Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
14 March 2016
Bognor Regis Town 0 Grimsby Town 1
An afternoon of sun and fun in windless West Sussex, with around 400 stray Town cats strutting and tutting at the huddled hordes of idle indifference in the distance. A lot of people, so little sound and vision. Big games always bring out people who don't know what to do.
At the turnstile a phalanx of fluorescence, a slew of stewards, micro-searched every bag, hat, and coat. No, I didn't call you a parasol, I wasn't being rude. I said it's an umbrella or parasol, depending on the weather. The security at non-League grounds is like the nuclear deterrent or threat of the cane at school: it only deters people who wouldn't do it anyway.
Town lined up in a grudging 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, East, Pearson, Nsiala, Robertson, Arnold, Clay, Disley, Straker, Hoban, Pittman. The substitutes were Tait, Gowling, Henderson, Venney and Amond. Somebody text Bogle, we want him back. I also want to see Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations at Butlins, but as my granny always said, I want doesn't get. Maybe we'll be bedazzled by the beautiful football. And you'll never be a scout with your shirt hanging out.
Bognor turned up in white and green and the staff were very friendly. They even stir your hot chocolate to order. Lovely people, lovely ground, lovely day; we're simply having a lovely time the day we came to Bognor. One day we may recall the thrill of it all as we walked along the seafront, when on the sand we heard the Town band that played a selection of badly drummed ditties.
Ah, life in football's fast lane. Oh, yes, strolling along the prom, prom, prom to the novelty rock emporium and Marigold Tea Rooms and onwards to a double date at Wembley. Poultry enumeration ahoy.
First half: Would that 'twere so simple
Town kicked off towards the mass of locals standing in a field grooving with their rattles. What a crescendo of silence.
Breaking news…. we're just receiving reports of a lack of incidents in a field in Sussex where a number of people have been arrested in connection with "annoying the nation". Although not confirmed, we are led to understand that those already charged include: a room full of drama teachers listening to Björk; and grown men with replica shirts worn over their jumpers, who stand up and stretch out their arms when the opposing team fail to hit the target.
Slow, slow, slow, slow… slowly dropping off to sleep. They don't have seats – they have deckchairs. Anyone for a donkey ride? Why are we all staring at Anthony Straker?
Hoban flicked and Arnold wellied. Smith plunged low and left to palm aside for a corner. Arnold didn't elevate and everything deflated. And that was Town's corner. The sole, the one and only corner. You getting the drift already?
Hoban spun and bethwacked a bewitching blister straight at Smith. Hoban spun and bedrumbled lowly straight at Smith.
And there was no more. There we were singing a few of our favourite songs as the wheels seized up. If they can't be bothered, why should we? Sleep, sleep, I know that I'm only dreaming. Wake me up when the tide comes in.
Boggy, soggy Bognor were in fear of the monochrome shadows. A Robertson back-pass scribbled scruffily away by Jamie Mack and, oh, it's half time already. Who's our birdman of Bognor? Who shall we push off the end of the pier?
It was just terribly, immensely boring. A tepid tea party, not a semi-final
The Bognor crowd was full of Commodores fans. They come once, twice, maybe three times a season, and are the sort who feed sugar lumps to police horses at cup finals. It must be really annoying for the real Rockers to have such mod cons among them. Arrest them for annoying the nation.
This was not bad: it was just terribly, immensely boring. A tepid tea party, not a semi-final.
Second half: You know, for kids
Neither team made any changes at half time. Half the Rockers could barely be bothered to come out again.
To compensate for the lack of effort expended in the first half, Town took a nap after Arnold crossed, and Dizzer drifted into the near post to shin woefully wide.
Bognor suddenly realised they were playing against musical statues. They almost did things now and then, with occasional crosses, muddled miscues and cuddled tissues. McKeown was forced to pick the ball up once. When it went out for a goal kick.
I don't know how I came to be here, not fast asleep in bed.
The Town fans amused themselves taunting a lone herring gull as it swooped in the Bognor penalty area. Insert your own joke using your pet irritant Town player here. I really can't be bothered with this tosh. Amond and Tait replaced Hoban and Straker. I really have nothing positive to say about either of them.
The Rockers kept rolling forward. A flurry of fluff.
With 15 minutes left McKeown wellied down the middle, Amond flicked over his head and Arnold waltzed to whack lowly and left beyond the groping gloves of Smith.
Henderson replaced Disley. Yeah, whatever.
Pittman dispossessed a dawdling defender, hared off with Amond and stroked a pass into the keeper's body. Utter tosh.
The Rockers kept rolling forward. Stuff of nothing.
And in added time, right in front of the Town fans, Pittman's shoulder audibly popped. He was in agony as Dave Moore slowly manipulated his arms. There was nothing else. What a complete waste of time in the most boring game ever.