Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
3 May 2017
Barnet 3 Egg noodles and ketchup 1
On a warming day, down at the end, round by the corner, closer to Edgware, just by the river of local apathy, 1,200 marching mariachis assembled in the hubbubless hive of inactivity. Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at the home end?
Relax, I have some information first. The laddies in red were dancing cheek to cheek in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Davies, Pearson, Collins, Andrew, Comley, Disley. Clements, Osborne, S Jones and Vernon. The substitutes were D Jones, Boyce, McAllister, Bolawinra, Vose, Yussef and Dyson. Osborne and Comley were again cast into the wilderness of the wings, while the rare summer visitor to the Town bench, Sean McAllister, was spotted after Town twitchers got a RBA. Beautiful plumage. There, he moved. He's stunned. Midget midfielders stun easily you know. Lovely plumage.
Ah, there are Barneteers, and with beach balls too. Behold the inflatable dissent from the bowels of Barnet, that harmless hamlet where hurricanes hardly happen. If you want 20-20 vision a total portrait with no omissions. Their accidental representatives wore black shirts with an orange diagonal stripe.
Ay, arriba, arriba, yo soy Mariner! Viva Zapata moustaches. Did you get some fajitas senorita from the burger bar? Is that a nap hand of Mexican stereotypes? Nobody can be sombre in a sombrero, not even men from Mablethorpe or ladies from Louth.
Go down to the cantina if you want a little bit of Tijuana Taxi.
1st Half – ring of dire
Town kicked off towards the empty stand. Probably. As the band played on the Mexican beans started jumping and through the bobbing the ball was seen a-lumping.
No inflatables? No way, Jose. If we had an inflatable hammer we'd inflate the hammer in the morning, the evening and wave it all over this stand. We're Grimsby Town fans, we do what we want. Of course we have an inflatable hammer. It's the inflatable hammer of justice.
And there's the inflatable banana of freedom.
Oh dear our red ants are pants. A piffling, wiffling, sniffling sideshow to the main show. Yeah, this is about us, not you. La-la-la-la bamba, let's do the samba along the concourse.
Town? A cross that Clough mis-mumbled for a corner. The corner. Yes, it happened, in the corner. Then it wasn't in the corner and Barnet lived happily ever after.
Clap. clap. Clap-clap-clap-clap. Pescado!
A big booming ball from the Wembley overflow car park sailed long, long and long. And long. And long. Akinde gently arose over Pearson in the "D" and loopy-hoopy headed high over the misplaced McKeown and into the left corner.
Like we care. We're in party central. Donald Trump, we're coming for you. Grimsby: twinned with Guadalajara for the afternoon.
Akinde. Big John. He just drifted into the Town defence and stayed all alone.
There is no Town midfield, just a red mist. Clements: listen son you're wasting time, there’s a future for you in the fire escape trade. Gently disrobed and with the Mariners macarena in full swing, there is only a passing memory of the busy buzzymen passing around and about.
Sam Jones wiggled a wiggle and passed from afar into the arms of the custardian. Disley headed a flapped corner back vaguely near the goal. On at least one other occasion there are memories of withered leaves collecting at the feet of Scott Vernon. He's just a lawnmower, you can tell by the way he walks.
Imagine no Town possession, I wonder if you can. Barnet, unchallenged matchsticks, passed through the void and Akinola passed against McKeown’s chest. A procession of possession, an embarrassing harassing and Campbell-Ryce dinked a dunking cross onto the crossbar. ITMA, selling Davies by the pound, salsaed to the bye-line and rolled back the years. Fonguck slid a rule and Collins placed himself perfectly to clear. Fonguck? That's easy for you to say.
Hats off to the Mariners. Literally. Two, two inflatable hammers! And castanets. I know what I like and I like what I know.
One touch flicks and tricks up and down the Town right with nary a whisper or waft. Tutonda dawdled past the ailing Pearson and whampled across and through McKeown into the far left corner. Eating Tu, I'm eating. We could have got any senorita off the street to pun better than that.
Is that a chicken joke?
Town were less a football team more a semi-comic skiffle group: Danny Collins and his ten walking ponchos. Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls.
2nd Half – maracas from Caracas
Dyson and Boyce replaced Osborne and Pearson at half time. Any one of the outfielders could have come off and things couldn't have got any worse. Haven't we seen this before?
Town moved to a 4-3-3 formation.
Immediately a thing. A them thing. Town may have moved formation, but they still weren't moving. Boyce was wimped off the ball and Akinde slunk behind the defence and oh look, another inflatable hammer.
Another them thing of themness doing thems themming. There's a theme here. It's Bean Bag by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Have Town played their joker yet? Calamity Clements lazily legged up Campbell-Ryce after a little game of catch the pigeon way out on Town's right. The free kick was crinkle-passed lowly into the thicket. Boyce, on the six-yard line, shinned a perfectly cushioned lay-off into the path of the unremarkably unmarked Weston who rudely failed to say thank you as he unwrapped this little gift.
The Barneteers got out their beach balls, bored by this indigestible uncontested promenade. And there's a Harry Haddock too. There's so much more football going on in the stands.
Town had a corner, so? Off they ran and Campbell-Ryce made a pudding out of a molehill, successfully avoiding scoring and his team mates with a coyly coiled curl away from dangerosity. Hey, there's a dirigible lizard. That's more entertaining than the risible wizards of the drivel in red.
Jones ran and ran and ran and didn't pass but ran and that's just soccer spam. That's Town today: spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, chips and spam. A shot would be nice, just one, we aren't greedy.
The conga party was followed by the Mariachis marching around the ground. The players were just getting in the way. This is karaoke football.
Soy capitan! Jones fiddled around and somehow, somewhere Town obtained a corner kick on the right. Andrew repeated his Yeovil corner, coiling and dipping to the far post. The keeper shrivelled and Disley spun a volley in from a yard. A man of dignity, the Dizzer didn't celebrate this perfunctory piffle. Our hats are on the side of the pitch now.
Hey, it's a bank holiday weekend, so shall we watch Pescado to Victory? Listen lads we can still do this – another inflatable hammer! Wahey. What? Football? Nah, that's just the fish tank backdrop for our party. We can pull another hammer out of our hats any time. The players keep pulling hammerings out their hats every other game.
Ooh, hello. Tombolatime! On for Vernon and Town shifted to a 4-1-4-1 formation. Jones and Clements were the ones. Speedy Tombola added pace and personality to the proceedings. You know, things were almost happening with Barnet forced backwards and their paucity of pace in defence was revealed. Behind their curtain lay a man with a budgerigar and a bontempi organ. If only we'd known earlier.
Hey, another hammer. And a shark. You're going to need a bigger bait for these stewards. They're all in determinedly happy mode, collecting flying burritos and sombreros.
Ah, but Town still needed to remember they'd forgotten how to defend. Akinde bulldozed through the shrubbery and walloped lowly hardly and narrowly widely. Collins walked the ball away from the line after much flummery. Or was that last week? Who can tell between the marching Mariachi band the cast of castanets and muffled maracas. Ooh look, another banana.
Big balls, no midfield and a wall pass wiffled over the angle of post and bar by one of their little Taylor boys. Holes. Ain't that a hole in the head. With five minutes left Town fluked another corner on the right. Andrew repeated his Yeovil corner, coiling and dipping to the far post. The keeper shrivelled and Boyce and Collins arose alone five yards out. How to score? Who to miss? Alas 'twas Boyce and he bonked firmly across the face of goal.
Come join us in the bounce-a-long, sing-a-long. Just have a little fun in the sun, we're not in the land of make believe. Have we an inflated sense of our own humour? Nah, we're Grimsby Town fans, we know what we are. Fourteenth. Nothing really matters, as anyone can see.
The game? What game? Don't look at the pitch, look in the stands if you want some entertainment. We're not in denial, we're in genial mode. And that's a pretty cool place to be.