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17/04 Rushden Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 18/04/2004

THAT’S nice, they’ve got the ball and they’ve got inside the Town half. It’s only taken ‘em five minutes. Oooh dear, Jack crossed from their left, Crane, five yards out at the near post, swung his right leg and shinned his clearance a few feet wide and high. Just like his backside then.

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

Grimsby Town 1 Rushden and Diamonds 0
17 Apr 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

Nah, their corner was rubbish. Town got the ball back and orf they jolly well went: bounding, breaking, bumbling free. Left to right, right to left, the ball was pumped over the Rushden full backs for the Town wingers. Rushden stretched like a pair of cheap knickers from Woolies. They’ll snap soon if you carry on like that dear, unless you pull your frilly nylons right up tight. Mansaram: pestering, posturing, perplexing inside the penalty area on the left and disrobing Roget with ease. To the bye-line, a quick glance and glory beckons. Mansaram, ah-ha, flashed a crosstype thing which sailed several feet above humanity, the ball rolling out for a throw-in three yards in field. He knows his Shakespeare; neither a crosser or a shooter be.

More squeezing, pleasing, teasing Town. Panic in the streets of Rushden with Mansaram inside the box, in the centre, surrounded by yellow, but a huge gap in front of him. The ball stuck under his feet, arms and legs akimbo, the crowd imploring the man in the mask to shoot. Shoot, please shoot, but a yellow foot appeared, the ball squirming sideways, flustered away to Rankin, a dozen yards out on the left. He swivelled, he shot, the ball bounced off a defender’s boot for a corner. In from the left, half cleared, an Anderson shot. Blocked! To Jevons, a shot blocked near the line; out to Barnard, slapped across the face of goal; Edwards diving towards the exocet, missing by millimetres; the ball sailing a couple of feet wide. Give me oxygen. Another 75 minutes to go.

Town are slaughtering them 0-0.

Now and again Rushden got the ball and kept hold of it for a few seconds. During one of these brief moments in the history of time their left back, Burgess, advanced a dozen yards and droozled a shot towards Fettis from about 30 yards, way out west. The ball bounced in front of the snoozing sentinel and safely into his smothering gloves. It’s nice to know you’re here.

Normal service has been resumed. Rankin put on a white sheet and scared the children in the rotting carcass that was Hunter’s heroes. They could look but they better not touch this poison ivy. Passing, movement, fervour, verve, we’ve got them rockin’ and a-rollin’ Barbara-Ann. Jevons crossing, Mansaram flicking, Rankin swishing a shot goalwards, deflected past the left hand post. Barnard clipped it high beyond the far post and Crane looped a gentle header back towards goal. Turley, set in concrete, watched as the ball drifted over his Alice band and towards the centre of the goal. Hunter headed off the line as Mansaram challenged, the ball ricocheted around a-while, with Rankin then Jevons having goalbound shots diverted by Rushden knees and Diamond dogs on the line.

Hang on a second, I’ll just have to have a lie down. We Town fans aren’t used to excitement.

Around the 20th minute (oh yes, only 20 minutes of English time had elapsed my friend) Rushden had another shot. Duffy flicked the ball over Crane and, from the middle about 20 yards out, hit a dipping volley straight at Fettis. The action stopped for a few minutes as Rushden players took their time in taking throw ins, went down injured and generally Town ran out of a bit of steam. We had a relatively dull couple of minutes and back Town came. Usual thing; Rankin doing Rankin-like things, and Coldicott slamming a shot from 20 yards that went at least five yards wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Andersonyellow card


Ford85 mins
Soames74 mins


David Pugh


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Town had done very well to avoid scoring against the flabbiest, flimsiest team we’ve seen at Blundell Park this season. And that includes the various alleged Grimsby teams. Anderson, Mansaram, a cross, Jevons’ shot blocked. Play permanently inside the Rushden half. Eleven yellow men inside a confined space, but such massive gaps for Town to play in. Tardis Town defying the laws of physics, surely? Mansaram again shape shifting past Roget, crossing to the near post, Anderson poking his right leg in front of a defender eight yards out. The ball missing the angle of post and bar by inches. Anderson’s boot clattering Sambrook’s knee. Tears before bedtime, angst, anguish, and a lot of prevarication. "Get ‘im off the pitch."

I’m exhausted, aren’t you?

So were the players; they had a little rest for five minutes. They simply let Rushden have the ball, which isn’t a bad thing to do. Nothing would happen. Would it? C’mon this is Town, they should be several up, but they’re bound to concede a stupid goal. Yeah, and here it is. Barnard back heading to ...Jack, who’d snuck around the back whilst the international playboy was contemplating his plans for his back garden. Begonias are so not 2004 Darren. But Town could prevent Jack from feeling happy, for he raced off away from goal, turned and was smothered by the seventh cavalry. Barnard walked the ball away with a song in his heart and a smile our faces. They didn’t get in Town’s half again, despite the continuing disability of Crane to win any headers, or mark any players. He did make one decent tackle on Jack though, on the right just inside the Town half, as Rodernee was about to hare off down the wing. And let’s not forget when Crane had visions of Cruyff: collecting a clearance just outside their penalty area, he backed off, did a mini-step over and tried to nutmeg the defender. Somehow I don’t see him as a flying trickster winger.

Town started to have nearly moments, nice moves, not quite. Mansaram almost through the centre; little dinkers just too hard, or a Rushden boot crazily careering the ball away. With five minutes left Rankin received near the left corner of the Irthlings’ area. He turned left, twisted right and swizzed past the defender, who flicked a leg out and an arm across. Rankin was free, behind the floozie, but decided to fall over those protruding limbs. Unfortunately, he was a little too dramatic in his falling, arms flung high in unison, body twisting with a half pike, feet leaping off turf together. He’d have got his silver badge, but he didn’t get his penalty. On play went, up went the Pontoon roof.

In added time Town murdered them again. Rankin - isn’t it always, won’t it always be - twisting on a rebound and, eight yards out at the far post, slithering a shot a foot wide via the seam of Hunter’s shirt. A corner swung away from goal and Crane thundered a header against the face of the crossbar from about a dozen yards out. Turley dropped the next corner, cleared and that was it.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Rushden and Diamonds 0

There we are, Town completely dominating, but no goal. Inferior opponents just packing their own penalty area with bodies and hoping for a breakaway goal, a bit of fortune. That was us last week, so we shouldn’t sniff at them too much, should we? Well, yes, they did look particularly poor and clueless defensively, as bad as Wycombe and Chesterfield were. Oh, and not forgetting our South Yorkshire charity teams.

It wasn’t all wonderful, for Town had a worrying tactic of trying to hit big booming balls over the top from one side to the other. No one could kick it hard enough really, and possession was lost. In with the good there was some long ball nonsense

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Their defence is looser than my trousers."
"Law’s run out of people not to play."
"What is Rankin doing slumming it with us?"
"He’s either going to a funeral or delivering some chocolates."
"Do you think Rodger’s had them in for some secret training after Law has gone home?"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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