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The Lump!
The Lump!

10/12 Bristol Rovers Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 14/12/2005

A couple of minutes later Croft chased after a bouncing ball inside the Town area with two gaseous elements billowing plumes of smoke at his ankles.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Reports > Bristol R (h)

Grimsby Town 0 Bristol Rovers 1
10 Dec 2005, Coca Cola League 2

Rather than tap the ball back to Mildenhall, and thus place him under pressure within a couple of yards of the goal, Croft cleverly twisted the ball away for a corner. The corner? Nothing happened.

Town-Town-Town- ah, yes, I remember now. Jones the Lump nodded a long punt on and a central defender steered the ball back to their keeper, who picked it up. And Newey took a free kick which, well, didn’t amount to hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that, Elsa.

At some point the player with the shirt that had "Campbell" written on the back kicked the ball into the Pontoon. Some Statto somewhere will, no doubt, class this as a "shot off target". We prefer to remember it as an echo of a distant time, billowing into the stand. What we were, not what we are. Not much difference is there, except a lower wage bill and a lower division.

Get out the mistletoe and whine: Town have a free kick, something nearly happened. Or was it a corner? Who cares? Newey took some kind of kick from the left, hung high to the back post, aiming for Jones the Stick. For once he won the header, the ball arcing slowly towards the top left hand corner. The ball dropped and a defender swooshed it away. A few minutes later Town got a free kick on the right. I’ll skip the introduction, the goalie dropped it as Jones the Stick challenged in the middle of the area. There was a bit of scrambled egg on toast and a Bristolian waitress cleared the plates away before we’d even poured some brown sauce on. Actually, what do you put on scrambled egg on toast? Tomato ketchup? Worcester sauce? Sugar? Or is that just people from Sheffield?

Is there a land beyond boredom? There was excitement as a teenage girl’s shoe fell off as she walked in front of the Pontoon. A white trainer isn’t the same as a glass slipper, though. She never found her Prince Charming.

Rovers tried the Agogo flick trick again. Newey and Toner were alert and squashed their full-back as he pulled back his foot to shoot. A good old-fashioned thumping, clumping, thudding tackle that awoke the crowd for a micro-second. And in the naked light I saw four thousand people, maybe more; people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening. And remember that the words of the prophets are written on the toilet walls: "Push button to flush".

Ooh, a.. erm, thing. Bolland had a shot, it went over. Or wide. I know it doesn’t sound much, and it wasn’t. Ooh, a-erm, another thing. Bolland twizzled the ball to Cohen, who stepped in from the left and, from twenty yards out, drumbled a sniveller in a goalwards direction. Parkinson and Cohen had switched flanks, for all the good it did. It gave them a reason to continue breathing, I suppose. It would be nice if they’d also given the crowd a reason to. Agogo had a shot, it was rubbish.

Parkinson and Croft combined down the right , with one of them managing to dinkle a teasing little cross into the centre of the goalmouth. Their keeper stayed on his line and watched as Lescott cushioned the ball back towards him. Of course he picked it up and of course there was no free kick given. Like the players, the referee couldn’t be bothered to do anything of any consequence.

Steve Mildenhall
Gary Croft
Justin Whittle
Rob Jones
Tom Newey
Andy Parkinsonyellow card
Paul Bolland
Ciaran Toner
Gary Cohen
Michael Reddy
Gary Jones

Martin Gritton62 mins
Glen Downey
Simon Ramsden
Nick Heggarty
Paul Ashton

Peter Walton

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Telling out about this game is like describing every stitch in a cardigan. So what if Newey lashed a free kick high into the area, with the ball falling to The Lump, who chested it down and hit a dipping volley onto the top corner of the "F" in the Osmond seats. A bit later Bolland dummied and was crumpled by one of their fair-headed scufflers, who wasn’t even booked. About 25 yards out, just to the right of centre, Newey stood over the ball, tried to remember Pythagoras’ theorem, and curled the ball a couple of feet over the centre of goal. Yeah, "ooh", if you want, as long as you are being post modern, or doing an impression of Kenneth Williams.

I’ve missed out something: their shot almost on target. Near the end Agogo spun on the edge of the area and dragged a shot towards Mildenhall’s left. For no reason other than terminal ennui was setting in, Mildenhall fell and conned journalists into believing he’d made a save. The ball was going a foot or so wide and had no pace whatsoever. It doesn’t count.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Bristol Rovers 0

There we are. After a minute of time added for punishment, that dire diet of stewed cabbage was thrown in the bin. Absolutely dreadful from both teams. They huffled and puffled to no effect. Two passes from Agogo and a couple of crossfield passes from Bolland is the nearest we got to the sort of football that people expect when they pay money. There were no shots on target, no saves made by the goalkeepers. As always with Town the first half was a contractual obligation only.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Why do we pay full price when we only get half a game."
"I’ll have to reverse into you before every game if it brings us luck."
"Oh that’s the film where Will Young keeps his underpants on."
"It’s not a tent George."
"Your wife would be better off pretending to be Joyce Grenfell"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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