Cod Almighty | Match Stats
Tuesday 13 October 2020
Cheltenham Town 1 Sercombe (28)
Grimsby Town 3 Edwards (23), Tilley (39), Windsor (90+4)
Attendance: 0 (0 away fans)
Saturday afternoons with the house and the TV remote to yourself are a doddle but midweek football telly is a different matter. Risking temperamental iFollow and family members on a soap night, not to mention the prospect of a hiding from in-form pantomime villains Cheltenham, we parted with our tenner and drew the curtains. We were rewarded with an excellent display from Town and a manager who also felt like taking a calculated risk on a Tuesday night.
Away from home against a team that could go top with a victory, I think most if not all recent GTFC managers would have stuck one up front and set up to defend. Ian Holloway says lots of things but one thing he does seem committed to is "a team that is entertaining for the fans and for him". He was true to that last night with a three centre half/wing backy formation that had speed on the wings and up front. Clifton and Morton played in the middle and provided the grit, Tilley, Edwards and Gibson the pace up front. Preston and Hendrie popped up all over the place. There were occasional mistakes but who cares when they are made by a team trying to attack and win.
If anyone in power was watching the game, they would lift the Covid restrictions immediately just so they could watch Owura Edwards in the flesh. He lit things up in a late cameo at Bolton and continued it last night. Speed and skill, he was too good for the Chelthenham thugs who quickly resorted to their old tricks and kicking lumps out of the lad. The ref seemed blind to this and also missed a deliberate off the ball stamp by Ben Tozer, the hosts’ captain. Disgusting behavior that we hope will be reported to the League on the back of the iFollow footage.
We dodged a bullet early on as the officials also missed Waterfall's outstretched arm deflect a goalbound shot onto a post. Michael Duff’s laughable post-match bealing about how VAR would have picked up Waterfall’s handball neglected to mention what VAR would have done with his stamping captain.
Sorry, let's talk about Edwards. Rocket boots but will the skill and strength to go with the speed. This was evident in a 60-yard surge early on. Similar in length to Vernam's run at Colchester, it differed in that the defenders couldn't get near enough to be dribbled around. The run ended with a right-footer that fizzed just wide of the top corner. Right-foot sights off a smidge? Give the left a go. That’s what Edwards did shortly after, belting in from the edge of the D after he pickpocketed a local thug for our first goal of the season.
McKeown owes Waterfall a pint for his part in gifting Cheltenham an equaliser but the goalkeeper's union quickly reset the balance when a howler from Griffiths spooned a gentle curler from Tilley into the net to restore our lead. Awful for the keeper but there's a part deep down that enjoys receiving those gifts more than us scoring a goal of the season.
The entertaining first half had calamity goals and could have had red cards, penalties and three or four more Town goals. Like Edwards, Gibson's speed caused problems and helped create two chances to score in one on ones. Along with another scuffed chance in the second half, he probably feels he might have had a hat-trick on another night. He certainly showed he could finish with a superb header that was ruled out for what must have been a hairline offside call.
Gibson was also superb off the pitch when he later replied to some criticism of his performance on Twitter. He believes the goals will come and we need to show the same faith. The exchange highlighted the care needed on social media. A frustrated comment made in the heat of a missed chance should disappear as quickly as it formed. Putting it on social media helps nobody and can only cause damage.
The second half calmed down a little. Cheltenham had more of the ball but their only threat seemed to come from swinging corners under the crossbar, which admittedly were quite worrying. Waterfall, Pollock and Öhman battled these threats and didn't allow any clearcut scoring chances until close to the end. When one arose in the 89th minute, it set the stage for McKeown’s customary match-winning save as he superbly clawed away a close range effort. That out of the way, substitute Windsor swept the ball home in injury time for his first big boy goal and to confirm a thoroughly satisfying three points.
The early kick-off of 7pm meant that any TV missed could be watched via catch-up, so we went to bed a happy house. The iFollow verdict: No problem with the images with the only grumble being a couple of instances of garbled audio. This disrupted an enjoyable guest appearance from Shaun Cunnington. Shaun was a welcome and able wingman for John Tondeur and spent the much of the game playing every ball like he was sat watching a game in the Pontoon. Let's hope that day isn't too far away for all of us. As pointed out by Casual Diary last night, the only thing that could have made the win sweeter was actually being there.
Yes, I know we just spent three paragraphs drooling about Owura Edwards but we're giving the bottle of CA bubbly to Harry. He grafted all night and with Morton did the donkey work that allowed the rest of the team to shine.
Ollie talks so much, you sometimes begin to doubt if there's enough substance to back it up. There was last night.
"That’s what you do. You build some belief and strength. I took a gamble, I wanted to get at their back three because not many people do, they’re so well-organised, and I took a risk playing 3-4-3.
"It could have backfired, but it didn't."
Delusional and bealing as you can see for yourself:
"Well, I am not sure we deserved to get beat – they've had three shots on target, so yes. I am not happy with the decision in the first half when there was a clear handball on the line. I’ve seen it back and if there is VAR it's a penalty and he probably has to be sent off."
He was blind to some horrible Chelthenham treatment of Edwards but missed Waterfall's handball which probably would have been a red card and penalty. As long as we can re-attach Edwards limbs, we'll call it quits for now.
Cheltenham Town: Griffiths; Raglan (May 62), Tozer, Boyle, Blair, Thomas; Bonds, Sercombe, Hussey; Lloyd (Addai 79), Williams (Reid 61)
Subs not used: Clements, Freestone, Harris, Horton
Town: McKeown; Waterfall, Pollock, Öhman (Idehen 76); Hendrie, Clifton, Morton, Preston; Edwards, Gibson (Windsor 64), Tilley (Hanson 79)
Subs not used: Green, Spokes, Russell, Taylor
Booked: Pollock, Hendrie
Postponed from 26 September 2020 after a Grimsby player tested positive for Covid-19