Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
17 May 2022
Eastleigh 4 Grimsby Town 4
We're all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a day or two. We're going where the sun shines darkly, we're going where the opposition play in blue.
Coming soon, live at the Concorde Club, it's Shalamar! C'mon Town, let's make this a night to remember. Let's make a toast to those who helped make this occasion.
Hang on, where have all our players gone? Oh, look out you rock'n'rollers. Ch-ch-changes, with Town stuffed with the dejected, the rejected, abandoned projects and works in progress in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Battersby, Crooper, Pearson, Bramwell, Crookes, Wright, Coke, Jones, Maguire-Drew, Burgess, Dieseruvwe. The substitutes were Braithwaite, Khouri, Raikhy, Tomlinson and Abrahams.
What a raggle-taggle collection of the old, the bold and some just looking cold as the rain piddled down, down, down, down. Pity poor Eric O'Sausage and his tweaking groins. And do be careful out there, there's water, water everywhere and be aware of the awful awning waterfall whilst awaiting your cuppa and crisps.
When we needed sunshine, we got rain.
First half: The green, green grass
Town kicked off away from the striped sitters in the cobwebbed unloved Legoland of broken dreams and broken seats. What have they got? Not a lot. Just a shot out of the blue and into the darkness.
A blue cross, what dross. Is that moss on the roof? The secret of happiness is to cultivate one's garden.
Rain turned to drizzle as Eastleigh fizzled out. Underhit blueness and Crookes intercepted, rampaging down their right. Wright za-zoomed and swinkled, Flitney sprinkled coal dust upon this lump. Coke and Jones slowly strangled the little kittens. It's a long way to go to watch a post-season pre-season friendly.
Maguire-Drew strolled and rolled to perky Maximum Wright. A turn, a shot, and Flitney flicked aside. Coke choked a bluesman, Manny D's shoes shuffled softly and Mighty Max poked at the near post. There's a Wright way to do it and there's a wrong way to Tipperary. Is this a fever dream?
The tepid tiptoes of Burgess led no horses to water. Maguire-Drew drifted and coiled a dripper welly-welly wide. Burgess slack-sliced a barely cleared corner towards the New Forest. Soporific superiority, let's swing, swing together with our crosses between the trees. Fragments of football, all from the red menacers.
In and out, out and in, Jones chipped and a bluesman twanged back, well out of tune. Burgess tippled back across goal behind Maguire-Drew who shimmied and shammied a slo-mo rollermegging nutball between blue legs back into the bottom right corner as Flitney tutted.
What took us so long?
There really isn't anything to say about them you know.
From seeds of blue confusion, an illusion as Maguire-Drew rode the tides of fate. Balletic bundling turned a blue face red and blue stockings outside in. Flitney lay like a lamb on Broadway, the tubby tattooed Townite chipped and was chastened as Bragg headed off the line.
I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.
A pig, a poke, Manny D missed the ball, fell into and over the keeper, then casually crinkled the penalty left as the forlorn Flitney shrunk right.
Three minutes were added. And? And what?
What a suffocating strollerthon for Town's second stringers on a post–season mini-break at a budget health spa.
Second half: Rock and chips
Eastleigh replaced a with b and x with y; well they may as well try. And Raikhy replaced Coke as Town - there's no point in sugar coating - sank into lackadaisical showboating. A biff, a bang and Battersby flipped aside.
What a nerve, they're playing with verve. We didn't come here for that.
Ups and unders inducing blunders as Town were torn asunder. Unfabulous feebleness from many Mariners allowed Whitehall to turn and crack past teenage toes and through Crooked legs.
Wingers winging, home fans singing. Ropey Raikhy underpowered a pass and Spitfires flew into the vacated right. They passed as we moved, the chess pieces fell one by one from right to left and the ball was rolled to the unmarked Smart, who tapped his nose and tapped into the opened goal.
And there we sat, silently, taunted by 10 teenage tearaways. We were no match for their untamed wit as some of them said we'd be back next year.
Jones dillied, bad things nearly happened. Ricochets and rebounds, hubbling-bubbling, there be trouble at mill. Battersby slapped and tickled away from lurking blues. There are many holes in the desert that is Town's midfield.
Ah, that's more like it: passing, moving, grooving with a Pict. A tickle to Maguire-Drew, a dissection down the right, Cropper crossed and Manny D swept in at the near post. Delicious, delightful, d'lovely.
You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits. And on came Abrahams for Maguire-Drew as Town moved to 4-4-2. So where was Burgess? A question many ask, but few can answer.
Feeble flounces on the half way line from grating Scott, the man who wasn't there. From right to left in two easy pieces. Hesketh slapped and the ball slipped into the top left corner off Battersby's gripless gloves.
Abrahams, the shellfish giant, turned and cross-slapped highly as many Mariners awaited. Abrahams, the selfish gnat, turned and shot into the side netting as Manny D waited alone in the centre of the centre of the penalty area.
And Jones the Sweep simply ran out of steam.
And here be the hand of history on someone’s shoulder. On the left of the Eastleigh penalty area Manny D flicked an irritating ant off his lapel, rolled deep inside and wide, gave a skunk-eyed stare and carefully Lennied against Flitney's fetlocks. Time is linear, memory is stranger and history is for fools. Wait, there's more.
Cropper careered up the flank, bundling through blue. Flitney flaked out and Manny D bundled in off several shins and many knees to win the The JJ Hooper Memorial Trophy for pointless hat-tricks.
And Maximum Wright shuffled off after his fruitless toil, barely noticed amid the chortling and chuntering. On came Tomlinson with his young person's hair to hare about for a few minutes.
What thrills, what shocks, why I've never seen such gaiety. Humping, dumping, dithering and dathering on the right corner of the Town penalty area. Bodies flew to block and up came a red arm. Oh Cropper, don't you ever, don't you ever lower yourself again, you've forgotten all your standards. Battersby ached left, Barnett passed the penalty to the right after Cropper's Adam Ant impression.
Well did you ever, what a swellegant elegant party this is.
Four minutes were added. And it's not over yet. Cropper crossed, Abrahams arose alone on the penalty spot. He is flying, like a bird 'cross the sky and he is sailing home again, his Town career dying as the ball was sighing way, way wide.
Oh what fun in the absence of sun. Hooray, what a nice day. Post-season pre-season friendlies don't come any friendlier than this. And that's all there is to it.