Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
23 October 2016
Grimsby Town 0 Charmless Weasels XI 1
If you got to go, it's all right. But if you got to go, go now. Or else you gotta say you’ll stay.
A bright, dry day of listless limbo dancing in front of a single file column of 100 Robinites bob-bob-bobbling along in the Osmond. Shrewsbury? What a load of coracles.
Town lined up in a 4-2-3-1 as follows: McKeown, Mills, Gowling, Collins, Andrew, Summerfield, Disley, Jackson, Berrett, Vose and Bogle. The substitutes were Henderson, Pearson, Comley, Bolawinra, Browne, Vernon and Tuton. Well, if we’ve told him once, we’ve told more than twice but he never listens to our advice. 4-4-2 at home. Oh dear, oh dear. It never ends well, does it Hurst? Look to history. One striker. At home. Fancy-dan formations are not us. These are the rules of engagement.
Cheltenham turned up with their usual array of big blokes and snarky, snidey spivvery. And that was just the way they stood. Pell, Parslow and Waters – all locally, unsustainably sourced and immensely irritating. It’s about time Town did the right thing.
In the end, it’s the Saturday afternoons we can't cope with, and that terrible listlessness which starts to set in at about 2:55. As we stare at the clock, the hands will move relentlessly on to five o'clock. Another home game, another morose march into the long dark teatime of the soul.
1st Half – The Last Time
Town kicked off towards the Osmond. There we are. A simple fact of life.
Omar! Twisting, twisting, twisting the right away and smuggling scrappily straight to the keeper.
Vose! Twisting, turning, gurning at a cross that was a shot that was a cross that was either or neither, skipping through the void where no Town boot stretched.
Pell plunged under the slightest of stares mid-way from everywhere and nowhere. Half a pound of tuppenny rice and half a pound of treacle, that’s the way the Town cookie crumbled as Waters popped the weasel on the penalty spot. Urgh, a simple, childish free kick routine dissected the desiccated Summerfield and Disley.
And grumbles. Town dissolved without resolve. Ambling, shambling, standing still, whining and dining on stale bread. A pushover, both Town and those rockin’ Robins whenever monochromers approached.
Pell nicked and knocked, Munns punned over the bar. A header, somewhere, some time, from someone or other. Pell plopped over the bar with a banjo. Vose under-hit corners, even by his underwhelming standards of under-hitting corners. A moment of nearly-ness, some wan and wafting legs and off they chased. Pell muffed and puffed, Dayton slip-slided away into the side netting. How much more crumble do we want on our rhubarb?
Another tumble and out came the badger. You know, a free kick just like the weasel but without the reverse ferret.
After half an hour of nonsense Town finally reverted to 4-4-2, with ill-fitting Berrett filling in on the right. Ah, that’s so much better. As in less worse, as in a bandage that stops the bleeding, or at least keeps the wound and blood from sight. A little bit of decorum never did anyone any harm.
And Berrett rolled harmlessly wide. And Omar rolled harmlessly to their keeper. And Town were harmlessly passing the time in the grasslands. You better watch out, there’s dogs about. What a dead dog we are at home.
Passing moments of passing football flowing through the Mills, and Berrett swept nicely over. Ah football, it happens now and again. Vose dribbled out of play, Omar crossed and a red head headed out from near the line. These are things that happened. These things are of no consequence.
And what of our fair-minded friends from the land of the secret doughnut? Harry Pell is falling down, falling down, falling down, Harry Pell is falling down; who gives a toss.
Oh, hang I forgot that bit where... so what. What’s the point?
2nd Half – So long and thanks for all the fish
Tombola replaced Berrett at half time. Finally, some vim.
Huffle and puffle and rotten linesmanship as a red back pass went out of play and a throw-in, not a corner, was awarded. Tombola bowled along and stripped the stripes from a Robin’s back. Crosses to the near post, crosses to the far post. No strikers near nor far, just watching the wheels go round and round.
Pell thwceamed and thwceamed and thwceamed and wellied the free kick into Tombola’s gentleman’s particulars. Well, that’s that from the spoiling spivs. Let’s watch Town play slow-motion squash.
Up and under, back and forth, in and out. Our pings don’t have pong, Downes knows his wiffles from his waffles. Town’s humps and dumps constantly fading to grey.
Tombola hoiked down the right and Action Jackson chased the left-back into a puddle under over sideways down near Police box. Cranston collapsed and Jackson edged into the area, espied Vose and Bogle and rolled into the void. A vast, open void where nothing existed and the goal was agape. Waters ran from deep to emerge between the shufflers and scrumble away for a wasted corner.
Pell… falling… free kick… rodent-based trickery and nothing. Them in a nutshell, a completely busted flush. Rats sinking a leaving ship. The ground in tumult and turmoil as the reliable rancid Robins tested the referee’s waters. Just to their liking – staggeringly stagnant, irrationally indulgent of their over-ripe amateur dramatics and clock-watching snidery.
A lump turned into a pump and Gowling sweetly spun to crackle a cross behind all. Andrew fliggled and a redster walloped away from near the line. More humps, more dumps, and Tombola excavated an enormous dink from the left. Hibbledy-bibbledy, bobbly-wobbly, this and that. Bogle brought the ball down on his chest, swiggled a showstopping triple Salkow and ankle strapped straight at the prostrate keeper from six yards.
OK, what’s next?
A double change. Tuton replaced Vose, Comley replaced Summerfield and 4-3-3 replaced 4-4-2. Such tactical flexibility, your excellency, you spoil us.
Omar bedrumbled through legs, through the looking glass and straight through to the waiting fingers of their keeper, whose name I know, but cannot be bothered to write. A mere detail of history, a trifling fellow in a trifling game.
We’ve seen this all before. We just know, we’re so sure that Town aren’t going to blow them away. It's the same as last time, the red bores stood on the burning bridge and old man Downes headed away, chested way, seeped away
A break, space, moments, possibilities. Andrew drove all night and wallied waywardly as half a dozen monochromers awaited the dink that never came. Gowling spent the rest of his afternoon encamped at the foot of the mountain waiting for supplies. Waiting, waiting, waiting for Zak! Mills’s long chucks. Downes headed them away.
Four minutes added, which should have been twenty for all the excruciatingly obvious timewasting. And in the end the love you make is equal to the love you take. McKeown went up for a final free kick and bicycle-kicked a clearance to end this farrago, this farce, this Groundhog Day.
Well, I'm sorry Hurst but we can't stay feelin' like we do today. There has come a time for making your mind up.