Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
12 January 2022
Halifax Town 1 Grimsby Town 0
These are facts, the Halifax facts.
On an unseasonably temperate evening of music and poetry in the home of woolly thinking we ask ourselves one question: "Are we going to be spoiled tonight?"
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows Crocombe, Efete, Waterfall, Pearson, Crookes, Maguire-Drew, Fox, Clifton, Sousa and Taylor. The substitutes were Revan, Longe-King, Coke, Wright, and Grant.
So we've had to return the borrowed books and what are we left with?
He's refined, sublime, he makes us feel fine, though very much maligned and misunderstood in Scunnyland. But we know that man: he's a real crowd pleaser, he'll vibe up the place like no other player can. Yes, we finally have a Bananarama plan, for McAtee's back!
Is there anybody out there?
Really, is there any Yorkie out there?
First half: Phorward
Town kicked off towards a tiny blob of Haligonians way, way to the right of the Town thousand and more.
Hustle, hastle, pestle and mortar, thrust and parry. En garde!
Blues mugged by Town's midfield duvet and we're away. With a nick and a knock through the blue lock McAtee swished, swayed and played in Maguire-Drew behind the full-back. The MG roved and drove narrowly, Johnson plunged lowly to parry and in a bound they were free of mental anguish.
Striped plunged under lunges and MG underhit then overhit free kicks.
Fast and furious, perhaps too fast, too furious. With moments of almostness from both sides now, it's up and down but still somehow bereft of shots. Scampering wingery, striped pigeons flap! Behold the Fox, Pearson and Waterfall - the Foxy Pearterfall smotherthon - blocking Warburton's path of glory. Winging scampery, Crookes turned into a sock puppet and Green shovelled a distant sniveller through the mass of humanity and pleasingly past the left post.
Ooh, ahh, almost and never, our interest piqued by passing and movement. A muddling mess of underhit shruggery and off locals galloped. Discombobulation and little jubilation as Little Harry hauled back Green in the great void betwixt penalty area and half way line. Efete lay down and Town brought on the Chaise-Longue. A yellow card for Clifton, a free kick for Halifax and Warburton walloped straight into our custard tart's heart.
Ebbing, flowing, seeds be a sowing. Sousa incut and crinkled against a blue, blue head. This way and that, Crocombe clutched a blue corner and Sousa ran, ran, ran away for a striped corner. Waterfall arose at the near post and noodled inchlets over the angle of post and bar.
One minute was added. Oh time just rolls on and on. Hold on tight to your dreams.
Second half: Just the Halifacts
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Backwards and then forwards, forwards and then backwards McAtee loves to muscle in. This is about the time the crowd all shouted his name. Big John Ronaldoed a dipping wibbler over from afar, then tomatoed into the tarpaulin atop that empty terrace of tears from 2016.
Battling tops, top battling! Fox loose with his boots aboot oor hoos and Shaymen sauntering. Stay calm, be cool, be still: Waters ran deep and into our drainpipe.
Homesters in a tither, withering on the vine as Clifton clamped. McAtee spun and flung himself forward, slapping a skidder that slithered through Johnson's fingers, shimmering spinning and skipping behind. The ball rolled on and, as if by magic, Mr Benn appeared to slide away as Sousa didn't. Oh Erico, the nearer the destination the more you fail to slip in and slide away.
End to end to end to end, Waters wandering and blocked by cheese, MG coiled drippily. Waterfall plopped from a corner, Foxy Pearterfall smothering and smothered and smothered again and the Chaise-Longue was reupholstered after red wine was spilled.
End to end to end to end, Town starting to crack with McAtee now running on low octane eco-petrol, spluttering, not purring, slowing not flowing. Town's engine misfiring and then the wheels fell off.
Flashing, dashing, Town's world be a-crashing. Panic in the streets, Green smackerooned from nearby and Mad Max magnificently strong-armed aside. Half cleared, half out, half cut and Crookes strangulated. Allen sneaked behind the falling, failing full-back and alien legs tangled. A peep, a point, a penalty. Warburton waited as the Kiwi keeper twanged the crossbar and crackled low and right past Crocombe's flying fingernails.
Do you hear? It's the sound of silence from the Town thousand. And in the floodlights, I saw, one thousand people, maybe more, talking without speaking, hearing without listening, watching without seeing. We didn't even bow and pray.
And the Wild thing trolled us by bringing on Summerfield. Replacing the ephemeral Maguire-Drew with Wright is not trolling.
Wright moved where MG had barely grooved as the Shaymen sat back and waited for the moment to strike without thinking. Town banged their heads against the blue wall. A stooping glance slipped off ambiguous parts of ambiguous blue bodies for a corner of no consequence, except the resumption of the Kabaddi World Series (Northern eliminator, second semi-final) between Big Daddy Bradbury and Pope Shaun the Innocent.
Them. Breaking once, breaking twice, and foiled by frantic Fox and our furious number five.
Caution and candles to the wind, it's now or never with three minutes added. Waters the pest with zest got the best of the Chaise-Longue. He dribbled, he wibbled, Crocombe parried then spread a little happiness with a superb smother of Spence. Pity Mad Max, too late the horizontal hero.
And in the end as everyone on earth gathered on the edge of the Halifax penalty area Crocombe mis-hacked on the half-way line. Warburton’s eyes widened as he espied the unmanned void beyond, but the flying Fox swung into action.
And there we are, that was that.
What's the use of worrying and feeling blue, let's keep smiling through these dark days. If Town put in the same effort against everyone else our dreams will come true.