle made a few mistakes, but elsewhere there are only plaudits. Francis, in particular, stamped some personality on the game, striking up a telepathic relationship with Macca. The right-hand side was defensively sound and a constant threat to County. He looked far to good for this division. The front two, yes a proper full blown two up front, pulled their defence apart, creating gaps for others to move into, with Gritton a pumped-up workaholic, never shirking a challenge.
Just look at the scoreline: this performance doesn't need any treacle. We're top, we're scoring goals, and we're playing football. Yes! We're halfway to safety already.
Nicko's Man of the Match
Until his close encounter of the elbow kind Bolland was a shoo in for his thrusting, manly bullying (with skill) of his former team-mates. It was he who held the team together in the first ten minutes. Who could it be then? The girl at centre half in the half time five a side game? Cool, calm and collected, she was the female Futcher. No, not on the pitch long enough. Macca was Maccaful, only needing to make one tackle, in the 83rd minute. Jones was mostly excellent, though his dreadful back pass rules him out. Francis was exceptional, though tired after half time. For an all round go-get-em performance combining brawn and brain it's Martin Gritton: he made things happen, and exploded into space.
Mr C W Oliver. Please sir, can I have some more. Sorry, wrong one. Generally alright I suppose. A bit unwilling to play advantage and that Gritton goal needs some explaining, though we could blame his linesman for that. Would you complain if he got 6.999? You would? Tough, I'm in charge here.
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