No disguise

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Barry Whittleton

7 March 2018

With Storm Emma and the 'beast from the east' failing to curtail our anticipated trip to the League's most northerly ground, the National Rail Enquires app did it's best to step up to the plate. With BBC saying there were no trains to Scotland, an early check of the app revealed that all trains out of Cleethorpes were cancelled.

The day was only saved when Mr Hallam discovered it was a lie, but not before the 7.26 had long since departed. A quick call to Exiled Mariner and new plans were laid to meet up at Meadowhall and Carlisle respectively. After a bad start the Train god's shone and a delay meant Carlisle Spoons was made by 1.30.

The talk amongst the gathered was of the likely line up - whether Wilko, knowing his reign was over would go for broke - and our new manager's... erm 'chequered past'. The groans which greeted the team sheet's publication left the conversation on the trip to the ground to surround the point of Sulliman and what some players had to do to get dropped.

First half

A swift one in the Rugby Club prior to Kick off and the need for relief prior meant my only view of the opening goal was via Channel Five on Sunday morning. The roar which split the air as I stood opposite the urinal told me that either Town had fetched 1000s or we were 1-0 down. The realisation it wasn't the former meant that four minutes in, I knew we'd lost. The current team have gained four points from a losing position all season, none since we beat Swindon.

To those still interested the goal was awful. The gap between centre backs and full backs was huge, the space behind one of the slowest - if not the slowest - defence in League football cavernous and McKeown performed his new trick of parrying a shot outward rather than away from the goal and round a post.
The statuesque defenders then watched as it was slammed home. I may be harsh on Jimmy Mack as he was hopelessly exposed.

The first half then settled into an all too familiar recent pattern. Town played a little football, had a decent amount of possession, but did absolutely nothing with it. What they did was so pedestrian and the movement so static that the opposition had little problem snuffing out any advances. They in turn countered at pace and with a purpose the travelling faithful could only dream of.

Half time came and went with the biggest topic of discussion being why Vernam wasn't on the pitch. The fact he wasn't gave little hope of a much needed second half turnaround. The 45 minutes that followed merely served to emphasise the point.

Second half

Cardwell should have done better and Matt intervened when a better placed Rose would surely have scored in one of the few bright spots. Vernam created more - looked more bothered - than the rest had managed all game. His input finally sparked Jaiyesimi into life, but it was to no avail.

At the other end McKeown was fouled as Carlisle put the game beyond reach and then, in obvious revenge for the undue criticism he knew I would write about the first goal, saved a penalty. I had just told a local who was watching with us I'd never seen him save one in five years including penalty shoot outs. It was the only thing to laugh about in the whole 90 minutes.

The whistle blew the players clapped and we trudged back to the Spoons to contemplate the direness of the afternoon and our predicament. No amount of Peroni can disguise the truth.