Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
7 August 2016
Grimsby Town 2 Fodder 0
'Cause we're back, yes we're back. Well, we're back in black and white at the very bottom of where we used to be. The home stands were rocking and the Osmond was mocking us with its emptiness. Yeah, we're back in the bottom of the big time and life is so very different.
Out in the distance 131 morose and maudlin Morecambites mulled on their future as the sun sizzled, fans frazzled and a willowy wind wended in from the west. If there is no future in Morecambe's dreaming, are they just flowers in the dustbin?
It's nice to know that Chris Doig is more than just ropes.
Town lined up sensibly in a sensible 4-4-2 formation as sensibly follows: McKeown, Davies, Gowling, Boyce, Andrew, Berrett, Summerfield, McAllister, Bolarinwa, Vernon and Jackson. The substitutes were Warrington, Jones, Pearson, Vose, Chambers, Bogle, and Browne. These people are strange and when you're a stranger no-one remembers your name. That little one over there: Berrett? McAllister? Which is which and who is who? Nine new Townites hanging on the wall, all the new people, so many new people, welcome to our Park life.
Morecambe turned up in an off-the-peg football kit and with old Ellison still baldly poking his nose into other people's business. They had little men up front and big men behind. They're only here to make up the numbers. It's our party and we'll cry if we want to. You'd cry too if the last ten years had happened to you.
One-two-three-wahey! Smoke bombs to the left of him, loo rolls to the right, there it is: Dave Boylen's hair stuck in the middle with glue.
Clap, clap. Clap-clap-clap-clap, FISH.
Here we go.
First half: C'mon feel the noise
The relegation fodder kicked off towards the Pontoon with dribbles and nibbles and Wildig wiffled without prejudice, volume one. That's them. Wildig is a cockleshell typo, not one of Hurst's collection of short furry animals gathered together in a cave grooving after being picked in the first team.
Clap. Clap. Clap-clap-clap-clap, FISH. You can stick your Icelandic clapping up your wrasse. Local clapping for local people.
After five minutes of fitful fury Berrett dribbled and nibbled infield, flicking and flipping across the face of the penalty area. The ball snuckled off arms and legs and a monochrome chest, Jackson spun and swung low across and through Roche into the bottomish right corner.
Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Feel it in the air, the wind is taking it everywhere and Denmark's rocking now. Town are back in the small big time with a bang.
Action Jackson: racing with the wind, sheer pace exploding into space. The giant shrimpers simpered as the late loanee dashed and bashed. There's spring-heeled hope in the hills. They cannae cope, Jim.
More, more, more and how do we like it? A lot. Tombola bowled along in front of the dentists, tickled to Vernon, who calmly flick-lofted over the advancing Roche. The ball gently swam towards the far corner, but along came Alistair McGowan to lever off the line. Action Jackson swivelled and swerved and swayed away from flailing fumblers, curling low and precisely around an ankle, around Roche's fingers and against the outerside of the far, right post. A deeply dunked free kick and a nearness of almosting at a moment of ordinariness as Jackson's pace caused Lancastrian hearts to shiver.
There's more action from Jackson coming. And here it is. The Shrimps don't know much trigonometry, but Berrett and Jackson know what a slide rule is for
And then Morecambe rearranged their deckchairs to be nearer the prom. They simply stood back five yards to counter Jackson and disturb our peace of mind on the counter-attack. A Whitmore non-welly from way, way out. Nothing to see here, please move along.
McKeown swooped onto crosses as Ellison failed. Long chucks, big whacks, crosses and corners, hibbling and bibbling and just ice-cold blocks to cool things off. Mishits and muffles with the occasional scruffle, the only danger when Summerfield stared at the Pontoon. Heading between a phalanx of placid, flaccid Shrimpers, slashing sloppily at near post corner, he shredded the defence with an exquisitely timed pass between Andrew and Boyce. Barkhuizen flew off alone; McKeown flew out to swamp away with his feet. Good save, bad miss.
Look to your right side, Luke.
There's more action from Jackson coming. And here it is. The Shrimps don't know much trigonometry, but Berrett and Jackson know what a slide rule is for. What a wonderful world this would be if Berrett's poke-prod from Jackson's rock and roll had not caught thermals.
Shall we overlook Boyce's indecision as Barkhuizen diffidence let Jamie Mack emerge delighted with the football in his hands after a big booming punt downfield? Yes, we shall overlook that.
We can't overlook Tombola's horizontal foot waggle, Morecambite writhing and a waggle of yellow. What excellent officiating we have today. And three minutes were added, during which many feet moved towards the burger bars.
Jackson was far too brisky for them, with many a Morecambe wobble as he gobbled the grass. They had one chance gifted after a gaffe, Town could have had four, all through old-fashioned passing and movement.
What were we worried about?
Second half: Spirit in the sky
Morecambe replaced Tombola's victim with some other chap they pay to wear casual sportswear. I am convinced this lad had a name, but this is all about us, so why retain such detail?
Attacks. Things. Crosses, corners and Summerfield knock-kneed highly at the near post. Berrett bedribbled after some top table tapping. Jamie Mack walloped longly and Jackson pursued the missile into the deepest corner of Blundell Park, almost joining the queue for the last Twix in town. He waited, Tombola arrived fashionably late, but without a cravat, and did a passable impression of Omar's non-passing routine: wiggling, waggling and toggling over the angle of far post and bar.
Jackson jinked and jived, the shot shook off cockleshell boots and Summerfield carefully steered wider away from the goal than he was stood. The fitful, fleeting moments of football between the hum-drum humping from the increasingly dead-eyed Lancashire lollipops. Ellison slashed way over at some point. Who cares how, when and why?
Under the Police Box an echo of a distant time came billowing across the land. A roll and tickle, a Vernon flip-flick and Berrett dippy-volleyed over Roche and bar. Twenty-first century Reesian flicks and Childsian misses. Roaming and raiding, crosses and corners. Davies levered lowly, lowly and finally slightly less lowly to the near post as Boyce, in eons of space and time, ducked and diverted wide and high.
And Morecambe… nah. If you want to watch a javelin or shot putt competition, switch on the Olympics.
Davies eschewed childish games, took two steps back as Roche hopped left and right, and coiled delightfully, deliciously over the wall and into the toppish right side of the goal
And in a bound we were free. Vernon nicked and Andrew flowed forward, was felled and collided with lumbering Edwards. A hissy snark and snarl-up ended with Fleming the first fouler being booked. Summerfield hung around hoping for a game of rock-paper-scissors as the ball was on exactly the same spot as Vose's twinkle against Oldham. Davies eschewed childish games, took two steps back as Roche hopped left and right, and coiled delightfully, deliciously over the wall and into the toppish right side of the goal.
Was it now that the Ellison over-blast happened? Perhaps. Townites struggled with aerial nonsense, especially when the ball bounced. Toblerone boots and Toblerone heads, from both teams.
Ah, a corner elevated on instruction beyond the far post. A bimble of bomble and Roche roamed with fist a-flapping. Jackson back-snickled over the calamitous keeper from the penalty spot and Ellison ducked off the line.
Or was it now that Ellison blasted over? Blast, it might be over now. Nothingness nowhere, just whacks and tacks. Boyce wandered lonely as a cloud and Ellison headed over Gorgon-haired Gowling. Out came an arm, down went the baldster into the penalty area and out came a red card. A free kick! Result. The free kick flickled against the uttermost parts of the wall and out for a corner. Double result!
Twenty minutes left and Bogle and Pearson replaced Vernon and Bolawinra as Town moved to a 4-3-2 formation. Morecambe took off their little men and lumped largely, right onto Pearson's head or into McKeown's waiting palms. Nice.
Let's just cut out the waffles and get to the ice cream. Roche flat-kicked straight to Bogle, who buffled weakly at the nearest defender. We had all the usual Omar notes, but not necessarily in the usual Omar order. And after 88 minutes Chambers replaced Jackson. After 88 minutes and 20 seconds Town were caught offside for the first time. Chambers, of course. After 89 minutes 40 seconds Omar was offside after Chambers delayed a pass.
And so the run continues. Town haven't lost in the Football League for over six years.
Town rather easily beat what was in front of them. Jackson's litheness and Vernon's lump-liteness meant Town had an attack, while Morecambe only threatened when a Townite erred. There are clear imperfections, structurally and individually, but the future is for tomorrow. Today our world is wonderful again.
Turned out nice again.