Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
24 March 2019
Grimsby Town 0 Bury 0
Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day missus for putting on your dancing shoes and wandering down to Blundell Park for a little bit of jazz pigeon on the road to fifteenth place. Or sixteenth. Or seventeenth. Or whatever.
Root-de-doo-de-doo, a-root-de-doot-de doy di.
Town lined up in the new dreadnaught 5-3-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hendrie, Davis, Ohman, Hall-Johnson, Ring, Clifton, Hessenthaler, Woolford, Thomas and Cook. The substitutes were Russell, Collins, Pollock, Grayson, Dennis, Vernam and Rose. So the Jolleyman sagely concluded that three tall poppies wouldn't survive with some small furry animals burrowing at the roots, so RHJ was picked. Sensible soccer from a sensible chap.
In the distance stocky Shakers rattled and rolled around the Osmond, happy to be here, happy together. How is the weather? Lovely.
Close your eyes and drift away.
First half: Just sittin' and a-rockin'
Town kicked off towards the movers and shakers with the usual rollback and whack attack. Oh hang on, you want to know what colour shorts Bury played in. Two-tone dark blue.
Tippy-tappy triangles and sneaking down the side, these Bury men were in a hurry, man. A dink and chase under the Police Box and O'Shea hooked the ball across and over to no-one. Oi, lino, the ball was blatantly out. Lino? Linesman In Name Only.
Bury wall-passing past wallflowers? No that's all in the past, their blooming flowers were pressed by Hess. Frantic, febrile football, action without traction, a fraction away from fantasy. Clifton crossed. The ball was too high as you can see, no matter how they try Bury could not break free.
A big dipping volley nicely looped into Murphy's arms. What a fantastic goal that would have been, if it had been. But it wasn't. Please move along
Interesting, very interesting. Look at his lack of pace, just look at his lack of pace. Davis clamped, Hess blamped, Cook lobbed and Woolford was alone on the centre-left, in the centre of the centre of the Bury half. The ball bounced invitingly and a big dipping volley nicely looped into Murphy's arms. What a fantastic goal that would have been, if it had been. But it wasn't. Please move along.
Blue blooming, monochrome looming. There's clarity and parity, but someone may need some charity to score. A blue hand shook, but no penalty luck for Town. An O'Shea slap-shot slipped off Town toes. Jamie Mack plunged and pawed aside, or clawed aside; you decide. Blue corners hit striped heads. Go back to your sheds.
Hendrie long-wobbled as Murphy's hands jived.
Bury tilled the land in search of gold, panning and scanning left to right, right to left. The ball eventually rolled to Maynard, who stood in Reesian splendour on the left corner of the Town penalty area awaiting the next tram service. Clang-clang, O'Connell arrived and sneaked a shot through various legs. Jamie Mack plunged low and right to clutch and cling.
Them themming themmingly. Lavery fell over Öhman's missing leg and the quick free kick jumped over the crazy fox. Hang on, he left in January. Mayor tickled and McKeown toed away as many a monochrome boot gathered behind. Passing, flashing and Big O'Connell omitted shooting straight, he'll be the first to admit.
Well, as the sun's out, why not add a couple of minutes to the day? Little Harry ran away and away and away and overhit the pass to the onambling Woolford. And then we all retired to the champagne bar behind the Pontoon.
It's all rather pleasingly pleasant on the descent to summer.
Second half: Sounds gentle
Neither team made any changes at half time.
From the off Bury belted around just a little more, pressing Town back and waiting for a crack in the wall. Tipping, tapping, Tobleroning and O'Connell carefully crafted a coiler into McKeown's awaiting hands from farly afar. Didn't Val Doonican sing about Farly Afar's farm, where Delaney kept his donkey and McGinty kept his goat? I'll get me coat.
Town were eyein' them, openly defyin' them, winkin', blinkin' and twistin' but never out of place.
A hoik, a hoof, a roam, a spoof and RHJ crossed from the left. Rossiter flew across to block and what a shock. No penalty given for a forearm smash. Off they flew and Hendrie nudged Lavery and the referee fudged. No penalty given for a shin-shin clash. The corner squeemed into the near post and grazed on. O'Connell headed back and after a bit of a flap Davis hooked away.
The battling tops clashed and spun, RHJ glided forward with a scraping run. A twist, a turn and a cross scooped onto the roof of the net.
Around the hour, the Cook's broth was spoiled and Vernam trotted on. Thomas broke, men to the left, boys to the right and Wandering Wes just stewed in his own contradictions. Some vague Town pressure following a corner, with misshapen blue heads noddling a nurdle on the edge of the penalty area. The Bury fans felt a little uneasy when Ring bent down to tie the laces of his shoe and got all tangled up in blue. The ref just saw it from a different point of view from the Swedish chef.
Hendrie unsubtly unseated a Bury horseman and, well… their set pieces were rhubarb.
Slippery-dickory dock, their manager looked up at the clock. Changes were made and the wings were attacked. Well, they were pushin' it, shovin' it, shushin' it as Davis, Öhman and everyone in Town lined up, attackin' it and shovin' it and smackin' it away. Bury might as well have tried to push the town hall down.
A cross flew from their right to the empty far post. Hendrie ducked and chested the ball back to no-one. The ball trickled inches past the post. Scrambles scrumbled, corners bumbled, Maynard sweltered a half-volley through a hedge. McKeown stood tall and parried aside with Ring swooking away from near the line.
With quarter of an hour left Rose replaced Thomas and Bury brought on the tall Gold Omotayo. A blue corner half cleared and Rose pounced on some bad chestwork to pound down the left wing, obliterating the last defender. He looked up, saw stripes swamping and swung a cross into the centre. Murphy came out but hesitated as the ball curled away. Clifton collected beyond the far post, spun and laid the ball back to the Hess who smunkled a yard or so over from the edge of the penalty area.
Town roared, Rose sneaked past a dawdler and kept the ball in play. Alas the strawberry fool under the Police Box imagined otherwise. Town roared, Vernam crinkled a low curler from way, way out that arced around desperate blue fingers and around the left post. Town roared and Rose roamed down the right and crossed just too close to the keeper with Woolford emerging in the same post code.
What a farce. Run for your life, Bury sent on Ray Cooney.
There be infiltrations and insinuations as their golden sub arose above RHJ six yards out, headed down and the ball headed over as Hall-Johnson had his head in his hands. With RHJ staggering slightly, Collins came on as four minutes were added. Blue pressure, blue corners and O'Connell headed wide and that was that.
Well, what a lovely afternoon. Bury were blunted as Town hunted in packs. The defence was solid and organised, the midfield energetic and vibrant, the attack was dreary and weary until pepped up by roadrunner Rose. Two out of three ain't bad.