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26/08 Sheff Wed 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 27/08/2000

Grimsby Town 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1
26 Aug 2000, Nationwide League Division 1

Butterfield was replaced by Black at half time. D Smith went to left back and Black to left wing. For the first minute or two it seemed to pep Town up, they were a little sharper in attacking. But only a little. Nothing of any note whatsoever occurred in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Apart form the booking of a Wednesday player (for kicking the ball away) This was about 30 seconds after Pouton had thrown the ball away in a similar incident. Di Piedi complained to the referee that he hadn't booked Pouton, so the referee brought the free kick 10 yards forward. Yes that was THE excitement on the first 10 minutes.

Grimsby Town
D Smith



Wednesday Action Photo
Wednesday Free Kick

After 12 or 13 minutes Clare replaced Allen. This was greeted by incredulous boos, but Allen had hardly justified staying on the pitch. His control had been poor and he didn't look likely to do anything positive. About a minute after Clare came on Town had the first effort of the half. McDermott surged down the right flank from a position 30 yards out from the Town goal, beating a couple of Wednesday defenders. He got to the edge of the Sheff Wed box and was tackled, the ball ricocheted off McDermott to Clare, about 15 yards out, 3 or 4 yards to the left of Pressman's left post. Clare spun and hit a first time shot, unfortunately straight at Pressman, who parried it away.

Sheff Wed rarely got near the Town goal, through tactics (they got "tighter" and sat back), and better defending by the Town central midfield, especially Coldicott. Town still played a lot of longer balls up to the heads of Clare and Jeffrey, or over the top. There was very little penetration, with the wingers rarely being passed the ball in the last third of the pitch. Pouton seemed to spend an inordinate time 35 yards from the Town goal, receiving the ball facing McDermott. The Sheff Wed tactic of pressing right up to Town players when they received the ball worked a treat. It's like they'd seen us before! I don't recall Sheff Wed having many efforts on goal until the last 10 minutes. A couple of long shots (the nearest/best of which was an attempted curving chip with the outside of the boot, following a breakaway. There wasn't enough elevation or pace and Coyne saved easily) and few crosses and, the most dangerous, when Hinchcliffe floated a free kick to the far post and it went over everyone. The last player was a completely unmarked Sheff Wed forward, 6 yards out. They got the free kick when the referee decided the Sibon had been cynically upended by Coldicott. He'd actually trodden on the ball and fallen over. Ahh continental skill, honed at Ajax you know. None of our players could do that, could they. Excepting, Pouton who tripped himself up in the first half doing one of his "step-overs".

Oh yes, shots on goal. Mmmmmmmm, let me see. Groves tried an overhead kick which hit Walker, following a goal mouth scramble. A corner on the Town left was hit towards the penalty spot, Livvo, Groves and Pressman went for the ball, one of the Town players headed it and it looped towards the left hand side of the net. Raven dived in and the ball was hooked off the line by Hinchcliffe.

Wednesday Action Photo

It must have been very close as three players ended up in the side netting as the ball was cleared. Town had a penalty appeal when a shot was charge down in the area, the ball bounced to Black, in a central position. He sliced a volley a couple of feet wide, despite having plenty of time and a clear sight of the goal. Sheff Wed nearly scored another when they broke away in the last 5 minutes. The ball was eventually worked to the spare man on the Town left. From about 8 yards out, to the left of goal, the winger smashed a drive to Coyne's left. Coyne dived and parried away for a corner.

Wednesday Action Photo

Town sent Livvo up front for the last 5 minutes or so, playing a sort of 3-4-3 (it wasn't organised enough to state categorically that's what it was, it was more aspiration than intent). In the last couple of minutes Town had two opportunities. Firstly, the ball was knocked up and fell to Black on the edge of the box, right in the centre with no-one near him and a clear sight of goal. He dragged a very weak shot 15 yards wide.

A minute later Town had the best chance of the game, perhaps the only clear opening. A cross from Town's left was sent deep, towards the far post. As Livvo challenged, the ball rolled to Clare, alone about 12 yards out almost on the penalty spot. He slipped as he tried to shoot and the ball squirmed in a strange arc past Pressman's left hand post. Now that should have been a goal.

After that Sheff Wed broke away, got a corner, time wasted and that was it. Three points to the mundane team in white, nothing to the perspiring striped ones. The players were applauded off, mainly because they had tried so hard, if ineffectually. Several players looked below the standard required, being just not up to it at this level. We produced virtually no "football", that thing we are supposed to be renowned for, the only danger was created by McDermott surges and balls lumped into the box for Livvo/Groves. Raven had a very good game (unlike Des Walker he can head straight) as did Mcdermott (despite a couple of dodgy passes forward). Pouton flattered, but produced little, Coldicott had a storming second half, and D Smith was efficient in defence (although he annoyed the crowd by letting loose balls go out for throw ins rather than keep them in, especially in our own half). Jeffrey tried, oh did he try. No-one can fault him for commitment. Tony Daws Mark II? Groves had a shocker - he just looked too old.

The whole team looked like it had just had a weight put on its shoulders, not taken off. There can't be too many players on Lawrence's list marked "must keep" after that. In some ways it was worse than the Preston game, as Sheff Wed were so average. At least Preston had wit and invention. Still, can't fault the effort. That probably makes it worse, doesn't it. If they are doing their best and that was it..

Well, at least some people were happy - the Osmond Stand were having a ball.

Man of the Match - McDermott, with Raven getting a mention in despatches.

Photos by Nick Osborne

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