Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
24 October 2019
Cambridge United 0 Grimsby Town 0
Will they ever finish building roads around Cambridge?
A still, calm and sleepy evening with 350 or so travelling Townites sleeping calmly, waiting for the burger baristas to first catch their artisan buns.
Cambridge has seen many strange sights. It has seen Wordsworth drunk, it has seen Barry Conlon sober. It has now seen Town line up in 5-3-2 formation as follows McKeown, Hendrie, Waterfall, Öhman, Pollock, Gibson, Hewitt, Hessenthaler, Whitehouse, Green and Hanson. The substitutes were Russell, Davis, Vernam, Cook, Ogbu, Rose and Cardwell. The middle three were the middle three, the wing-backs were full-backs, and the midfield was hard work.
Cambridge? Yeah, Cambridge.
Right, let's keep us shape.
First half: patches
Town kicked off in blue towards their unpopular end and Hendrie legged up his winger. They crossed, they got cross as crosses crossed out of play and they were at sea and cross purposes.
With a bit of a mind flip you're into a time slip, are we still here? I hear the sound of distant drums, far, far away. Or is that the pulled pork lasagna I had for tea?
We stare out into space. Our eyes glaze over like custard tarts, or is that the Cambridge midfield?
Tippy-tappy, happy-clappy. Everybody do the Pac-man. Shuffle left, shuffle right, everybody hug your neighbour. C'mon, what's wrong with a little peace, love and understanding?
A leg-up on the left and a cheeky free kick skipped. Jamie Mack nipped over and clasped to his big purple heart. Scuffle, a puffle and McKeown ached lowly right. Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom. Cambridge swing the ball like a pendulum side to side, inducing boredom and pain.
The laws of probabilities dictate that sometime, surely, the boys in blue made advances. Yeah, probably. Hanson barely headed once, Green tumbled over Mitov for a moment that might've been.
I hear footsteps slowly walking as they gently walk across a lonely bore draw. And a voice is softly saying "Gerrintothem".
Sir, we are in a seat of learning. Diction-diction-diction, please enunciate your northern vowels.
Yoiks Scooby, warning lights flashed on our map. We opened our eyes and to our surprise Pollock passed across the face of the penalty area, straight to an amberite. A tickle left and Richards scooped over our purple people pleaser and against the crossbar. Smith slapped the rebound against blue buttocks.
Was that a throw-in or a man pretending he's a rabbit?
Moments of momentary momentum in blue. Hanson headed a corner safely, slowly wide. That was the Town attack.
And Ambers did chip and Ambers did nip. Chip, nip, slip, whip, dinky-winky, la-la-la-la-la-la frolicking fumbles and stumbles. In the sky a bird is heard to cry as Gibson flicked a fickle foot and Lewis lay down in the lazy watermeadows.
A peep, a point, a penalty.
Smith strolled around and rolled down the middle. Jamie Mack almost dived past the pathetic piddle and batted back. Smith carefully crafted a drop kick into the bargain bin at the local Poundland. How nice of him.
Is there any more of this? Not really.
A minute was added. A kettle boiled.
We are immersed in tedium.
Second half: will we ever get home?
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Hendrie persisted and plunged. A free kick plopped, Green slapped against Amberthighs, Hanson slipped and slapped over.
The tick... tick... tick... tick... tick... of a Sunday afternoon at yer Gran's, staring at the pond, waiting for the pilchard sandwiches and iced gems to come out.
The tick... tick... tick... tick... tick... of rain falling upon a musty tent.
Stop, hey, what's that sound? The low chunterhum of a county cricket match in August.
A low scruff left, a low scruff right, McKeown plucked and plundered. Overhit, underhit, never hit, dumbly hit, Ambers dripping crosses on to Big Blue Heads. Town welly, Town wally. There was a moment when the ball moved from blue to blue. There is an allegation that this was deliberate.
Go on, prove it.
It's just a jump to the left, then a step to the right and the Town stood around with their hands on their hips.
You bring the midfield in tight, and then it's the pelvic thrust as Hewitt's short-long chuck was returned and Öhman bonked straight at Mitov.
Rose replaced Green. It might have been now, it may have been earlier. Life is long and there is time to kill today. Then you'll find ten minutes have got behind you.
The game stretched and spaces appeared. But it's still the same players. Whitehouse slapsticked a moment into obscurity, Lambe twizzled himself into a stick. They dinked and dunked and Dunk did dink and all because a lady loves Milk Tray.
A hump and dump and Rose flicked over and around the keeper and... he was offside. Sorry to bother you, but there are only so many straws at which one can clutch. And still Cambridge crossed and crossed and crossed upon blue heads.
Rapid Rose hosed down the street as he intercepted some crosstown traffic. A toe-poke touch and Mitov meandered out to scoop a slide tackle away as Rose tried to waltz. These, my fine feathered friends, are the most magical moments. Sometimes the caged bird can't sing.
Five minutes were added, and Ambers were still banging their heads against the blue chuggers wall. Hendrie accidentally-on-purpose rugby tackled a scamp on the edge of the penalty area. The free kick? Blue heads. Blue hearts. Hendrie sat down, Davis came on, then we all went home.
Town bored them into submission. They certainly bored us.