Sleepy hollow

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

24 August 2017

Grimsby Town 0 Derby County 1

Ah the magic of the Caribou Cup, named after the Elton John album, of course. Tuesday night's all right for the slouching 800 sheepishly slithering into the Osmond. Shush, do you mind, we're reading our season's obituary here. Have some manners.

Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: McKeown, Davies, Clarke, Collins, Dixon, Dembele, Rose, Berrett, Tombola, Kelly and Hooper. The substitutes were Killip, Mills, K Osborne, Summerfield, Clifton, DJ Jinky and Cardwell. Kelly and Hooper. That's Kelly Anne Hooper, a purring supermodel of offensiveness. You couldn't make it up. I wish I had.

Woah, dude get out the shades. Save money, switch off the floodlights John. Derby under fluorescent power, Town simply underpowered.

First half: Tutting and strutting

Derby walked off towards the Pontoon. Attack? That's what you put in your wall.

Muscleman Mitch mashed a massive back-pass. McKeown played keepy-uppy. Are you keepy-uppying with the ebb and flow? Do Derby want to lose this? Are they here? Have they sent some cardboard cut-outs on casters?

Derby County: lurking somewhere in the dark shadows between catatonic and comatose. Derby County untroubled by life in the slow lane.

Derby County: you've been Dembeled. Our diminutive disco duck is dynamite and don't they know it. Twizzling, fizzling, leaping through hoops garters and lastly through Ramshead of real fire. Today Dembele will challenge the world.

Oh Siriki Dembele. Oh Siirki Dembele. Oh no, it's JJ Hooper, dribbling into the void. Berrett surging, Berrett splurging his credit on a slapdash slap-shot that slapped against the back wall of number 35 Neville Street, waking a small child from its slumbers.

Berrett ploughing through fluorescent movement: space and a black and white hole. No, your perception has been warped as a result – it's a wobbly wafter from Martin Wobblebottom, their chubby charmless chancer.

Dembele with a quadruple Salkow and double Lutz with a twist. The end point? Dixon's toes. Tombola tinkering and tippling, Mitchell mopped up and so the story ends.

Inconsequential wallpaper to al fresco chatterings.

Second half: Ten men went to mow

Neither team made any changes at half time, though Town did move to a clear and present danger: 4-4-2. Well, I say 4-4-2; more 4-4-holograms. The theoretical existence of two forwards was enough to tickle the fancy though. Two blokes standing where two blokes should was enough to galvanise the remaining 4-4.

Wingers winging: weird. Tombola tumbled after much tap-dancing and Collins stooped and arced back to head the free kick over. More winging, more things that nearly happened, but Derbyites professionally nicked and knocked, plucking danger from the first buds of maybeness.

Town pressure, Town pressure, Town pressure and…r elax. We're back to normal.

Nothing and nowhere, just ticking and tapping. A big booming ball drooped wastefully, waywardly beyond Davies, beyond the far post. A bright-eyed bushy-tailed mopster headed back into the far corner of the penalty area. Clarke, the Alf Ippititus of our age, got lost in the haze of middle age and gently tapped Vydra on the shoulder. Vydra stopped, sighed at the referee and the long arm of the law pointed spotward. Vydra swept knee-high to McKeown's right, and the salmon stopper's fingers arrived milliseconds too late, flipping the ball further into the corner.

Derby upped their pace from cryogenically frozen to warp factor four. Town's ham was sliced thinly and covered in pickle. One-two-three-four-five, c'mon baby do the jukebox jive. Derby County are alive. Poetry in motion, and fluorescent flannelling through the wide open sea. Dixon used his charm to up and end while Davies wellied the ball way away, way after the foul and whistle. Isn't that a pub down Market Street? Two full-backs, two yellows. Martin marshmallowed the free kick nicely wide.

Here come the cutting crew again. The dead old cow hanging upside as tonight Lawrence showed his superiority by carefully placing the ball away from the net when no-one present thought that this was humanly possible. That's why he's a Championship player. Perhaps his career just died in his arms tonight.

Ah, swishing and swaying. This is that thing they call football. I've seen it on the telly. Passing the time, passing the ball, passing through the centre. Berrett swept, Rose crept, Tombola tickled and Dembele dribbled past his hapless foe and crackled cutely from an acute angle. Mitchell swatted the waspish waft away. Uh, Kelly, I'd forgotten about him. A useless corner was uselessly wasted. Davies intercepted the clearance and down went a tumbling dice. Out came another yellow card and off went another Townite. Four in four. Feeling flush, Russ?

With this Mills and Cardwell replaced Kelly and Hooper. Where previously they had nine players on the pitch, now they had ten. So in having a player sent off we managed to increase our presence. We're Grimsby Town, we only need ten.

Yeah, it was fine, nothing fancy, nothing too troublesome for the Dandies from Derby. Dembele was replaced by DJ Jinky. Crosses and things, DJ Jinky back-hooked near the line and fluorescent foolery fumbled the ball away from non-danger. Another cross or was it a corner? No, it was a MiIlsian long chuck. Clarke arose and a bright object was diverted from nearish the line. I didn't tell you about Tombola's shot. There's a good reason for that.

I didn't tell you about the Derby chances. There's a good reason for that: they didn't have any. The visitors were far more concerned with marks for artistic merit.

Five minutes were added and Jamie Mack had an acid flashback, sprinted upfield and headed a corner narrowly wide. Town lost 1-0 to Derby in the League Cup first round with an unembarrassing defeat. It's déjà vu all over again.