Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
8 December 2019
Grimsby Town 0 Swindon Town 3
It's a new day, a new month with a renewal ordered. Lighten up in these dark days: the only way is up!
Town lined up in the geek orthodox 4-3-3 formation as follows McKeown, Hewitt, Davis, Waterfall, Gibson, Hessenthaler, Clifton, Whitehouse, Green, Hanson, Vernam. The substitutes were Russell, Hendrie, Pollock, Robson, Wright, A Rose, Ogbu. Ah, Slim Charles, the Chorley Wheelieboy, back home and raring to take his second chance, or is it his third now? It's now or never, Charlie, tomorrow will be too late, our town can't wait. Surely he can't play as poorly after his Chorley re-invention?
On Rainbow Day up above the streets and houses, the sun is climbing high and the floodlights spell out GT. We couldn't do that with the old ones – what further subliminal messages by acronym can we look forward to? FOF? POTS? NTSH? RBE?
Swindon were over there, whacking balls into empty nets. They had some supporters too, which is nice. There were some Town supporters in the ground as well; that's unbelievable.
Paint-splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat, lights coming on and a kicking of balls. I was saying "let me out of here" before I was even born. I tell ya, that's what we call entertainment round here. So come on, let these two teams entertain you.
First half: a winter limboland
They kicked off towards the Pontoon. Them, that is Swindon, the they in our story. They might be giants, we may be pygmies.
The Pontoon, in which some people sat, watched the ball being kicked towards them. The Frozen Horsebeer Stand, in which a few people sat, watched no-dimensional chess spluttering below. I cannot lie, a pigeon flew by. I may be right, I may be wrong, but I'm perfectly willing to swear that a car horn honked in Market Square.
Ambling, shambling, Gibson barely scrambling as a throw-in was chuckled beyond his trot as a redster scuttled into the void. A cross clipped and Hewitt scraped away. Little Harry stood back as Green failed to track. A dink and hearts did sink as a little red rooster poodle-headed a soft looper that looped softly-softly-softly into the waiting hands of Jamie McKeown.
You're gonna like this, not a lot. Now that's tragic as Jamie Mack tippled backwards and tripped over his rainbow laces as he played charades on his way down to the Bananarama. Ah, yes, he's pretending to be a goalkeeper. Ah, but which one? Gary Sprake.
Let the record show that the ball embarrassed itself beyond the goal line with DNA from Popeye Doyle’s follicles being found on the ball by crime scene investigators.
It is fair to say that there was a degree of dismay within the post code.
You know, anger is an energy but it won't make the feelings go away. Woh-oh-woh feelings, if only McKeown would feel the ball in his arms again. Minds, passes, hoiks and hoofs drifting, drifting, drifting.
They may have had a shot, they may have had a cross. Town hadn't.
Bounciness half way up the stairs. Hewitt placed himself betwixt and between as Grant noodled over and Yates chased beyond. He ran and he ran to catch up with his tan and Town were sinking. Shocking jockeying at a respectful distance allowed Yates to penetrate the penalty area and plipple off Waterfall's retreating shins. And the ball apologised inside the near post with Jamie Mack sunk in concrete. Town simply sunk.
Grimsby Town: the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.
The Dentist Stand, in which some people sat, watched the ball being kicked around willy-nilly. The Osmond Stand, in which the few happy people left on this earth sat, watched in wonder as nothing happened anywhere near them.
Them, now and again, as it were, this way and that. Woolery waltzed away from the ghost of Gibson, Yates scraped against Hewitt's shins and the ball scrawled graffiti as it skittled past the right post. Yates chippled a free kick nicely over.
Yes, Town. Our Town, the ones in black and white with red faces all over. There was a cross. Yes, there was a cross, an old rubbish cross, an emblem of suffering and shame. Vernon blocked off Hanson and it muttered away for a goal kick. That was the best of Town, the worst of Town, the only Town in the first half.
We must cling to that old rubbish cross and exchange it some day for a clown.
A shot from them over or possibly wide from the left or maybe the right. They tumbled, bumbled, stumbled and caused a hue and cry with their faux-falling and bawling. Get up number 42, you are not the answer to everything.
Two minutes were added and the Hess drooped a corner through the empty six-yard box.
Town: just driftwood, hollow and of no use. And we thought Waterfall would bind us?
Should be 0-0, is 0-2. One Town is awfully ordinary, one Town is ordinarily awful.
Second half: Young Guns (Go for it)
Green and Whitehouse were replaced by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at half time. Well Rose and Robson's careers aren't yet dead.
A bit of monochrome oomph, just a bit. Waterfall headed a free kick safely wide. The Rockin' Robins reeled away the years and Waterfall lamped over the Town crossbar as McKeown parried a cross.
Would we know a diamond if we held it in our hand? Rose raced away, wiggled, waggled, and undercooked a rollerball into the arms of Benda. Ah yes, what a 'comic' gift for the alternative comedians among us on Rainbow Day, who then missed the moment that Town had their first shot of the day.
Rose chased the ball into the penalty area. Hanson bedumbly-bumbled a mumbly-rumbler to the boy Benda. These were almost moments of nearlyness, a flickering of the dying lights.
We have to treasure the small things in life as we drift towards footballing death. There are only two thing certain in Town life: a dearth of opportunities and a taxi for the manager.
Do you think McKeown gets the same old dream, same time every night, where he falls to the ground and wakes up with the ball in the net?
Bounciness nowhere near anywhere on the right. Vernam jumped vertically betwixt and between no-one, the apparition of application. Tip, tap and Waterfall stood back, pointing impressively. Yates was allowed to collect the recycled waste, spin Little Harry a yarn and curl lowly and sumptuously into the bottom left corner from a narrowly, narrow angle of immense narrowness.
So, on this day of Rainbow Flags and Rainbow Laces Town surrendered and Aussie Anth will have to give up his role as pretender.
Minutes passed, pushes were shoved, shoves were pushed and there was crying in the chapel. Wright replaced the sensational Chorley loan star, our very own urban spacemen, Mr Slim Charles Vernam. Slim Charles? The chances of anything coming from Charles are a million to one I'd say.
Wright added vim on a whim, he added whizz and a tizz, he added spikeyness and the first signs of life in the mummified corpse. Wright simply got in their faces and snarled. Titter ye not as Wright zipped, Little Harry nipped and Rose was blocked.
Who are we kidding? It's over, just walk on by; it's better for your mental health if you do. Do they want to score more? They surely do. A medium long chuck, a nibble on and Doyle volleyed against monochrome. Gibson hoiked away from near the line, a shot bedrimbled wide. A shot somewhere lost in time, a cross or two, a corner or three, a fall or four.
Let's stare at the dying embers. Rose flibbled straight at Benda. Robson wibbled straight at Benda. Don't call him big ears, he's had the operation.
Six minutes were added for various head hurts and red shirt shufflings. They had a free kick. That is all you need to know. There is no more and there wasn't anything to begin with.
A score line that tells you everything and nothing, for it was way more than they deserved and just about what Town deserved. Swindon were simply ample, Town were in late Jolley mode. Narrow, befuddled, fearful and acting like a herd of wildebeest as big cats roamed nearby.
A cynic would say half the team had no interest in elevating their personal performance to assist the caretaker. A passing Samaritan would say half the team are incapable of elevating performance. We definitely need a passing Samaritan in midfield. It was what it was, for Town are what they are and we're left with the hope that a financial Samaritan does not save the Silkmen.
The bells do ring, are you listening? In Blundell Park, deadwood drifting. It's a terrible sight, we're crying tonight, sleepwalking in our winter limboland.