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Watford v Grimsby, 9/5/99
By Matt Rowson

Four days. Fifteen hours. Forty Eight Minutes. Thirty Seven...Six... Five Seconds. Approximately.

What shall I do this evening ?

Hmmm, let's see what's on the telly. Flick... nah.... flick....flick... adverts. Bloody hell. "The world's favourite airline".... "It's good to talk".... flick. Adverts. Advertising. Promotion...

Four days, Fifteen Hours, One minute, Twenty two seconds.

My flat's a complete tip. Again. A bloody shambles. Like Crystal Palace, ha ha. Clothes all over the floor, washing up to be done, a kitchen unit to be built that's been sitting in it's flat box for over twelve months. You wonder how I find time to write these previews, Mr.Riley, I'll tell you how... I neglect the utterly trivial necessities of life like basic hygiene. Let alone ambitious projects like the finishing of the varnishing of my window frames that now seems destined for the chilling abyss of the close season. Bloody windows.... window panes.... pain... ouch.... sting... hornet.... COME ON YOU GOLDEN BOYS....

Four days, Fourteen Hours, Forty Nine minutes, Forty Six seconds.

Ho hum. Play some music, maybe. Choose a CD. This takes about twenty six seconds. Press play. Wander into the kitchen. Am I hungry or just bored ? No, I'm definitely hungry. Hungry like the wolf. Wolves have just drawn with Grimsby, ha bloody ha. Grimsby fans were singing "you're staying down, you're staying down". Good effort. Everyone hates Wolves, don't they ? And isn't it funny how the parting of Mark McGhee and Wolverhampton Wanderers hasn't lessened one's abhorrence towards either ?

Four days, Fourteen hours, Thirty Six Minutes, Five Seconds.

Go out for a walk then. It's quite chilly. According to my voting slip this part of Bedford is called Cauldwell, presumably solely for the purpose of local elections. Anyway, Cauldwell at 11pm is an eerie place. It's overcast tonight... no sign of the stars or the moon. Mooneymooneymooneymooney. Probably wouldn't be able to see the stars anyway with all the artificial glow of the street lights. Not like in Scotland. Oh Allan Smart....

Four days, Fourteen hours, Twenty Eight Minutes, Thirteen Seconds.

Corner shop's still open. Don't think it ever closes. Wander in and say hello to Mr.Bharat. Funny how I've never noticed that he looks like Johnno. Despite the fact that he's in his late forties, short, overweight, and most definitely not Australian. Am I developing a fixation here ? Buy a couple of cans of lager. Why have I started drinking Carling all of a sudden ?

Four days, Fourteen hours, Eleven Minutes, Fifty One seconds.

Grimsby Town. This is the fourth preview I've written for a Grimsby game over the last two seasons. With the greatest respect to the Mariners, particularly considering their most excellent pissing off of Wolves this evening, this is just one more reason to hope the boys do the business and reach the Premiership... I'm buggered if I know what'll I'd write about Grimsby next time around.

The Grimsby side which faced Wolves was a young one, in part a result of Alan Buckley's desire to blood a few new faces. Even if Buckley should decide that his morals forbid him from fielding anything but his strongest side on Sunday, his hand is likely to be restricted by a considerable injury list.

In goal, nineteen year old Steve Croudson made his full debut on Tuesday evening, due to the combination of Aidan Davison's acrimonious departure after a contractual dispute and an ankle injury to Andy Love. Croudson's debut was initially nervous, but he ultimately left the field to an ovation.

On the right, David Butterfield is another youngster enjoying a first team run thanks to an injury to John McDermott. "Hopes are high that Butterfield will follow in the footsteps of Gary Croft or John Oster", as a Website reports and Radio 5's commentator related verbatim this evening. Former Carlisle full-back Tony Gallimore is on the left.

In the centre, Paul Handyside has recently returned from injury, and has been partnered by captain and leading scorer Paul Groves, playing out of position as cover for Mark Lever, who has a hip injury. Richard Smith is also absent through injury.

In midfield, Wayne Burnett has stepped into Groves' slot in the centre, whilst former West Brom man Stacey Coldicott provides the engine. Last year's hero Kevin Donovan, another former Albion man, is on the right, whilst Kingsley Black meanders through his career on the left. Former Coventry winger Dave Smith is currently injured.

Up front, young Irish striker Daryl Clare is partnered with the robust Jack Lester. Record signing Lee Ashcroft, a 500k purchase from Preston, is allegedly more likely to be found down the pub than scoring a goal, whilst Watford's favourite old boy Lee Nogan (link to picked up a knock on Saturday and was inexplicably booed off by the home fans.

That's Grimsby. Now what do I do ?

Four days, Thirteen hours, Forty Five minutes, Twenty Eight seconds.

Could somebody tell me how I'm going to survive until Sunday ?