Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
18 November 2018
Grimsby Town 1 Crawley Town 0
There's talk on the streets, it sounds so familiar. After the great flood of goals last week there's great expectations.
On a bright afternoon of seeping coldness a coachload of Creepy Crawleys were barricaded into the far left of the Osmond as the covered corner was reserved for the freebies of future fandom.
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hendrie, Davis, Collins, Fox, Vernam, Clifton, Hessenthaler, Pringle, Cardwell and Thomas. The substitutes were Russell, Whitmore, Welsh, M Rose, Woolford, Cook and A Rose. Slim Charles Vernam was assigned the Embleton role, which includes complimentary ego massaging, free parking and being the designated shooter. Hey, we're triple Harrying from the start. At least Cardwell is harder to push over than the rest of 'em.
The Sussex red wreckers strolled in with a bearded balding bunboy at centre back, and old Oily Palmer biffing away up front. They had beef, have Town turned over a new leaf?
We look to the sky, the music begins to play. We're hopeless romantics, here we go again.
First half: Wasted time
Crawley kicked off towards the Pontoon with sneaky passing and sneaky moving and sneakily slapping well, well, well, well, well wide.
Crawley biffed and banged, Town whiffled and wangled themselves into knots of nothingness. A Big Red Route One, straight down the middle. Collins flopped, Palmer lobbed, the ball arcing badly, the crowd barking madly.
Big balls. Balls up, balls out, Crawley magnificently dissecting and bisecting themselves. We do like to see them seethe by the seaside.
And what of our striped minstrels? What tunes did they trill? Wide-eyed and legless, Vernam's gone and done it again. Shame he got rid of his chains to slalom and slap well, well, well, well, well, well wide. A dinkle, a trinkle and a tiny little winkle from the right inviting Big Harry to rise. Cardwell ducked and nodded at Morris as they passed in the street.
In an echo of a distant time when Town played football, things happened on the left. A cross was glanced away by Redness. Vernam mishit beyond the far post, Clifton mishit the mishit at the far post and Cardwell mishit the mishit mishit under and through the leaping keeper in the centre. Big balding bearded bunboy McEnerny bounced back and noodled off the line.
Town: blink and you'll miss it. Miss what? A mishit swat, that's what.
Somewhere in time a cross was crossed and everyone got very cross as Cardwell fell in the penalty area clutching his head. Thomas got agitated by the referee's magical realism, where metafiction meets Marinerdom. There's not enough time to explore the impact fiction had on the ref's reality, reality on the friction between Thomas's shins and defender's boots, and the linesman's role in between.
We just want some Palmer karma. We'd be much calmer about Palmer if he was a llama farmer in Parma
The monochrome moments now cease.
What movement and menace there was existed around Town's penalty area and the spaces between friends. Palmer ducked and glanced overly. Their right-back swingled past Pringle to dangle a dinkle dangerously. Palmer, Palmer, Palmer yabba-dabba-doo-doo. Let him roam and Oily Palmer gonna get through, gonna knock Collins off his feet. A red bloke shot at McKeown.
Clifton dallied, Palmer robbed The Littlest Harry, but Clifton battled back and Oily was double-Harryed. You know, we'd like to be calmer about Palmer – we just want some Palmer karma. We'd be much calmer about Palmer if he was a llama farmer in Parma.
Red moogling and red googling under the Police Box, Pringle merely a shingle path for the burglar to step over. A shuffle, kerfuffle and a shot over. One minute was added. Life carried on regardless.
A police car and a screaming siren, a pneumatic drill and ripped-up concrete. A baby wailing and stray dog howling, the screech of brakes and traffic lights blinking. All the noises and sounds we could hear. Outside of Blundell Park. Now that's entertainment.
Has tosh been so tedious?
Second half: Peaceful easy feeling
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Town kicked off with the usual roll back to McKeown. Palmer raced forward as Collins and Davis formed an improvised rollerball team. Palmer? Where's he gone now? Now he's dropped on to the floor, heading for the door as the referee booked him for walking on the cracks in the pavement.
Ups were undered, boots were thundered, officials blundered. Cardwell arrived upon Connolly's foot. No fish fingers were wagged.
The sky turned pink and a train shimmied by. That's entertainment.
Clifton driving into cul-de-sacs, Thomas sighing into a plastic bag. Here's a first: a Town corner. And another. The ball dropped slowly through a human devoidance as Cardwell's tumbling toes faintly flickered nearby; Morris plucked.
That sound you don't hear is hope evaporating.
Just past the hour Woolford replaced Cardwell, with Vernam moving towards the elephant shins of Thomas the Tank Engine.
The clouds turned mauve as the burger bar closed. Now that's entertainment.
Hendrie surged and swayed and pokily prodded way, way, way, way over. Pringle tingled a tatty free kick and the Creepers clattered off downfield. Hendrie saved the day by standing still.
The Pontoon turned purple as Town stodged backwards. Collins turned around on the halfway line and flicked an unfathomably underhit back pass into the nether regions of nowhere. Two Creepers pounced, McKeown flew out to slidey half-block. The ball flibbled straight to another redster who dimly dripped a lob forward to his teammates, with the penalty area absent of humanoids. Up went the flag. Accidental salvation for the Grimsby nation.
Underhit, overhit, barely hit, Town were inadequate. Clifton nicked and knocked, surged and swayed, tumbling over an expected red foot. A booking for falling over the foot that wasn't there. The cheating redster had removed his lurking limbs; now that's a yellow card in anybody's book.
All the while Rose was prowling. A touch and turn hinted at magic moments as the clock trundled onwards towards teatime
Time ticked and Crawley surprised everyone by kicking the ball to each other. Palmer peeled his banana and tickled a teasing tipple behind Foxtrot Andy. Grego-Cox glided through and side-footed high across the face of goal. McKeown stood tall, waited and batted aside, with Hendrie cleansing the streets of vermin.
I said vermin, not Vernam. Not the same thing. Ah, we'd not heard from Charlie boy for a while. And you won't again as, with ten or so minutes left, Akheeeeeeem Rose arrived as his replacement bustle service.
Pressing and messing, a Thomas tumble on the left corner of the Creepy penalty area. Pringle wafted woefully weakly into the wall. More messing and pressing on the Town right with Hess and Hendrie. A cross zithered and bodies collided. The referee whistled an unhappy tune, peeping at Thomas and waving yellowness.
There was grumbling and growling, but all the while Rose was prowling. A touch and turn hinted at magic moments as the clock trundled onwards towards teatime. A Town free kick nowhere special near the halfway line. McKeown waited as Collins and Davis put on their tin hats and plodded forward awaiting Big Bertha. McKeown tapped to Foxtrot. The crowd groaned, Fox chipped, Davis arose to cushion a noddle sideways into a vast expanse of unmanned grassland behind where their right back wasn't.
Thomas wheeled around their last Maypole, blocking any unwanted intervention from a day-tripper. Akheeeem Rose shuffled forward, took a moment to survey the land, and walloped a right whack into the top right corner from ten yards.
The lad was engulfed by monochrome love and when he emerged he had a huge beaming smile. What a lovely smile.
Now that our Rose is in bloom, a light hit the gloom in this grey afternoon. There were no thoughts of a miss from A Rose.