Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
9 September 2018
Bury 4 Grimsby Town 0
You understand this game does not exist, nor will it ever exist.
Rain-rain go away come again another day. It's murky, it's miserable, it's not great in Manchester.
Town lined up in red in a fluid 4-1-4-1 formation as follows McKeown, Davis, Whitmore, Collins, Fox, Welsh, Woolford, Hessenthaler, Mitch Rose, Clifton and Cook. The substitutes were Russell, Hendrie, Famewo, Buckley, Hooper, Robles and Vernam. As always Clifton and Woolford were on the inverse to the obverse of what was obvious to those without coaching badges, but at least there was a specialist left-back at left-back, even if may would like him left back at home. Fox was back for a run.
Bury. Not tall, not small, just a bunch of blokes in white.
The wind is soft and the mood is up. C'mon Town, let's do it.
First half: Bleakly
Bury kicked off towards the eight hundred or so Townites with some kind of kick of the football that went in the air.
Air… air, it rhymes with hair. Nope, no silly hair on show. Do we care? Do they care? No-one is taking care of the ball. Humpity-humpy, slippity-slop. Is that fair? Well, unlike the passing, it is accurate.
Their chunky new centre-forward lay down on Broadway after a Town free kick. Or corner, or something of nothing. Out came a stretcher and off went lumpy Lavery, replaced by the slippery Moore.
It's boring, someone's snoring, I'd rather read a catalogue of vinyl flooring. The allure of a wet weekend in Bury is fading fast. Town were fading, slowly.
Skipping, whipping, dipping and tripping. These words rhyme. They can also be placed in front of other words at various points to describe moments when footballers and the football came together in less than perfect harmony. McKeown held the ball in his arms to keep it company. It was feeling lonely and unloved out there.
Harmlessly passing the time in the wetlands, Town tickled slows trickles across the back four. Whitmore, disturbed by Dagnall's dad dancing, turned rightwards and underhit a tap towards Davis. Little scruffy Mayor nipped in and ran off with the spoon as Townites backed off, swerved slowly to his right and calmly clippered through remaining red legs and lowly around the left fingertips of the plunging McKeown.
Briefly energised in adversity Town moved several of their legs more quickly. Side-steps, in-steps, tricking and flicking down the right, Cook waited for the ball to drop. Hey-nonny-nonny, a white-booted minstrel skipped into the scene from stage left. That was much ado about nothing. Lung chucks of toast from Mitch and eventually a corner. Davis arose at the far post and nodded downwardly. Mobile Murphy slithered low and to his right to jump to his right and down to his knees to push the pineapple and shake Town's tree.
Side-steps, in-steps, tricking and flicking down the right and a woeful back-pass straight into a Cook-filled void. Advancing into the area, the net curtains flapping behind, Cook waited for Murphy to lay low. Murphy lay low and right, and Town's goal machine carefully rolled the ball against desperately dangling legs with the goal a-gaping above and beyond. What a miss. What? A miss!
Oh, it's not drizzling anymore. Punts and shunts, the pitch full of deepening divots on the left – I think we can safely call them Fox holes.
Byron Moore, Byron Moore, he steals from the poor and falls to the floor, Byron Moore, Byron Moore, Byron Moore. Soon every lupin in the land will be in his mighty hand.
Slightly pushing Whitmore aside, Aimson arose and sagely nodded in. What a sloppy second
Side-steps, in-steps, tricking and flicking down the right, Rose flagellated from the flank and Little Harry slid in at the near post to shin wide from four or five yards out.
The hungry hippos want some sloppy seconds. Balls and boxes, self-induced pressure with over-indulgent nonsense. Townites underhitting non-clearances, passivity and docility, a header here, a shot there. Where? There on the stairs. Woolford aged, a slice of nimble whiteness infiltrated on the left and crossed above everyone and everything.
Pressure unrelieved, a corner uncleared, Woolford spun on the right bye-line, tricking the nearest Buryite and clearing upfield. Relief! Disbelief! The loathsome linesman under the knot of Buryites wafted and waved after having visions in his head. The corner was dropped beyond the far post. Slightly pushing Whitmore aside, Aimson arose and sagely nodded in. What a sloppy second.
A cross, McKeown shuffling along his line, Davis headed away from a lurker.
What more is there to add? Nothing much. Tumbling Moore free-falling and calling foul play. Adams sent the ball up, up and away into the heart of the grumble zone behind Jamie Mack. Another bye-line bossa nova and McKeown shuffled uncomfortably as Davis saved further disturbance to the toothless Town force by heading the ball away from a shaking lurker, or perhaps a lurking Shaker.
As half time approached Fox limped off and was replaced by Famewo.
Four minutes were added. What more is there to add to that? Nothing.
Hey, we're fine between the penalty areas, if not between the ears. Town were literally lateral in their thinking, and there's that sinking feeling again as they crumble against mundanity.
We sat and cringed in fear and dread as Bury grabbed this tie and led. We ain't gonna turn this on its head, so I'd advise don't read the Twitter threads. This game has been put to bed. It's dead.
Second half: Meekly
Neither team made any changes at half time.
After about four minutes Welsh walked off, replaced by Vernam. And with that the heart and soul disappeared as our sole man of soul hobbled away.
You know, a good day ain't got no rain. Think of things that might have been as Town were slip-slidin' away.
There are memories of moments of Mariner movements. Rose. Long chucks. Rose, a battering low welly-cross slithered under sloppy Murphy and skipped away for a throw-in. Someone almost had a shot, Town up, down, down, up, slow, slow, slower still. Dead crabs forking the sodden earth.
Static caravans on the Town left. Adams sniggled to the bye-line and pulled a pass back into the centre. Dagnall dallied and delivered a scrape goalwards. McKeown swayed low, stayed low and swung his pants to swipe away. Red legs pitter-pattered and the ball returned to Dagnall, who slapped agin the left post. The ball squiffled along the line and was tapped in by the unmarked Collins.
Seats and minds were flipped, many beards left the ground. Have they no faith in the powers of St Michael?
Oh dear, Bury really want to run amok. They wiggle, they jiggle, they really make the rafters rock. Oh pathetic piffling and piddling I see thee, the fallacy of Town's defence. Uncleared rubbish on the right and Mayor ran unmolested across the face of the penalty area to curl around and over McKeown into the toppish left side of net.
Friends, Grimbarians, men called Bob, lend me your ears. We came to Bury to praise Jolleyus Caesar, but we leave Bury buried
More minds and several seats more were flipped. Well, you see, in this bore things get confused out there. There's a conflict in every heart between the rational and irrational. Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln fans on Twitter call the better angels of our nature. Each fan has their breaking point. You and I have. Quite clearly some men in anoraks had reached theirs.
Hang on, Hooper's on. When did that happen? Is there any point in anything? Was there ever? Who's off? We know a man, he came from our home town, he wore his passion for his club like a thorny crown. It was Harry Clifton.
I suppose you want to know about Town's disallowed goal. Town had a goal disallowed. Corner, out, Rose headed back, scrambling and bumbling and Cook turned to scruffle in off home shins. The loathsome linesman's flag was fluttering, cementing his sponsor's man of the match award. We'd do something else with that cement.
I suppose you want to know about Bury's disallowed goal. Bury had a goal disallowed. Messing around here and there on their left. A shot save by McKeown, bloke stooped and headed in. The far less loathsome linesman's flag was fluttering.
Three minutes were added after some mysterious fish-slapping by a Bury fan down on the Town right caused an outpouring of emotion and a commotion. And then McKeown saved a long shot. Now you can go home.
Friends, Grimbarians, men called Bob, lend me your ears. We came to Bury to praise Jolleyus Caesar, but we leave Bury buried. Town individually and collectively lacked, well, everything. An utterly soulless ambling shambles of timidity. No defence, no attack, but the middle looked nice, now and again.
Where is the heart? Where is the head? Town were simply dumb and dumbstruck against big standard shufflers and scufflers.
Hey Mikey, we're flagging and you know as well as I do that our pipes need lagging, for the nearer your destination the more we're slip-sliding away.