Cod Almighty | Match Stats
Saturday 8 August 2009
Cheltenham Town 2 Ridley (56), Hayles (68)
Grimsby Town 1 Conlon (35)
In the first half, two leagues beyond the flabby befuddlement from the local haystacks and hurlers.
In the second half, glimpsed when he glanced off Barry Hayles. Too much sightseeing in the beautifully, sparkling spa town of Cheltenham in Gloucester.
"I was amazed at the difference in the two halves, to go from that first half performance to getting out fought and out bullied was disappointing. The supporters will be going away thinking: 'How did we lose that?'"
"You can lead the horse to water and Elvis has lapped it up."
As subtle as a dead pig in a bidet, they had nothing but their physiques to offer. They tried, they never gave up and their endeavour was rewarded. They were awful in the first half - completely and utterly outplayed to an embarrassing degree, essentially playing on the break (or on the hoof as we like to call it). In the second half they carried on doing what they had done in the first and shuffled a couple of deckchairs. Town stopped tackling, stopped standing in the way and watched their gas boiler flicker into life. Their tiny wingers were little mice with clogs on; Elvis and Richards were twisty, chesty bundlers who wore our teenagers down through persistence; and old Barry Hayles is as fast as snails but has big muscles. Beefy brawn beat brains into drains. It was like watching American football: advancement through long throws and wellies. They really should not have been allowed to win, for they are no good at all. Really no good. But they kept banging their head against the wall enough times. That shouldn't be enough to do anything but stay in the division.
Everything was magnificent until four o'clock. The Town end full to the rafters with boisterous, roisterous and joysterous Mariners: the roar to greet the arrival of New Town tingled the malankey little hairs on our neck, oh my brother. Throughout the first half one throng sang. Ding-dong: half time. Silence. The smug contentment seeped out from the stand to the pitch. And when the soufflÃ© collapsed the chefs complained to Mr Pastry. Where are we on the Seasonal Sob-o-meter? Sniffling slightly, like someone with an irritating fly in the eye.
Mr D Sheldrake (Surrey)
He started off well, ignoring some hoary penalty appeals in front of the locals, but as the game wore on his favour fell the way of the clods. His reluctance to see red arms grappling and red socks snapping was most interesting, Mr Bond. He was better than his little helpers though. The linesman with the yellow flag and the low-slung ears of a sullen Hardy farmhand was beyond incompetent. Incapable of flagging them offside even more than his chequered chum far, far away was incapable of not flagging when the ball moved into the Cheltenham half. Town were caught between two lovers and treated like a fool. Sheldrake took the easy way out, favouring those who brewed his half-time tea: 5.017. Must do better.
Well, who couldn't be after the purring pussycats dollied with the local sheep in the first half? Well, who could be after the ambling arrogance of the second? It's all in the mind.
Cheltenham Town: Brown, Bird, Duff, Diallo, Ridley, Hutton, Pook, Gallinagh, Bozanic (Hayles 54), Hammond (Alsop 89), Richards
Subs not used: Haynes, Richardson, Tabor, Townsend, Watkins
Town: Colgan; Stockdale, Atkinson, Bennett, Widdowson; Jones (Akpa Akpro 65), Boshell, Sweeney, Hegarty (Fuller 82); Conlon, Proudlock
Subs not used: Clarke, Leary, Linwood, Overton, North
Booked: Bennett, Conlon