Time to concentrate on the league

Last updated : 09 January 2003 By Terrace Talk
We are seventh in the table as 2003 dawns and although the position is complicated by quite a few teams having games in hand we are nicely placed - especially with Beagrie only about three or four weeks away from a return (What a shame we will never know what he might have done against Leeds). Anyway we’re nicely tucked in where we need to be.

Apart from the fact that we failed to score against Rushden, the one aspect of the game which frustrated me was our ability to waste free kicks. This seems to be a recurring problem. If we get a free kick in their half we seem to want to take it immediately by playing a two yard pass sideways after which it usually goes backwards to Tommy Evans or to the opposition. Ok - we don’t want to play like Lincoln, and the goal at Carlisle (worth somewhere around £100K) was a quickly taken free kick but at least it went forward. We could mix it up a bit more - when we did we last take a traditional free kick aimed for our ‘traditional’ centre forward? We’re guilty of so much wastefulness that it surely can’t be long until Friends of the Earth are picketing the ground on a Saturday.

As I didn’t go to Southend I listened to it on Radio Hull’s-Our-Side. Who on earth was the ‘expert’ summariser? I didn’t catch his name but he sounded like an extra from Eastenders. One comment he made did shock me however when during the second half he said ‘Kilford was certainly guilty of having a tug’! Well if that’s what’s been going on the centre of the park it’s a miracle we’re picking up any points at all. It might also explain why some of the passing lacks, well, vision.

And so to York which was a most pleasant afternoon out. 841 of us there to witness a great performance. Featherstone was unlucky to be sent off, doubly unlucky in fact, because the referee firstly had to decide it was a foul when it looked like a 50/50 tussle and then decide it was a definite goal scoring chance denied (and it was Nogan he brought down not Ronaldo). After ‘Feathers’ was sent off Carruthers had to make way for McCoombe and we defended the lead – successfully. But had we still had eleven and bearing in mind how we were playing we might have gone on to get half a dozen.

Two events in December at Glanford Park may at first appear inconsequential and in no way related to each other – but think again. Firstly the new gates. These have been put up at the entrance to the ground without fanfare or ceremony as far as I know. What is the purpose of these? To keep disgruntled fans from leaving before the end? To stop Clifford Byrne heading back up to Sunderland? Or perhaps to prevent the likes of Steve Guinan making off with the club’s leisurewear (“Close the gates Don - he’s got one of our tracksuits!”). Anyway they just appeared as far as I can see.

And then over Christmas someone stole an old Vauxhall Nova and tried to drive it through the metal gates at the home end, setting it on fire in the process. Now I can see why people might ram raid Dixons, or the Carphone Warehouse, but Glanford Park?! What could they be after – the contents of the snack bar? No for me the whole incident must be related to the escalating war against terror. Firstly the attack on the ground bears all the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda operation. Who but Bin Laden and his billionaire backers have the expertise and the audacity to pinch a W reg Nova from Teale Street? And if it was Osama himself behind the wheel of the Hatchback of Horror (and I have seen no evidence to the contrary) then what better time of year than Christmas, when the good folk of Scunthorpe positively expect to see a stranger with a long beard careering about the place at night without tax, test or insurance?

But why would Glanford Park be a target? Well the planners of September 11th viewed the World Trade Centre as a conspicuous symbol of prosperity and success. So when you look at it like that it’s not hard to see why Glanford Park is the obvious is the obvious equivalent this side of the pond. Or possibly the club is to play a part in the forthcoming war and the new gates were quietly put up by the Ministry of Defence themselves. Maybe when it all kicks off Blair intends to borrow our very own weapons of mass destruction – Steve Torpey’s elbows.

Remember – you heard it here first.

Up the Iron.