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20/09 Chesterfield 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 21/09/2003

CHESTERFIELD made a change at half time bringing on Rushbury for Davies, news which failed to cause ripples of excitement amongst the Chesterfield fans, nor waves of fear amongst the Townites. How about the word indifference? That sums up the collective view on this.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Chesterfield (h)

Grimsby Town 4 Chesterfield 0
20 Sep 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

Town kicked off whilst many were still eating their pies and sandwiches, as were the Town defence when Chesterfield won a corner. Davison came off his line, tipping the ball off the forehead of a giant Derbyshire defender. The ball fell and Daws proved his credentials as a non-Town player by hacking the ball downfield without hesitation. Give him a couple of weeks and he’ll soon know how to play the Town way. Let the ball drop, treat it like a social embarrassment and wait for the opponent to shoot, before pointing at Simon Ford. Town’s response was a bit of twisting and turning down the left, with Campbell sneaking behind the defence and playing the ball back to Onuora. He’s a big man, and he is in shape, but he still surprised the Pontoon with a drag back, a shuffle, some dainty footwork and a clipped dinky cross which skimmed off a defender’s forehead as Boulding lurked at the far post. How very Livvo-esque.

Chesterfield looked like Town did last year, just that bit worse than everyone else, not much, but just enough. Neither defence nor attack looked capable and so it was no surprise when Chesterfield ripped Town apart and failed to score. Crane lost an aerial challenge with Evatt, who headed the ball firmly infield from their left. Robinson sprinted towards the ball as it bounced towards the penalty area. Fortunately, Edwards seems to have some spatial awareness about him, for he was well positioned to stroll over and make a superb block as Robinson was about to shoot. Who knows where Crane was, but suddenly Allott was surging into the area and Davison had to fall to his right to hold at the foot of the near post. Is this a recurring dream? Town lead 1-0, then crumble away in the second half?

So thank you Mr Uhlenbeek, The Gus of Wind. Ten minutes into the half Town lobbed the ball down the left. Campbell scurried in front of Uhlenbeek, right underneath the Stones/Smiths/Findus Stand, about 30 yards out. Uhlenbeek grabbed hold of Campbell and hauled the Corby Trouserpress around and around, spinning like a record baby, or a wheel within a wheel, depending on your socio-economic grouping and/or music collection. A pretty obvious free kick to Town and a clear cautionable offence. The referee jogged over preparing to get the yellow card out when Uhlenbeek suddenly went bonkers, raged at Campbell, and flew towards the referee. Uhlenbeek raised his hands and barged into the ref’s chest, like a rutting rhinocerous. We could see the referee’s expression change and out came the red card. Still the demented Dutchman howled and seethed as he trudged across the pitch.

A minute later that really was it. Boulding was sent clear down the middle, exiting the Town half pursued by three big Chesterfield bears. He cut back inside to his left foot and the chance was gone, but he continued across the penalty area, with his back to goal, rolling the ball out to Hockless, perhaps a dozen yards out and just beyond the far post. HOCKLESS, calmly controlled the ball, looked up and carefully caressed it over and around Muggleton into the top left hand corner. Hockless ran into the Pontoon, being immediately dragged away by Boulding. The referee booked Hockless as he made his way back to the half way line. Game surely over. Surely, but not certainly, for once again Chesterfield missed a free header (Robinson I think) from the middle of the goal.

Hocklessyellow cardgoal


Edwards45 minsgoal
Crowe84 mins
Mansaram88 mins


Graham Salisbury


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On the hour, Blatherwick should have been sent off, and not for having a good old fashioned centre back’s name, one straight out of Ripping Yarns. Boulding outpaced the strapping Spireite down the centre, 30 yards out. Blatherwick simply wrapped his arms around Boulding and hauled him to the ground. The referee waved play on, perhaps feeling sorry for Chesterfield. A couple of minutes after that, Robinson made a dreadful, though cumbersome and somewhat comic, attempt to scythe down McDermott, who had played a dink upfield. Robinson arrived not so much late as tomorrow, with McDermott having enough time to try and step over the boots as if he was straddling a babbling brook. Around this time, Edwards made his only mistake of an otherwise exemplary appearance when he tried to back head a bouncing ball to Davison, completely unaware that Robinson had anticipated such and was waiting like a cat at dinner time, salivating lips an’ all. Fortunately Robinson, right in the middle, about ten yards out, sliced his volley very high. On earth we call that missing.

From now on it was party time. For once Town took advantage of the sending off, playing some sumptuous one touch, old style football. Barnard and McDermott were rampant, unstoppable, attacking machines and, most wonderfully, there were very few longs punts upfield. Virtually everything started with the full backs receiving a short pass and dribbling forward. Some Chesterfield players looked sorry for themselves but, so what, that’s not our concern. Oh, Macca, you’re back. Here’s a four man passing move down the right, starting with McDermott, through Daws, to Cas, Campbell, back to Daws who flicked a first time pass inside the full back for McDermott. Into the area, to the bye-line, on an on he went, taking just one be touch too many and Muggleton plunged at McDermott’s feet at the foot of the post.. What about Barnard? Even better, replicating those Macca moves Barnard shinned one shot a few feet over and curled another to the foot of the right hand post. Again Muggleton made a superb clutching swoop low down. Unstoppable Town, unstoppable Cas, zooming, zipping and bazookering his full-back into oblivion. So many chances created, how can one remember them all? Cas was denied by another Muggleton smother, blocks, deflections, stumbles, slides, action, action, action, all in front of the rapturous Pontoon.

With just over quarter of an hour left a deserved third arrived in most unusual fashion. In complete contrast to the beauty of the general play, the goal was a scrappy-dappy affair, and from a corner too! A town corner on the left was hit flatly to Crane just beyond the far post, who headed back across goal. The ball hit Edwards on the back, bounced up and several Chesterfield players took it in turns to miss the ball. The final defender slapped the ball against CAS, who turned and thwacked it into the middle left of the goal. At this point some Chesterfield fans began to walk out. What wimps, only three goals, we tough Townites can stand double that, and more! A point the local police took on board, for they refused to let the dejected Derbyshire drifters leave the ground

A couple of minutes later another sweet, sweet move with a Reesian flick sidling the ball across the face of the penalty area. McDermott raced on, side stepped a defender and dragged a low, left footed shot towards the bottom left hand corner. Muggleton saved marvellously at the foot of the post, pushing the ball aside for a corner. The corner, from the Town right, was pulled back to Barnard, who thundered a shot through the penalty area, which was diverted this way and that, and back out for another corner, this time on the Town left. Barnard flipped the ball into the centre, with a Chesterfield defender half clearing. Campbell challenged and the ball dropped to Cas, just outside the penalty area in the middle. Cas hit a spinning, twisting volley which was going straight down the middle, Bing and Bob. EDWARDS did a comedy double take and the ball glanced off his peculiarly shaped head, diverted just enough to beat Muggleton, who was going right as the ball went left.

Still Town flowed, like the Severn Bore. Barnard curled a free kick just over, Barnard tried another long range shot. Hockless was replaced by Crowe with about 10 minutes left, Mansaram replaced Boulding with five minutes left. Barnard rampaged some more, with a couple of 50 yard runs followed by dangerous curling crosses into the near post. Mansaram just missed one, then just missed another, but caused enough confusion for an almost comic fifth to arrive. The full back at the far post left the ball, it hit him on the forehead and bounced up to Muggleton as Onuora lurked, forcing the ‘keeper to flap the ball away for a corner. One of the linesmen was replaced with a couple of minutes left, causing yet another interminable delay, with the plumper of the two running across the pitch to run the line in front of the Main Stand. The game ended with Town pulling back a corner to Campbell who, 25 yards out, volleyed way into the top left of the Pontoon. What a lovely afternoon, after all.

This isn’t something to get too carried away by, as Town have only managed to crush the two bottom teams this season, and no-one else. But something was better: the midfield, where there seemed more organisation, a better shape. Daws, perception personified, had the knack of being in the right place at the right time, keeping things ticking over nicely. He may be, literally, the missing link in the centre. Onuora was, well, big and slow, living life a second behind the rest of the world, as if in some kind of alternative universe. However, his sheer presence meant the ball didn’t come back from the opposition defence so much, or so quickly. Edwards looked ok, he may be slow but he does have a notion of where the ball is likely to go, and where a striker is likely to run. It’s called defending, I understand. Is notion better than motion? So, better, but let’s keep it in context, and remember that Chesterfield should have scored a couple too.

Perhaps Daws and Onuora are like the rug that every room needs to pull it together well.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Several worthy candidates with Cas irrepressible, McDermott superb, Daws wonderfully sensible but Nicko is adamant that Darren Barnard is the man. He was everything he hadn’t been on Tuesday, and even squared up to Crane as an added entertainment bonus.

Official Warning

Mr G Salisbury. He was inconsistently pedantic, setting markers which he ignored later. Should have sent two more Chesterfield players off, but overall he did at least identify fouls on Town players, a lost art form these days. Another one to get a low 5 mark, being 5.357. At least when he was wrong he was wrong in our favour.

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