Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
2 October 2014
Grimsby Town 0 Southport 1
Still. Calm. Still becalmed halfway up the Bananarama stairs. Seventeen Sandpipers grinding their teeth where the colour scheme is brown, everywhere in Grimsby town.
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Parslow, Pearson, Nsiala, Magnay, Mackreth, Clay, Brown, Neilson, Hannah, John-Lewis. The substitutes were Walker, McLaughlin, Disley, Bignot and Oates. Lennie's back. You fill me with inertia.
Boo Brodie boo. Oh, that's not Brodie, but booooooo anyway. Dyer looks like Brodie, moves like Brodie, he may even drink like Brodie, but he ain't Brodie he's another.
First half: A line in the sand
Town kicked off away from the silent and towards the invisible. Is Brown-Clay a solid foundation or a constipated nation?
C'mon, do something.
C'mon, do something.
Jeez, I'm bored. I'm bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored.
C'mon, do something other than lumping above Hannah.
The bloody view is bloody vile, for bloody miles and bloody miles.
The bloody pies are bloody old, the bloody chips are bloody cold. This isn't football: it's slow-motion pro-celebrity car parking. Take the handbrake off, grease the wheels, look in your rear view mirror, adjust your seat and paint your nails. Get out of neutral, get into gear.
The bloody clocks are bloody wrong, this bloody game is bloody long. Please release me, let me go, for I don't love you any more. To have to watch this dross is a sin.
In the 25th minute, and only the 25th minute, Town made two ground-based passes while two humans moved in vague synchronicity. Hannah shot – saved. Brown shot – skipped wide.
Please return to your world of dreams. I know Pearson did. Big bad Brodie turned the barman and crossed lowly. Southport passed, Brodie tapped, a blue boy scuffed. Nothing else happened. Ever.
I'm so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so bored.
Can't we just end this now? Euthanasia is legal in Swiss football you know.
At last the clocks have stopped. At last something happened. Town defenceless, Brodie gloriously gormless when spinning. Relax, rest your head upon McKeown's smothering pillow. Hannah tickled, the ever decreasing circle of hope flubbed straight at their keeper. Lennie, we have so much confidence you won't score, and you never disappoint. Lennie, we believe, oh we believe.
What is the point of all this? This is not my favourite waste of time – that's Lennie. And Neilson. And Mackreth. And everyone else I can see through the puce window of fury.
Second half: The camel that broke the straw's back
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Nothing changed. Nothing changed. Nothing changed. Nothing changed.
Minutes ticked by. And what? More minutes ticked by. There really is nothing happening, 22 men barging into each other and flapping like a floozy.
Lennie free, Lennie bumbled wide. No-one laughed and no-one cried, for no-one expected anything else. If it's the hope that kills this is the night of the living dead.
They passed to each other. They shot. McKeown saved well.
A blue boy nibbled Neilson and here comes the slapstick continental slappings. Brodie sprinted from the Main Stand toilets to discuss the lack of hot water and the absorbent qualities of the paper towels. Comforted by the consensus view, he ran back to the Main Stand toilets. At last, animation with a conflagration.
Back to normal. BORED. BORED. BORED
Ch-ch-ch-changes. Just gonna have to be a different man. Clay and Shop-Soiled off, Disley and Oates on.
A free kick dunked, Blue heads rico-grazing millimetres past the top left corner. A corner. Nsiala be-bumped down and be-thunked off a blue body part on the line. We're alive Igor!
That didn't last long, did it.
Brodie made an ostentatious show of not celebrating a goal against one of his old clubs. It's the thing nowadays, isn't it. Hah, if you believe that you'll believe that pigs and even DC-10s can fly
The end, please, please end this now. Stop this world, I want to get off. Still ten minutes left.
Suffering soufflés Batman, it's an amazing imploding pudding. McDonald was allowed to carefully wallop an up 'n' under into the covered corner. Brodie was allowed to amble after it, was allowed to turn and tap agin Pearson's ankles for a corner. Southport were allowed to take a short corner and clip a drifting dink. Blue men were allowed to sneak in front of McKeown. The ball hit Jamie Mack's chest and flibbled away. Brodie poked into the top right corner and ran off towards the Main Stand, making an ostentatious show of not celebrating a goal against one of his old clubs. It's the thing nowadays, isn't it. Hah, if you believe that you'll believe that pigs and even DC-10s can fly.
Allowed. That's the word. Remember that. If we tolerate this, our season will be next.
Brown wellied low from afar, keeperman scrumbled away with his legs. Hannah twisted low, keeperman flew the wrong way and parry-slap-dropped the ball back to himself. Magnay surged and swung wide. Disley ducked and missed from six yards. Somewhere among the cowpats and banjo plucking Parslow was taken off and on came McLaughlin. Town moved to the always popular, always successful 'three defenders and others' formation. A mess of muck, moments of mumbling and fumbling. Incoherent mutterings from an ageing movie star.
Are we ready for our close-up now?
Four minutes were added, with the remaining crowd calling for the whistle to end the punishment. McDonald tackled well, the ref took pity and Hannah curled the non-free kick where he always curls free kicks – high beyond the sea, beyond the stars, beyond the fridge and into the Pontoon.
I feel better now. It's ended. I can go home and erase this from my life.
Unforgivably boring, unforgettably atrocious. Sinners, confess your sins.
Right, I'm off to rent a church basement. Care to join me in the support group? We need counselling, Councillor. Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right, and here we are stuck in the middle of the Bananarama with you.
We don't like it, but we still come. We won't be so forgiving again.