Cod Almighty | Match Stats
Saturday 5 September 2020
Grimsby Town 1 Green (34)
Morecambe 1 Phillips (7)
Attendance: 0 (0 away fans)
I have an infected foot which I've been told to keep elevated. My laptop is out of bounds and I've neither the savvy nor the inclination to rig up iFollow on the telly, so just before 3 o'clock on Saturday I take to the bed, a pillow and two cushions under my left leg and prepare to spend a couple of hours following the start of Town's season with my mobile, Twitter and the hashtag #gtfc.
My first impression is how quiet it is. Once upon a time there would have been a steady flow of tweets, the message "12 new tweets" alerting me something important had happened. Today there are only occasional noises off, mainly about problems accessing iFollow or the poor quality image when you do get in. Although "£10 for constant freezing and a blurry picture" sounds like Blundell Park on a Tuesday night in November.
Perhaps the lack of tweets is because no one is at the ground, or fans are seeing it as a pre-season game. The official account has joined in the not joining in: it posts some photos midway through the first half but that is it. The lack of tweets from it becomes one of the bigger subjects through the first hour of the match.
I'd forgotten I had a BBC sport notification set up so that warns me Morecambe have taken the lead before it is reflected in the #gtfc timeline. There's a little bitterness at the goal but the criticism is specific to the occasion, not directed generally at the team: "off the pace" beats "rusty" by two tweets to one.
Impossible to tell who is playing where from the team list and the unfamiliarity of many of the names on it, but someone suggests it was rearranged after 20 minutes with Max Wright moving further forward and Hewitt dropping back. Few players are named: Sean Scanell looks decent apparently, and the chap who didn't like Luke Waterfall in March still doesn't like him.
For two minutes, it gets a bit heated, a bit personal, as Matt (or FFS) Green misses one or maybe two easy chances. Then he scores, and the timeline splits between those laughing off their previous attacks on him and those heaping the credit on Danny Preston.
At half time, it reads encouragingly, but then Twitter goes quiet and the game, presumably, with it. Shotton Town are playing Guisborough Town and the timeline on that GTFC is broken only by a tweet about the poor state of the Blundell Park pitch.
Finally Town's official Twitter account jerks into life with the 'news' that the score is still 1-1. Within seconds the tweet has attracted five sarcy replies and seven likes. The question why someone takes the trouble to like a message baldly stating that a game is still being drawn is by a distance the most intriguing of the second half. Although when someone asked who was the youngest ever Town goal scorer I did fantasise it was a roundabout way of saying we had scored again.
The game kicked into penalties and, to be fair, the official account had let us know that would be the upshot if neither side scored again, and kept up to date with the shoot out. One tweet tried to raise some animosity against James McKeown but the biggest criticism was directed at whoever had decided he should take a kick.
The mood was somewhere between resigned and positive. The money for a win would have been nice but the players obviously needed the run out and the new signings all looked good. The only people not being philosophical were the people accusing others of not being philosophical. The nearest to anger I read in two hours were the tweets defending the team and Ian Holloway from criticisms that may have been made but certainly weren't being made using #gtfc if so. Like the 50 fans who ruin the decorum more by loudly shushing than the one fan who breaks a minute's silence, there are times these over-zealous defenders are more negative than the negativity they decry.
The past master of illusion was disillusioned with the Tufton Buftons of the Football League for forcing the vegetables just for show.
"They're through in the next round and we're not, and for me I'm quite relieved in one way, because at least that's not another game and another game and another game. Anybody with common sense, this was a pre-season match"
The words of wisdom from the head of the Adams family perfectly pitched, unlike the pitch.
"The pitch was slow and that enabled Grimsby to have the better of the game because they were playing a long diagonal ball from both sides. We were trying to keep the ball on the floor and pass it but it was sticking in the surface."
Town: McKeown, Wright, Waterfall, Pollock, Preston, Rose (Khouri 61), Williams (Edwards 72) Hewitt, Tilley, Green (Gibson 77), Wright, Scannell
Subs not used: Russell, Idehen, Spokes, Starbuck
Morecambe: Turner, Mellor, Davis, Knight-Percival, Hendrie, O’Sullivan, Diagouaga, Phillips (McAlinden 71) , Mendes-Gomes, Slew (Kenyon 57), Stockton (Pringle 85)
Subs not used: Halstead, Cooney, Lavelle, Price
Town lost 4-3 on penalties
Referee: Mr G Salisbury