Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
19 March 2017
Grimsby 1 Creepy Crawley 1
On a dull day of dullness, 124 Crawlers crept into the Osmond as the homesters curdled in confusion at this most unusual of events: a dead end to the season.
Town lined up in a miasma of mystery as follows: McKeown, Mills, Collins, Pearson, Andrew, Osborne, Comley, Disley, Jones, and Dyson. The substitutes were Davies, Boyce, Clements, Maxwell, Tombola, Vernon and Yussuf. There were four defenders. They stood in a line of four. Tick. There were four midfielders. Cross. Who knows? Perhaps Vose had a floating role at the tip of a mangled diamond? Perhaps there were just three central midfielders and the Dominator just goes where the music takes him? You never can tell these days.
Crawley wore red. There really isn't much more that can be said unless you want to titter at the name Bobson Bawling.
Huh-huh Bobson Bawling. Huh-huh.
First half: Cul-de-sac
Town kicked off towards the Osmond.
Nothing. There really is nothing to say. Balls were balled, passes were passed. Men moved and men collided. This is fourth division football at its most fourth division.
Caught off guard mid-yawn, a redman dinked from under the Police Box towards the far post. Their Collins scrimbled beyond Pearson to glance a header off the right post from five, maybe six yards out. Maybe seven. Maybe eight. Maybe I was asleep too.
Moments from Osborne and Jones, the new fragrance exclusive to Binns, the local House of Bigfoot store. Town teased and eased the flanks, with Crawley obligingly abandoning their left side. Crosses and corners, non-shots, half-shots half-blocked and runs stymied. Keep on dabbing those moments from Osborne and Jones, it covers up the stench.
Dibbling and dabbling and Vose precisioned a pass through the eye of the storm and out to Osborne on the right. A cross was whipped, a redhead dipped and the ball spluttered vertically near the penalty spot. Jones noodled against a red thigh and wellied the rebound lowly through the keeper and into the centre of the net. Ah, Moments from Osborne and Jones, because we're worth it.
Them. A dive by the corner flag. A free kick headed clear by Mills. Hey, it happened. You need to taste the full flavour of this flabbiness. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, something. A chip from the shadow of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand sailed over our ailing Collins. Smith chested down, McKeown sprawled and duveted away.
Snore on, snore on, with hope in your hearts and you'll never snore alone, you'll never snore alone. Osborne eventually shot meekly. Osborne eventually spurndled a shot against a foot that spun away, that went near someone else, that ended up out of play, out of sight, out of mind. Can we have our tea now?
No, just wait a few seconds...
Crawley creeping closer, Town seeping closer to Jamie Mack. A cross, a corner, and a Dizzer dunk away. A redman loomed, Dizzer stretched and down went the little red cravat. The clock ticked on and one second into added time Murphy coiled over the wall. McKeown flew right and parry-slapped from under the cross bar, straight back into the path of Collins whose toe poked further than Pearson's to prod in above grasping gloves.
A terrible end to a terribly boring half of terrible football.
Second half: The dead zone
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Circles within spirals, wheels within wheels, never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel. Town wrapping themselves in clingfilm and hiding in a box, everything flowing to the same spot and the story ends in the circles that you find in the windmills of Dominic Vose's mind. He was Crawley's midfield enforcer: no Town attack got past him and his slow whirls of indulgence. If in doubt about what happened next, simply insert the image of Vosian waltzing.
Collins was booked for slicing Collins into little pieces. Ah, but which Collins? Oh Danny Boy the ref's pipes, his pipes are calling.
There were Town crosses. There was much morris man flapping. There wasn't much else
Vose woefulled a free kick nowhere and err, err. Yeah, Town erred, that's it. There were Town players moving towards the Pontoon, they occasionally coincided with the ball, coincidentally. Jones marvellously Cruyffed in the centre circle and va-voomed right down the centre into a massively inviting void of Crawleyness. As he shaped to shoot he slipped and squirtled the shot drubblingly wide. A dink, a Dyson dunk and Jones slap-shotted well, well wide.
And what of them? Yes, what of them? One single breakaway with Andrew nonplussed by nincompoopery and Boldewijn beautifully passing his first touch to McKeown. We'll count that as a long shot, shall we.
With 20 minutes left Asante and Tombola replaced Dyson and Comley. This resulted in Osborne moving to accompany The Dizzer in the beating heart of nothingness.
Tombola whipped a dipper into the near post. The ball shingled off Jones and Asante's sweep buffled off a defender's bottom and skipped gaily through to Morris the dead rubberman in goal.
There were Town crosses. There was much morris man flapping. There wasn't much else.
A free kick for whatever, in the middle of nowhere. The Redsters espied dawdling and wellied straight down the middle. The ball sailed over Collins and bounced through to McKeown. The time between the sail and the bounce? Collins wrestled with Boldewijn, throwing a perfect Osoto Makikomi and saying "Sayanora" Danny Boy. Out came a second yellow card, off went the old man raging at the youth of today.
With five minutes left Vernon replaced Disley. You could waste a small portion of your life worrying about Town's formation, but you really shouldn't bother: it was a total irrelevance. Really, it is for your own good.
We're just waiting for them to stop missing.
Crawley upped their pace, their intensity, also known as waking up. They swarmed over the carcass, finding holes in the desert that was Town's defence. Boldewijn tinkled away on their right and carefully rolled a pass along the edge of the penalty area to the totally and utterly unmarked Smith. The utterly and totally unmarked Smith leant back and successfully steered the shot way, way wide.
Dilly-dilly dawdles left and right, a redster nicked off Pearson's toes and ran out of the area. The ball was returned with whip and dip, and McKeown claw-pawed away from the top left corner.
In the last minute a succession of unsuccessful non-clearances were thricely flannelled. A redster alone outside the D, his shot skewered off bodies straight to two men totally and utterly unmarked eight yards out. They dithered and dawdled; Smith turned inside and magnificently swept across the face of goal and over.
Four minutes were added. Go boil an egg.
Crawley avoided winning a game they should have lost. Town were initially dominant without doing anything, then simply seized up. When the Sussexers roused themselves from hibernation Town were overrun in abject fashion, utterly devoid of inspiration, intelligence, structure or any other word you feel like flinging in to that sentence. Town looked very non-League.
Hey Marcus, where did our Town go? We're in the middle of nowhere going nowhere with you.