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Review previous campaigns covered by Cod Almighty
13 December 2003
Bournemouth 0 Grimsby Town 0
The ground formerly known as Dean Court, now being a smart three-sided stadium - similar to Rushden's, but without the village atmosphere – had attracted a healthy crowd from the enticement of Christmas shopping. The programme, meanwhile, made a great many passing and, yes, complimentary references to the last meeting of the two clubs.
Town warmed up with the circle routine. Davison and Pettiger were left to their own entertainment, skidding the ball over a very greasy surface. Half the Bournemouth side donned luminous vests for a quick game of seven-a-side without keepers.
About 120 Town fans were in the East Stand, situated between halfway and the penalty area, saving their wildest cheers for the announcement of Alan Pouton's appearance. Congrats to the stadium announcer for his pronunciation, which was better than "Darren Maans...eraram" in the second half.
A fine rain began to fall 10 minutes before kick off, making it even slipperier than it was during the warm-up routines.
Bournemouth kicked off towards the mud-bank and lawnmower end. Pouton got the first tackle in before the ball left the centre circle, looking pleased to be back. Town played with Iffy up front, Boulding and Jevons behind him, Campbell, Pouton and Crowe in the middle, and Macca, Edwards, Crane and Barnard in defence. Was it the seasonal Christmas tree formation?
Iffy had a 20-yard shot after about five minutes that neither piled nor drove to the right post, but was on target (see below). With the first Bournemouth break being flagged for offside, the linesman was happy to receive the complimentary remarks from his adoring fans by giving a thumbs-up signal behind his back.
A good break by Jevons down the right only needed Onuora to meet it with his swinging left foot... oh, well. Onuora was booked for a late, awkward-looking tackle on the centre-half. Then after 26 minutes Feeney picked up the ball in his own half, attempted to round Pouton in the centre circle, was tackled and fell to earth. Free kick, Pouton disagrees and bends over Feeney to wag a finger of dissatisfaction under his nose. Ref 'has a word'. Pouton 'has a word' with Feeney as he returns to defend the kick.
Two minutes later Pouton is subject to a vicious-looking two-footed tackle from Stock, who is deservedly sent off. Pouton lies prone. Crowe takes exception to the tackle and sticks up for his mate; there then follows the 'usual' pushing, shoving and holding back. Crowe is sent off.
Jevons was booked for a shoulder charge along the right touchline that may have been elbow into back and resulted in the poor unfortunate running very close to the front row of seats.
That was the first half, that was.
Stu's half-time toilet talk was somewhat overshadowed by an interview with Bob Wilson being relayed across an overbearing PA system. He was signing his new book in the bar afterwards, but (seriously) all proceeds go to a very deserving cancer charity.
Town, unchanged for the next 27 minutes, didn't trouble the Bournemouth keeper at all. Iffy broke free down the left wing, but his cross was to no-one. Boulding broke down the middle, but not for the first time kicked it too far ahead and, being outsprinted, was judged to have fouled the competing defender.
The ensuing counterattack produced the first of three Bournemouth free kicks that merited a Grimsby wall. None of which produced any hope of looking like a goal. Perhaps time to give an honourable mention to our ace spoiler: the Prince of Snuff, Mr Tony Crane.
Bournemouth had more than a couple of corners during a period of pressure. One produced an on-target, half-bicycle, falling down type of shot (you know the type... the ones that Iffy keeps missing). This produced a commendable save from Davison.
Then a flashback to Peterborough as Bournemouth break down the left and shot from the corner of the area. It may have been on target, but Davison guided it past the post for a corner. A further attack produced a scrappy goalmouth scramble; three shots were blocked at close quarters, with the ball eventually ending up near the foot of Davison's right post. Feeney challenged with McDermott and the ball flew wide. Goal kick! I guess they missed a sitter.
Barnard raced down the left and kicking the ball too far, a la Boulding, The ball was controlled by the Bournemouth centre-back who set off back upfield, only to trip over Barnard's outstretched leg as he slid by. Another yellow card.
Onuora's turn again, receiving a talking-to for questioning some inconsequential decision. Time to substitute him before he gets himself sent off, thought the Town fans, as one. But no. A collective jaw drop and intake of breath... Disco Des comes on for Pouton. All rise as the great warrior leaves the field of combat. Pouton claps his fans and acknowledges the boos from the home end. Town fans return to their seats with fingers crossed. Well, nothing happened, so we must have got away with it.
Mansaram, now on for Campbell, broke from the central right position and headed for goal, his ungainly gait giving the impression that the long laces of his boots had been tied together and the ball was being dragged along by them. Being incapable of looking up to pass to Boulding, he was easily tackled, by a defender, probably, but it might as well have been one of the mascots.
Anderson replaced Jevons for the last five minutes, white boots for white boots. On 90 minutes Town had a free kick in front of their own fans, which was easily defended. Bournemouth went up the other end and wasted a corner. Full time. A point away from home. Well that's all right, isn't it?
My paper says that Bournemouth had seven shots on target to Grimsby's two. Do they count it if it was going in the vague direction of the goal, but blocked by a defender? I would estimate that if both teams had played without a keeper, we may have drawn 1-1 or perhaps lost 2-1 (it was a difficult angle to judge from).
Nicko's man of the match
They all played competently, and looked very pleased with the draw. Tony Crane gets the nod over Alan Pouton, who would've got it if he'd played the full game.
Without the rose-tinted glasses on, all Town's cards looked justified. Referee Mr Kettle scores 1.78 out of 10, however, as he came over as a bit too much of a homer.