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18Port Vale29-732

23Forest Green28-1926

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03/01 Cambridge 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 04/01/2005

NO changes were made by either team at half time. Cambridge kicked off. It’s 20 years to the day since Dick Emery died. I don’t recall Don McLean writing a song about that! He was awful, did anyone like him? Life was so much simpler then, none of this widescreen digital pixie plus television stuff.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Reports > Cambridge (h)

Grimsby Town 3 Cambridge United 0
03 Jan 2005, Coca Cola League 2

Colour or black and white, big or one with an orange handle on it. Those were the choices in life. Comet is the electrical appliance store of choice for Town players, apparently.

Did you know that Bucks Fizz spent more weeks in the UK top 40 than Bob Dylan?

Who said I’m prevaric...why do people try and drive into McDonalds at 4:55 on a match day? There is no such thing as preferential status for the Inland Revenue. Pluto was not discovered until 1930. I’m Henry the VIII I am, I am; I’m Henry the VIII I am. More like Ennui VIII.

They had the ball all the time, alright? Didn’t do much with it, but buzzed around a lot, causing anxiety in the Smiths/Stones/Findus stand. A cross, pfft. A corner, caught by Willo the wispy Welshman. A series of free kicks needlessly given away by Crowe, in particular, and the high-stepping showgirl that was Rob Jones. Shake those feathers, Rob! Oh, close. A free kick from their right, smoothed over by Tudor, dipping into the middle of the goal. A Town head lowered, the ball crept over the crossbar. A goal kick given. Some kind of nonsense in midfield, they broke, Town dithered, three men free on their right, Bull ambling, Tudor alone inside the area. He advanced along the bye line and cracked in a low cross to the near post. Some Town legs diverted the ball away, there was a scramble, the ball rolled out of play at the near post. No goal. Bull booked for an ice hockey-style shoulder charge. Why bother tackling eh?

Hockless warmed up, no-one cared. Someone told the ball boy to sit down. Hockless returned to the bench.

Cambridge had some more attacks. Ramsden twirled Easter around in the box, serenely swaying upfield with the ball. Oh look, Town are visiting their friends in the Pontoon. Pinault surging, caressing a perfect pass to McDermott, who crossed low into the middle of the area. Fleming leant back and volleyed backwards. You must be joking! A Town corner. Titter ye not, for Pinault curled, Jones hurled himself and the ball ached a couple of inches past the angle of post and bar.

More Cambridge splutterings - they’re all over us. Passing better, moving more. This is painful. Easter splurging through, falling through a trap door. Tripped by Town or ball? The referee wasn’t going to give anything. They shoot! Straight at Williams, softly. They cross! Ramsden sings a seasonal favourite as he flicks the ball away from inside the six yards box. "And a delicious chocolate éclair. "

Bored, frustrated, the occasional heckler enlivening proceedings. Town marooned in midfield, lifeless upfront, only an artificial cat fight between Bimson and Ramsden kept it alive. A couple of hisses and some gnarled whiskerings later they calmed down and drank a saucerful of milk left by the touchline. Ramsden had the cream, of course.

Ten minutes to go, will Town have a shot? Why are their fans singing "We hate Durham?"

Stand up, stand up, Town attacking. Gritton through one, two tackles, swamped by gold polycotton. Pass it next time. Not long to wait; again Town breaking from a corner, someone racing down the middle. Who was it? Can’t remember, but the default position for anything good to come out of black and white these days it to say "Pinault!". So it was definitely him. Parky free, Parky passed to. Beyond the defence on the right, a dozen yards out. A shot slapped across Ruddy, Ruddy parried, danger cleared. Ramsden sliding in at the far post. Ramsden? What’s he doing up there?

Anthony Williams
Terrell Forbes
Simon Ramsden
Rob Jones
John McDermott
Terry Fleming
Jason Crowe
Ronnie Bullgoal
Thomas Pinaultgoal
Martin Grittongoal
Andy Parkinson


Darren Mansaram87 mins
Paul Fraser
Stacy Coldicott
Graham Hockless
Greg Young


Mark Warren


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On the ninth day of Christmas Russell Slade gave to thee, Darren Mansaram in the 87th minute, replacing Parkinson. Immediate results. Town fans happy, in a certain fashion. Ruddy flopped a goal kick towards a stumbling full back. Mansaram, just inside their half, pounced like a panda. A defender slipped, Mansaram raced free towards goal down the centre right. A final defender came flying across the turf, possibly still sliding eastwards now. Dazzler stepped inside. Free, free, just the goalie left. Ruddy staggered forward, Flash contorted his body and steered a tremendously awful shot high and wide whilst a plethora of pleading team-mates waggled their heads. One fell, two fell, the crowd fell over laughing. At last some entertainment.

Shall we ignore Pinault’s flashing volley which almost dislodged the chimney on number 67 Blundell Avenue. Yes, we shall.

There were three minutes of added time, and as the crowd seeped away, Cambridge had a corner which was cleared. Pinault was free just outside the Town area, onwards, shimmy-shammy, free again. Racing down the centre, pursued by an angry mob, he drew the little Cammy-boys towards his polished toenails and stroked a perfect pass to Gritton on his left. A shuffle, the ball scraped forward, Gritto was a determined fellow. One thing on his mind, oozing confidence, at no time did he look like missing; such coolness, such clarity of vision. Ruddy advanced, GRITTON waited and lofted a dink safely over the flailing limbs and into the centre of the goal from about a dozen yards out, just wide of goal. He stood in front of the Pontoon and demanded some adoration. The Pontoon adored back. Nice finish indeed. So this is what goalscoring is: it isn’t just a theory promulgated by Boffins in the Football Association’s laboratory deep on the bowels of Shropshire. Alchemy!

There you are, three points in a tatty old bag. Nothing to write home about, especially in the second half where Town only woke up in the last 10 minutes. Bull spent the first five minutes giving the ball away and most of the rest of the half falling over. He was ok going forward though. Pinault was lost in space, Parkinson lost in another universe. Gritton won some headers but looked to tire, and tire of the unimaginative route one thumpings. Fleming ran around, being a more effective roadblock than Crowe. The rest were varying degrees of adequate as individuals, but there wasn’t much of a whole here. More a hole.

What a conundrum. Town are rubbish when they win, but not always the case that they win when they’re rubbish. Slade has that to sort. Win good, goals good, rest not. Forget everything, go to sleep, wake up, get out of bed, drag a comb across your head. It looks good on paper, if not grass. I feel good, I feel bad, I feel happy, I feel sad. Town eh, typical Town.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Mr Rob Jones was again quite solid, thoroughly enjoying the rhubarb and custard on offer. However, for the calmness and tranquillity flickering from his inner light it’s Simon Ramsden. The farther one travels, the less one knows. He arrives without travelling, sees all without looking.

Official Warning

Mr M Warren. A right fusspot, never allowing advantage, never allowing physical contact. He ruined a rubbish game. If he gets a score above four you’d be shocked and stunned. 4.934, for he didn’t abandon the game due to perfect visibility, or a lack of standing water, nor did he see any invisible handballs. You’re shocked. And stunned.

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