Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
26 October 2014
Grimsby Town 3 Those Guiseleys 0
In blackroofed Cleethorpes there's no gold pavements, just tired starlings. Welcome you 142 Yorkists to our black and white room, our world of wonder, this magic day when many a local cup is runnethed over by a strong desire to buy a hoover. A day when you can walk down the street and there's no one there though the pavements are one huge crowd. Hey mister, a penny for the Guiseley?
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Magnay, Pearson, Nsiala, Thomas, Mackreth, Clay, Disley, Neilson, Hannah, John-Lewis. The substitutes were Humble, Walker, McLaughlin, Bignot, Winfarrah, Pittman and Arnold. There you are, with Brown foot-crocked and Doig on pointing duty there was no one else left in the building. And no-one in the stands.
Those Guiseleys turned up in bright yellow without names on their shirts but with a brace of Boshells. What shall we talk about? The weather? A bit breezy, a bit sunny. Let's not be lazing on this sunny afternoon.
First half: Spoonful (part one)
Town kicked off towards the guys from Guiseley.
I don't care what you say, My Coo Ca Choo is a masterpiece, a stomping powerhouse of pop. Who knew that Bernie Sideburns was neither the original Alvin Stardust, nor the original Shane Fenton. He was still better than Nick Fenton though. It just goes to show that it's all about the time, the place, the raggedy finger of fortune, the choices you and other people make. If only Danny Boshell had kicked that penalty to the left rather than right at Wembley.
Sorry about that, my mind does wander at times like these; you know the 21st Century at Blundell Park. Toblerones. What does that mean to you? The shape of Mark Lever's football boots? Nougat chocolate from Switzerland in the shape of the alps? A reference to Buckleyesque one-touch passing and movement? Try the last one, apply it to three chaps in yellow. Old Bosh chipped, young Bosh flicked and Thomas blocked Boyes. Now, you don't have to think of them again until the second half. That was easy, wasn't it? All they did was fall over and wince a lot.
Who knew that Dave-or-something lived in Tahiti for two yearsLennie was felled and fouled. Hannah's free kick was blocked and Thomas whacked the webound wide. Don't call me Woderick, that's wisible. Yes, I am bored, and so are the players by the look of it. I really should get around to tightening up the soap dispenser.
Mackreth za-zoomed to the bye-line, levering a light lunch into the middle of the six-yard box. Lennie rose behind the keeper and steered the ball over the empty net. Ah yes, that reminds me: I really must change one of the lights in the cooker hood.
Is anybody paying attention to the game? All around people slumped in the seats, checking their phones, reading books, suddenly taking in an interest in the life of that person who sits two seats down and to the left they've "known" for 11 years only as "that bloke who sits near us called Dave or Steve or something". Who knew that Dave-or-something lived in Tahiti for two years.
Ross Hannah took a series of free kicks. That is all you need to know. He won't be taking many more. Wow, Dave-or-something's mum worked at Ramsden's with Dave Worthington's mum. Fascinating.
I ache therefore I am – the fundamental principle upon which supporting Town is based.
Neilson crossed, Loveable Lennie rose four yards out right in front of goal. What a brilliant clearance by their centre back John-Lewis. The ball trickled out for a goal kick 27 yards to the right of goal. What a strange world we live in. That bloke who used to sit behind us but now sits in the Main Stand because he married a lawyer is paid to count birds at Immingham Docks.
Ah, now that's football. Neilson burned a free kick around the wall and Drench clenched his fist and parried away from the toppish left corner. Now that was something. Not much, but something and better than nothing. Neilson crossed again and Lennie missed the ball, it hitting the lumbering lanky Leedsite behind and rolling out for a corner. Forget it Jack, this is Grimsby Town. No corners, no cry.
Two minutes were added for excessive Yorkist squealing and wincing. Pearson bicycled, Hannah headed highly over while unmarked and six yards out. I don't want to dwell on the first half, it was like it never happened. Why don't we just pretend the world is new and like it used to be.
The first ten minutes were the worst. And the second ten minutes, they were the worst too. The third ten minutes I didn't enjoy at all. After that it sort of went into decline.
Second half: Spoonful (part two)
Things changed. Neilson off/Arnold on: the beard that's feared replaced the chubby charmer. The yellow Yorkies took off little Nicky Boshell. They brought some bloke on to replace Little Nicky but nobody noticed for ages. I know who he was. You don't need to know. Knowledge is power.
Town quickened the pulse with pyramids of passing. The ball bumbled off Lennie and snuggled out to Hannah on the right. The Sheffield shuffler slapped a cross shot and was cross at the lack of monochromers within tapping distance. Hannah turned and slapped low through a thicket of knees straight to the keeper. It sounds exciting, doesn't it? Doesn't it? Oh well, maybe not. Maybe I was imagining it, that it was all a dream and I'll wake up and Town have scored.
Wassup? Eh. Did I miss something? What a day for a daydream, I was having a sweet dream, I've been dreaming since I woke up today. Did I miss some passing? Did I miss Happy Jack skipping down the wing and teasing an old fashioned cross? Apparently I did. Luckily for Town Hannah grazed the ball away from Guiseley's big centre back, Lennell John-Lewis, and it sailed beyond the groping Drench. Arnold waited, adjusted his tie, selected the precise position to place the ball and very calmly steered the ship towards harbour. Arnold headed in and Guiseley were heading out of the cup.
No, I hadn't nodded off as Arnold nodded in, that was an optical delusion.
We've won you know. That's that, we're just sprinkling the icing sugar on top of the sponge. Hannah ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ignored everyone else to buffle rubbishly straight at Drench. It doesn't matter what they do or say, no-one's listening anyway, for their fate is sealed. Slack Town, Yorkshire triangles. Some chap blamped straight at McKeown's throat from the edge of the area. They may have had a corner. They did have a corner! I remember Danny Boshell clipping a drifter. Or was that in 2007? Time is, like the power of love, a curious thing. Or rather the curious thing was that the Power of Love was a hit. Any of them. Pah, the 1980s. They were rubbish. Apart from the bits that weren't.
Woah. A corner. Any good! Arnold clipped a drifting dipper into the near post, Disley arose three yards out and carefully groodled inches over the bar as Drench clapped his hands, stomped his feet and prepared to pat. The yellow Guys were a bit of a mess defensively as they tried to do something whacky and zany: attack. Those crazy Guise!
Hannah ran and ran and ran and passed. Mackreth was Drenched as his clip was slapped away. Hannah awaited unmarked by the unguarded goal, arms akimbo, agape and aghast. Arnold clipped and dipped a beautiful corner, Pearson headed high. As Guiseley floundered with this thing they called attacking, Town countered at will. Where there's a will there's a way, and his name is Nathan Arnold.
The Happy Shopper bumbling, stumbling, Arnold gliding and sliding past the ghosts in the Guiseley machine. Drench raced out, Arnold flipped, the ball flopped off the keeper, looped high and John-Lewis steamed in to trample a yellow boy into the dirt and nuddle into the empty net.
The ball hit the shins of John-Lewis at the far post and boom-boxed into the net from a yard outMmm nice triangles. Johnson poked against Jamie Mack's chin. No magic in the cup for Johnson. It was just an illusion - perhaps he should have opened up his eyes and looked around. He's got no imagination. You didn't need to have any knowledge about the life and times of Oli Johnson, but I told you anyway.
More things, more moments where things didn't happen, but should have. Lost in the archives like a comedy programme. No need to restore these for along came a dolly. No nothing to do with Dolly's upside down cakes. Disley swept highly and delightfully onto Arnold's toes, who cushion swayed and played a shot across the keeper's bows. The ball hit the shins of John-Lewis at the far post and boom-boxed into the net from a yard out.
More Arnold corners. More heading over by Pearson and Nsiala. People drifted off early to get their tea.
Danny Boshell was substituted and, if there is defiance in defeat there is magnanimity in victory, for only the Tetney Boo Boys refused to clap him. Pitman replaced John-Lewis. Walker replaced Hannah. Town moved to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Magnay in the Percy Parslow position. And in all this mayhem and sadness what happened? Nathan Arnold wobbled a long shot that Drench flubbered away and flipped around the lurking Pitman.
There were four added minutes. That's a fact. Nothing happened in those four minutes. That's a fact.
The facts of life? Arnold transformed Town. The wearisome waffling was replaced by a sharp dressed man with sharp teeth. Who's that wolf sitting on Town's bench Little West Riding Hurst? Let's not get too excited as Guiseley weren't up to much, but behold the metamorphosis of the sheep.