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27/09 Notts Co 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 28/09/2005

NEITHER team made any changes at half time. Town emerged several minutes late, perhaps relaxing in the executive suite with champagne and caviar, watching the Spurs game again.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Reports > Notts Co (h)

Grimsby Town 4 Notts County 0
24 Sep 2005, Coca Cola League 2

They kicked off, Town kicked it back and got a throw in on the left, inside the County half. Town played triangles around these stodgy meat pies and the ball was chipped towards Gritton. A County head intervened, a County boot flailed and missed, the ball rolled gently in open space. JEAN PAUL KAMUDIMBA KALALA casually ambled towards the ball, drew back his right foot and, from about 25 yards out, slabbered a stonking shot high over Pilkington and in off the underside of the crossbar. Shocked and stunned for a second, the fantastic flat bazooka made the crowd explode with joy.

From the kick off Bolland pestered McMahon, riding piggy back and admiring the tailoring in his shirt at the same time. After riding this see-saw for ten yards, the referee blew for a free kick, just as McMahon swung his left arm back and smacked Bolland in the mouth. Bolland fell, County players ran after Bolland, Gritton protected the bloodied warrior and the referee pulled out a red card. Bolland was taken off, leaving both teams with ten men. The free kick came to nought and the ball was hurled upfield, with Reddy, just inside the County half, rocking past Pipe, who grappled and groped like a floozy in Gullivers. Reddy shrugged off his unwarranted admirer and Pipe fell, clutching his back. After a few minutes the stretcher came out and he was hauled off. Finally Toner replaced Bolland and they made a substitution as well. When was this? In the 47th minute. In fact everything was in the 47th minute according to the scoreboard. The 47th minute lasted 47 minutes: a strange nether world, where time stood still yet moved on apace.

After this action packed 47th minute the game went a bit flat. It was strollathon time. Town allowed County to play around, like in a very modern marriage. Both teams had their own personal space and could do what they liked where they wanted, as long as it didn't hurt either party or was done in front of the children. A teenage mutant conga party started in the front of the Pontoon, snaking along behind the goal, entertaining Mr Mildenhall in the duller moments. Some people forgot to heckle Justin Whittle, so relaxed were they.

Ah, you see, wrong Magpies. Bring on the Geordies, we want some competition. All very well, but Town were beginning to let some darkness in upon our magic. County continued to press forward, dominating possession, causing flibbles. Mildenhall was forced to race off his line and slide at the feet of McGoldrick, as Whittle was momentarily nonplussed and outpaced. Go back to your daydreaming, nothing else will happen for ten minutes or so....

.. oh you're back? This is all so easy, what shall Rob Jones wear to the ball, Cinderella? Jones, twenty five yards out, sauntered back and shinned the ball about three yards, Berry racing off towards the Pontoon. Mildenhall advanced and Berry shuffled infield, leaving the Big M in a trolley outside Ramsden's. The goal beckoned: open, inviting. From the mists of time the Leviathan rose. Jones slid across and raked the ball off Berry's toe, a certain goal saved. Perhaps Jones was bored, he just wanted something to do to keep himself fresh for future village fetes. Or maybe he was showing off. A showcase for his improvement: last year and this year in five seconds. You can spot the difference.

Bom-di-do, lo-laa-la-li, yav-nava hak-ha. Have I written a Eurovision song yet? Francis received the ball on the half way line, facing Macca. A turn, a bump, his marker dispatched from Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, two more Magpies shot down as he surged forward, stopped only by Edwards on the edge of the area. Aye, that Edwards, from the dark ages. A small moment of interest in the flotation tank that was the second half.

Steve Mildenhall
John McDermott
Justin Whittle
Rob Jonesgoal
Gary Croft
Simon Francis
Jean-Paul Kamudimbagoal
Paul Bolland
Andy Parkinson
Michael Reddy
Martin Grittongoal


Tom Newey79 mins
Gary Cohengoal71 mins
Ciaran Toner54 mins
Terry Barwick
Simon Ramsden


Clive Oliver


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With twenty minutes left Reddy was replaced with Cohen, who immediately did something or other involving his big chest. Not his little chest, his big one. It got us up off our feet, whatever it was. Sorry, do you come here often? We're the ones in stripes. Cohen had a header, it went over, a footnote in history. We only stand up for goals now.

County rolling sideways again, Town in knots. Berry wiggled, wriggled and flavoured a sharp little clip goalwards through a banana of bodies. Mildenhall was positioned perfectly and plucked plumply. Milders chomped the ball from the sky all night long; an impassable barrier, the mere sight of which caused Magpies to flee in fear. Town were playing out time, content to play chess. With just over ten minutes left Newey replaced Parkinson, just after Parky had dribbled past a defender, rather than try and run through him. Town won a throw ten yards inside their half, with Gritton receiving the ball, spinning and caressing a curious pass inside the full back and down the wing. Newey hared off past his putative marker, hit the bye-line and smacked a low cross towards the near post. COHEN got his motor runnin', stepped inside and nonchalantly steered the ball high into the net from about eight yards out. No messin', no fussin', nowhere for County to hide. Their fans staunch, their players a collective paunch.

Ah yes, the conga again, and way past their bedtime too. No need to roar, the team soaring, let's save some energy, just like they are doing. Olé football, with a thousand and one Arabian passes to everyone. Jones and Whittle forced the centre-forward into some piggy-in-the-middle before Jones hit a brilliant 976 yard pass down the wing for Newey, who headed it out of play for a goal kick. In the last minute Berry shivered free, turning Whittle into a pumpkin before cutting infield and lashing a shot goalwards from the left side of the penalty area. Mildenhall swayed to his left and parried the ball away, with McGoldrick handling the ball as he followed up.

Three minutes of added time were added, as they often are. That'd be 30 seconds for each minute Pipe was injured, and after taking all that time away for the sending off. Do we care, do we mind? Of course not, let's return to our constituencies and prepare for government. During this added time Croft had a run and shot by the way, hitting the back of a defender. That's all.

Well, there we have it. For twenty minutes this was like every home game this season: Town stodgy porridge, opponents outmanoeuvring, outpassing and nearly scoring. But after the first goal the 'Pies crumbled. Town were sumptuous, confident, irrepressible and above all a joy to watch. The half time scoreline flattered County and the game was over by the famous never-ending 47th minute.

The performance wasn't perfect, for there were a few funny turns. Croft's legs don't move quickly, Jones and Whittle made a few mistakes, but elsewhere there are only plaudits. Francis, in particular, stamped some personality on the game, striking up a telepathic relationship with Macca. The right-hand side was defensively sound and a constant threat to County. He looked far to good for this division. The front two, yes a proper full blown two up front, pulled their defence apart, creating gaps for others to move into, with Gritton a pumped-up workaholic, never shirking a challenge.

Just look at the scoreline: this performance doesn't need any treacle. We're top, we're scoring goals, and we're playing football. Yes! We're halfway to safety already.

Nicko's Man of the Match

Until his close encounter of the elbow kind Bolland was a shoo in for his thrusting, manly bullying (with skill) of his former team-mates. It was he who held the team together in the first ten minutes. Who could it be then? The girl at centre half in the half time five a side game? Cool, calm and collected, she was the female Futcher. No, not on the pitch long enough. Macca was Maccaful, only needing to make one tackle, in the 83rd minute. Jones was mostly excellent, though his dreadful back pass rules him out. Francis was exceptional, though tired after half time. For an all round go-get-em performance combining brawn and brain it's Martin Gritton: he made things happen, and exploded into space.

Official Warning

Mr C W Oliver. Please sir, can I have some more. Sorry, wrong one. Generally alright I suppose. A bit unwilling to play advantage and that Gritton goal needs some explaining, though we could blame his linesman for that. Would you complain if he got 6.999? You would? Tough, I'm in charge here.

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