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21/09 Charlton Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 23/09/2004

ANOTHER couple of minutes of Town rocking and rolling saw a blizzard of passes with Sestanovich the fulcrum. Down the middle, up the left, Reddy spinning away from his marker on the edge of the area. The ball was caressed through the centre-backs and Reddy was behind the defence rampaging towards Keily.

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Grimsby Town 0 Charlton Athletic 2
21 Sep 2004, Carling Cup Round 2

From about 6 yards out and to the left of goal Reddy pulled back his left boot and thadoomed a shot goalwards. The Pontoon rose as Keily dived to his left as the ball flew to his left. Aarh, how, what, why? Missed again, and so he’s missed again. Reddy had clobbered the ball into the front row of the Pontoon, it didn’t even touch the side netting.

About this time Charlton had their other shot. You think I’m telling a one-eyed tale? You couldn’t have been there then. One of their blonder players skipped gaily down their left, hit the bye-line and crossed at thigh height through the box. The unmarked Jeffers sprinted to the far post and sliced a volley well wide from about a dozen yards out. Good fast move, the stuff the Premiership is supposed to be made of. Now forget about them, it’s all about us now. It’s called football, and we are called Town.

Town were superb, magnificent for the 20 minutes after the goal. Attacks rained down o’er Keily, his defenders desperately hacking and thwacking anything that moved. Sestanovich didn’t play on the wing, but drifted around in the spaces between midfield and attack, picking up rebounds and several delicate little passes from Pinault and Gordon, which allowed him to run and run down the middle. Panic ensues in the fourth, and panic ensued in a "Premiership" defence. They too bounce off him like spinning tops. Oh, what joy, to see such passing and movement, such power. Sestanovich received a pass just inside the Town half and he simply bundled his way forward, straight down the pitch. Four little Charltonites twittered around his ankles. What to do? To pass, to shoot? How about a little wiggle, a jump to the left, and then a jump to the right. Highly paid footballers scattered across the turf like dazed teenagers at a school disco as Transit Stan got out his sand iron. About 25 yards out in the centre Sestan looked up, saw things no-one else could even dream of, and carefully chipped the ball over Keily. The ball drifted over the ‘keeper’s hands and sailed on and on, dropping, dropping...the Town fans were ecstatic, raising their arms, their voices hailing the hero as the ball kissed the underside of the crossbar, bounced on the line and back into Keily’s hands.

Town, Town, Town, how do we like it, how do we like it? A lot. Dominant, delightful, de-lovely. Crosses to the left of them, crosses to the right, into the Valleymen rode the Town. A corner from the right curled into the centre of the penalty area to the unmarked Sestanovich. He rose like a god and powered a header goalwards. Keily leapt and just managed to get his finger tips to the ball as it arced over him. Another corner, can we roar any louder? Can Town score? Yes, now! Pinault purred a pass through the centre backs for Parkinson to run on from outside the area, on the centre left. Into the area, Keily waiting, Perry stretching, Parkinson placing a shot towards the bottom left hand corner. Keily flew across and palmed the ball away towards Sestanovich, lurking near the corner of the penalty area. He drew back his leg and, controlled the ball before driving it in low. Fleming, about eight yards out at the near post with his back to goal, tried to backflick the ball in. With Keily wrong-footed the ball slowly, slowly bombled a few inches wide.

More Town, still Town, only Town. A one-sided caravan of love heading our way. Charlton seemed to be confused by Town, for they sat back leaving oodles of space in front of their back four. Did they think we were a fourth division team then? How silly of them. Were they bothered? At free kicks they had a habit of leaving McDermott completely unmarked at the far post. Pinault even managed to reach him with one, but the ball hung in the wind and Macca could only head it up in the air from inside the 6 yards box. Sestanovich did his thing once more, barundling along, bouncing little boys off his hips before wellying a rocket into the nether regions of the Pontoon.

Anthony Williams
Justin Whittle
Dean Gordon
Greg Young
John McDermott
Terry Flemingyellow card
Thomas Pinault
Jason Crowe
Ashley Sestanovich
Michael Reddy
Andy Parkinson


Stacy Coldicott85 mins
Graham Hockless84 mins
Ronnie Bull75 mins
Paul Robinson
Clint Marcelle


Andre Marriner


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After 31 minutes some Charlton players ran into the Town half for a few seconds.

The game tailed off as Charlton players started to crumple to the floor whenever the ball went out of play. Some were injured, some were just doing that professional thing of breaking play up. Minutes seemed to be taken up with the referee standing over felled yellowboys, and Town started to tire. Hughes had a shot. Well, when I say shot, his boot made contact with the ball and it remained inside Blundell Park. Where are we now? Getting towards half time with Reddy rallying and revving up his engine, Crowe migrating down the left. Crowe free after a Young interception and pinging Pinault pass. A cross hovering through the area, dropping a foot past the post as Reddy hung about underneath the flightpath. Parkinson hit in the face as a brilliantly weighted Gordon dimple over the top dropped to him in the area. A Charlton boot flailed and smacked the ball against Parkinson and fortune was favoured as it bounced straight to Keily. Is that it? Just about, unless you really need to know that Sestanovich ended a sweet passing movement by volleying onto the roof of the Pontoon from outside the area.

As half time approached their Young collapsed when challenging Crowe near the corner flag. It looked a bit serious as he’d twisted his knee when his studs caught in the turf. He got up and carried on though. He was still breathing, why should the physio come on?

Two minutes of added time? Gone in a flash, which, incidentally, you are not permitted to do inside Blundell Park. So that’s why they sent him to Halifax. Oh, sorry, misheard, flash photography. There we are, despite everything these so-called internationals and stars of the silver boot were winning. Two shots, one goal. Town had 43.3 shots, and no goals (Sestanovich’s last shot was only 33% interesting). And the score line was the only downside. Rousingly cheered off, most of the crowd were happy with the performance so far. Most? Well, there’s always one MOB around.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Charlton Athletic 1

Town had been thrillingly good: the approach play magnificent, the defence impregnable. Everyone was playing very well indeed. Ah, that’s nice.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Do they sell iced tea in the pie stall?"
"I’m taking Jeffers out of my Fantasy team now I’ve seen him play."
"There’s nothing wrong with beige trousers."
"You’ll be graduating to a cravat soon."
"She’s normal, but she did dress up as a red Indian for my wedding."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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