Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
29 December 2013
Grimsby Town 2 Macclesfield Town 3
A bright, crisp afternoon in the corridor of clutter and shuttered second-hand shops with about 50 Cheshire cheesecakes splattered into the corner of this foreign field. It's the end of the year and we know it. Do you feel fine?
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hatton, Pearson, Doig, Thomas, Colbeck, McLaughlin, Disley, Rodman, Cook, Hannah. The five with a mystery to solve were Bignot, Nielson, John-Lewis, Thanoj and Southwell. A Kerrless midfield is not a peerless place, so clench your buttocks or your teeth and cross your fingers and hope they fly, not fry.
There's a tugboat down by the river, don't you know. Look out, the Old Macc are back in town.
First half: The first cut is the deepest
The Macc lads kicked off towards the Pontoon. There was a kind of hush all over the crowd. The only sound that you will hear is Shaun Pearson bellowing in Sam Hatton's ear. For ever and ever.
Town. Somnambulant strollers, feckless punters. A blue boy sliced a lump vaguely goalwards. Taylor sighed onto the ball. Our chortling creative accountants are counting that as a chance. It was desperate, and we are desperately bored.
Maccers muck about with the football. Passing it. Legs moving. Feet controlling it. We did that once before Christmas. Unlike the Second World War, Town's passing and moving was over by Christmas.
Discombubulated by an apparent apparition of a Town attack, the black and white minstrels wandered across the stage singing about cotton but hadn't cottoned on to the Silkmen swaying. They broke right and swung left, where bluemen laced daisies into each other's hair telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty. All Town'd got on that side was Sammy Hatton. Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze. A cross cleared to the shadow of the Police Box. A cross smeared off Boden and swiped weakly back to the crosser by Doig. Crosses making us cross. Mackreth daintily drumbled and dragged lowly to the remarkably unmarked Boden, who swept easily in from the centre of the penalty area.
They pass, they move, they groove, they made Town into raffia basket cases. Winn shot, McKeown flipped over and flipped his lid at the looseness and loucheness before him. More things happened involving blue-shirted males doing athletic things in the vicinity of a leaking boot. A swish wide from inside Stonehenge.
Holroyd gently levered across McKeown into the corner. How unsurprisingly surprising. What's taken them so long?
There's more noise at a ballet. I can see humans all around, but the silence is deafening and defining the game. Are we caught in the half life?
Welcome to Sleepy Hollow. A gentle hoik over Hatton, Holroyd gently levered across McKeown into the bottom left corner. How unsurprisingly surprising. What's taken them so long? What's the point of the rest of the day? Give me two good reasons why I oughta stay.
A free kick glanced on and Pearson plopped soppily to Taylor. A free kick dumped and headed appallingly wide by the unmarked Cook. I'm sure that's appealing to the cartwheeling Cheshire cats. Hatton hurled a short long throw, or maybe it's classed on the Lincoln scale as a long short throw. Disley swivelled to wally onto the roof. Cook just got in the way to clear our own crosses.
Two decent crosses, nobody home, loitering without intent at the far post and beyond. Attack the near post! What more can I say? Hannah ran around a bit and their bald controller, Whitaker, reigned supreme.
Unedifying sleepball and Town sleepwalking to unhappiness. What a waste of time.
Second half: Show you the way to go
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull.
And then not dull. Stand by for ten minutes of furiously frenetic frivolous fun as the scintillatingly sizzling sun shone.
Give us hope Ross Hannah, give us hope Ross Hannah as he pursued their full-back into a cul-de-sac, where he was mugged by Colbeck under the Police Box. A sonic boom rattled the windows as if the electricity had been reconnected and the gramophone was blaring out.
All it took was someone to try a bit.
Hatton hurled, crosses were curled, Pearson shouldered softly wide when free at the near post. Colbeck had a ten minute fizzathon and the Macc Lads were in a tizz. Bluemen wilting, the ground shifting beneath their feet and the whole ground rising up and rousing on the monochromers.
A corner cleared. No longer strangers in the night, McLaughlin exchanged glances with Hatton, and the Maccs were exposed on the right. The goat was fed and sped along the bye-line, crossing lowly and Williams snazzily sneakily slashed in at the near post.
A corner cleared, a corner headed from under their own bar. A corner coiled beautifully and Doig doggedly dunked in at the near post. Oh yes.
Rodman was immediately replaced by Neilson. He did nothing. Town switched to power-saving mode again.
A blueman felled, a blueman off, a free kick wellied long and deep, deep into the Town area. Hatton and Doig came to the party as Scooby and Shaggy. Yoiks, it's the ghost of Town past in a messy muddle of madness. Cook clumsily clattered into a blue shin. Penalty! Holroyd caressed lowly left and McKeown cuddled the ball to his rolling bosom.
The ground was in ferment, but Town's bottle had been corked.
Hannah and Cook were replaced by John-Lewis and Southwell. They did nothing.
McLaughlin swung, Pearson stooped and glanced straight at Taylor. That is all. The rest is punting tosh, a bagatelle of gormless galumphing grimness.
There were five added minutes during which Town recreated Lincoln's winsomely winning tactics – big booming balls going nowhere
Here they come: a sweet switchblade switch pass swung through the dead-eyed dead men and McKeown parried one-handed over the bar. Macclesfield kept passing to each other. Cheats! More moments, rings being run around in complete silence.
Near the end the end was nigh. Thomas hassled a falling fellow, 20 yards out. A free kick awarded and no referral to Snicko. Andrew plopped precisely over the wall into the top left corner with McKeown flapping at the wind beneath his chicken wings.
There were five added minutes during which Town recreated Lincoln's winsomely winning tactics – big booming balls going nowhere. A corner, maybe a handball and Pearson fell and Macclesfield ran off with the spoons.
Town endured a minor humiliation as Macclesfield gave out a lesson in passing and movement, commitment, discipline and organisation. The whole game was run by Whitaker, their bald beagle. During Town's only period of adequacy the Macc lads listed badly as their levels of intensity were matched, but as soon as the equaliser went in Town down-shifted back to static strutting and tutting.
If Town aren't going to try, why don't they just fax the FA with a forfeit? What a waste of time. The right team won.