Chester City 2 Grimsby Town 1
23 Oct 2004, Coca Cola League 2
Is it Rushden? No, where are the plastic owls? Is it Cobblers? No, where are the microseats? BOOM! The tannoy thundered out banalities a couple of feet above our heads; the antichrist of beat boxes to Blundell Parkâ€™s low energy 1960s transistor radio.
Town lined up in a rickety 4-4-2 formation, as shown. Ashhhhhhh shhhhhhhshhhhhhh Stestanoviz, as the TANNOY pronounced him, played as a right midfielder, Parkinson on the left, the rest are even more obvious, so I wonâ€™t insult you by telling you Pinault played in goal and McDermott at centre forward, â€˜cos thatâ€™s soooo obvious. Town warmed up in a jolly little huddle laughing along with the Town supporters as the TANNOY announcer continued his attack on the English language. And before kick-off both teams had an ostentatious bonding session, theirs was tighter than ours. Does this mean anything?
Only five of the Chester team have kit sponsorship. Not surprising if you read the chairmanâ€™s notes in which he states "...the date for the Administration hearing has been set for 2 December 2004." Itâ€™s a Thursday, by the way. Wahey, turn to page 13, that ladâ€™s got highlights in his eyebrows.
Still no sighting of Glenn Downey. Are we sure he isnâ€™t a housing estate to be tacked on the end of the "new" Town stadium?
Town played in yellow, Daryl the Puppy was on Chesterâ€™s substitutesâ€™ bench. Letâ€™s hope he doesnâ€™t get on and earn himself a Scooby snack.
Chester kicked off towards the Town support and...the ball was already out of play for a throw in before you reached the word "off". In fact it was out before the whistle had blown, a time- saving exercise for all concerned; why bother with the first 0.765 seconds, just let Town have a throw in level with their own penalty area - now thatâ€™s an idea for FIFAâ€™s next general council?
Thatâ€™s the condensed version of the first half. Chester aspired to being basic. The ball was something to hit hard. Perhaps thatâ€™s how Rush has got them going, itâ€™s a massive anger therapy experiment where they take their frustrations out on anything inflatable that moves, or in the case of Justin Whittle anything inflatable that doesnâ€™t move. Rushâ€™s brought the fabled Boot Room to the Deva - any room at all then boot the opponents. Within a minute Whittle had been felled by a late clatter from Cortez Belle, a Thai kick-boxer in blue and white stripes. Another minute another clobber, and then a moan, but the referee decide to play the calm down card as Whittle hobbled and Slade complained.
Isnâ€™t The Cortez Belle one of Souzaâ€™s lesser known tunes?
A Town move? Surely not. One-two-three, a clip to Daly, a chested lay off and Cramb, 25 yards out on the centre right, sliced a shot a couple or so yards wide. Nice movement, promising stuff, a nod of the head, a raised eyebrow and faint smile across the lips of the travelling Townites. Didnâ€™t last.